How to fix a kitchen floor on a really tight budget??


We have a VERY old rent house and our last renter left owing us money and a house with a TON of damage. The kitchen floor was large tile and now over 50% of the tile is broken. We don't have surplus tiles. Is there a way we can cheaply/easily cover the existing floor with, perhaps, vinyl/laminate? We don't/can't spend a lot and are now just wanting to fix it up well enough to sell. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  12 answers
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Apr 23, 2021

    This link might help you:

    Was wondering what type of tile you have down there now? If you want to leave the cracked broken tile in place, then the underlayment will be irregular for vinyl and won't look good. You could choose to take out all the tiles, but you might need a new underlayment to make it smooth.

    Also, concrete may be an option:


    If you have a ground-level kitchen then concrete can be another inexpensive and long-lasting option for you. In some cases, a concrete slab will already be in place beneath existing floor coverings. This surface can then be polished, stained, or treated in a variety of ways to make it a very stylish and attractive flooring for the kitchen. If there is not a slab already available then a new pour can be done over a variety of subfloor surfaces. Concrete floors are especially appropriate in modern-style kitchens.

    Drawbacks include some of the same issues as are found with ceramic tile: Concrete floors are somewhat cold and may be too hard for some tastes. And appreciation for the look of concrete is not shared by everyone—a concrete kitchen floor can sometimes be a drawback when it's time to sell your home.


  • If the tile is broken, I would be concerned about having a solid surface for the new floor. All of the broken tiles will need to be repaired first. I'm so sorry this has happened to you.

  • Annie Annie on Apr 23, 2021

    Are these ceramic tiles you currently have? Or vinyl? If ceramic, you would really need to level out the floor. A levelling compound should work

  • William William on Apr 23, 2021

    GrandmasHouseDIY and Annie have the best solution. Use a floor leveling compound over the tile. It's cement based but more watery consistency. Mix it up, pour on the floor, spread it out and it levels itself. Since it is a rental go with vinyl over the floor. Have you also considered suing the renter?! This sounds like great case for People's Court.

  • Betsy Betsy on Apr 23, 2021

    Hi 1cs: Well, I'd take them to court for damages and back rent. If they can't pay, or won't, you can attach their income tax money. Be sure to ask for court costs, too. In lieu of that, you can put a sub floor down and then some linoleum over that. Check with Habitat for Humanity in your area, and other areas, to see if they have anything that you can use. They have a lot of materials that are new and cheap. Check this site and scroll down to where you can put your information in and check around. Good luck

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Apr 23, 2021

    If you are planning to sell the house just be sure you have an allowance for repairs like the tile floor. Most folks now will replace the floors themselves if they can save a little money. I would get a real estate agent to walk thru the house and see what they suggest before you spend money to fix floors that you may not have to.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Apr 23, 2021

    Remove the tile, make sure you wear protective clothing and eyewear. If you can get it up smoothly, you can put vinyl down on top of it. If not, you can put down luan and then vinyl. Hate this for you.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Apr 24, 2021

    Habitat for Humanity/Restores vary considerably from one location to the next in the amount and quality of items that they have available for purchase. While some folks have had luck finding what they need at their local store, it is entirely hit or miss.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Apr 24, 2021

    Removing the tile and readying the underfloor is a huge job requiring physical strength and agility. If you are intending to repair the floor only for the purpose of selling the house, at best, you may see only a small return on the money that you put into these types of quick fixes.

    In my experience, if there are areas in the home that need a major overhaul, most new buyers will begin by tearing it all out and installing completely new.

    My suggestion is to leave the floor as it is. List the price of the house to reflect the deficiency, get the house sold, and move on.

  • Rip up the rest of the tile and put down peel and stick tiles

  • Em Em on Apr 24, 2021

    You can cover it with self stick tile. I did my bathroom with self stick carpet squares so to level the floor I filled in the grout lines with caulking. I had no desire to rip the old tile out at the time. I realize yours is a kitchen but making it smooth for cover up is the key. You could also put down luan plywood in strips on top of the old tile you cut in long strips like boards. Use a good sealant like loctite and stain the board. It will be beautiful and no need to worry about the grout lines. Ply has a wood grain and it would be beautiful.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Apr 24, 2021

    you could always cover it with vinyl flooring (on a roll) that would be inexpensive and easy to do - there are many colors and designs to choose from