10 Flooring Surprises That Look Like Other Flooring


flooring surprises woman sitting on floor

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Looks Can Be Deceiving

When you’re searching for new flooring for a renovation project, you may have a certain look in mind. However, sometimes the flooring of your dreams isn’t a realistic option. Some flooring types—particularly hardwood, marble, and luxury tiles—are expensive and not a good fit for many budgets. Other times, the flooring you want may not be durable or stain-resistant enough to match the demands of the space.

Fortunately, there are several imposter flooring options to consider. From tiles that look like wood to a vinyl rug that could pass for a woven Persian rug, find inspiration and practical solutions for your next project.

Weathered Wood

Hardwood flooring is gorgeous, but it’s also expensive and not suitable for use outdoors or in bathrooms and other rooms with a lot of moisture. Wood alternatives give you more installation flexibility and come with a lower overall cost.

If you want the look of wood flooring that’s been worn with time, but you don’t have hardwoods under that old carpet, consider wood-look tiles, like these toffee wood glazed porcelain tiles available at The Home Depot. With their faux wood texture, waterproof and stain-proof design, and reasonable price tag, the tiles can make a beautiful addition to both indoor and outdoor spaces.

RELATED: The 7 Best Low-Cost Alternatives to Hardwood Flooring

Parquet Floors

Want parquet floors but not the hassle and expense of installation? Real wood parquet flooring probably isn’t in the budget for many homeowners, given that it can cost $40 or more per square foot. The intricate pattern means the installation is also more time consuming—and therefore expensive—than for regular hardwood flooring. Peel-and-stick versions, like these square parquet pattern tiles available at The Home Depot, are a good alternative to bring the classic visual appeal of parquet flooring to any room in your home for a fraction of the cost. Since peel-and-stick tiles are waterproof, you can install them even in the bathroom or kitchen. Installation is simple, and most people can DIY this project in a day.

Cherry Planks

As one of the more expensive hardwoods for flooring, cherry is a timeless favorite. For an alternative that’s easy to clean and maintain, try luxury vinyl plank flooring, which is known for its durability. Enjoy the benefits of LVP along with the stunning look of cherry hardwood flooring by installing interlocking planks, like these water resistant cherry planks available at The Home Depot. You can even float the planks over most existing floors for a DIY-friendly project.

RELATED: Vinyl Renaissance: 10 Flooring Looks You Won’t Believe

Detailed Wood Grain 

If you want to cover your existing floors with wood but are on a strict budget, you could paint them to look like wood using the faux bois technique. You’ll need floor paint and a top coat sealant, like this espresso floor paint kit at Home Depot. Then purchase an additional color of floor paint in a contrasting lighter or darker color. Start by applying either the light or dark shade of paint you chose. Then paint the contrasting color in small areas, and while the paint is still wet, go over it with a wood grain stencil, like this set of rubber rollers from Amazon. It’s a good idea to practice the technique on another surface before you start, and always apply a top coat when the floor is fully dry to ensure the paint can stand up to traffic. While painted flooring may show wear sooner than other wood-look options, it’s an inexpensive DIY solution.

RELATED: The Best Underlayments for Vinyl Plank Flooring

Natural Stone

Wayfair flooring surprises natural stone tile

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The natural beauty and durability of stone flooring is ideal for many areas in the home, but the cost of installation and vulnerability to water stains and scratches might prevent stone flooring from being an option for your remodeling project.

To mimic the look and feel of weathered stone, porcelain tiles are made with details that recreate the experience of stone without the cost. Faux stone tiles, like these rustic stone-look tiles available on Wayfair, include layered colors, natural stone shapes, imitation scuffs, and a textured feel. Install this type of tile indoors or outdoors; it is durable, frost-resistant, and stain-resistant.

Faux Marble

Marble flooring can provide a swanky and upscale feel to nearly any space. However, marble floor tiles are expensive—up to $40 or more per square foot, plus additional installation costs. Luxury vinyl plank flooring, like this white marble waterproof option available at The Home Depot, is significantly cheaper and easy enough to install that you could do it on your own. LVP flooring is waterproof, resists staining and scratching, and is easier to maintain than marble.

Moroccan Tile

Wayfair flooring suprirses moroccan tile

Photo: Wayfair.com

True Moroccan tile is a detailed, handmade piece of art. However, authentic Moroccan tile is also quite expensive. For those renting or on a strict budget, peel-and-stick tiles, like these Moroccan-inspired tiles available on Wayfair, can replicate the look of hand-painted tile in a bathroom or kitchen. Designed for light traffic areas, these tiles are waterproof and feature a variety of patterns to blend with any decor.

RELATED: How Much Does It Cost to Install Tile Floor?

Whitewashed Brick 

flooring surprises whitewashed brick floor

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Brick floors or walls can help pull together the look for an industrial- or rustic-inspired space. However, having a brick floor installed is a big undertaking and can cost a pretty penny. Brick-look porcelain tiles, like these floor or wall tiles available at The Home Depot, are more reasonably priced and relatively easy to install. Even though they’re made of porcelain, the intricate details allow you to imitate nearly any material with tile. With their textured matte finish and realistic whitewashed brick pattern, these tiles certainly look like the real deal.

RELATED: 8 Ways to Fix a Floor: Tried-and-True Solutions to the Most Common Flooring Issues

Green Grass

flooring surprises green grass

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Keeping a small greenspace growing can be a real challenge—especially during the winter months. With artificial grass, like this grass mat available on Amazon, you can have realistic-looking green grass wherever you want it. Despite its grass-like appearance, the mat is actually made using a durable and long-lasting synthetic material. The rubber backing and drainage holes help the mat dry quickly, making it a wonderful addition to outdoor spaces like decks, porches, and patios.

RELATED: Choosing the Right Floor

Persian Rug

Despite their beauty, Persian rugs are not a viable option for many areas of a home. The good news is that vinyl rugs are durable, easy to maintain, and even suitable for outdoor use. Vinyl rugs can mimic the colors and patterns of a traditional Persian rug. With its durable construction, a faux Persian rug, like this Tabriz vinyl area rug available at Rugs Direct, is a much better choice for rooms where spills are more likely to occur or the rug will be exposed to heavier traffic. Several sizes and shapes are available to fit the demands of your space.