Old-School Remodeling Materials That Feel Fresh & Modern Again


Over the past year, we’ve noticed the return of some forgotten design favorites. These materials were originally budget options, dismissed as being too affordable to be first picks when remodeling a kitchen or bathrooms. But they’ve circled back with momentum this time —in some cases because technology has improved the product, but also because more and more people rediscover what made them so great the first time.

Laminate

Laminate has come a long way, with a new appearance that mimics natural materials like marble or granite, but is much cheaper than something like engineered stone.

In addition to appearance, the new option of rounded corners give this durable budget material a much higher-end look. Both things combined give laminate a much needed leg up against the countertop competition.

Terrazzo

Terrazzo, with its durable flecked finish, is suddenly the peak of chic, popping up in high-end kitchens around the world.

Vinyl

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the floor in the above bathroom is patterned cement tile, but it’s actually vinyl. Boo & Maddie did a quick budget makeover, and this material was a affordable, yet graphic, choice.

Above, Ashley from The Gold Hive used three different colors of vinyl tile to produce a gingham effect in her bungalow kitchen. If you don’t like gingham, you can try a checkerboard or a zig zag pattern, because sky’s the limit.

Linoleum

Nothing about this super stylish Dutch loft says budget, but the floor is in fact laminate. Crafted from natural materials it is an excellent “green choice” for your kitchen flooring, and linoleum stands up to high traffic. It is also soft underfoot — another plus if you’re standing for long periods.

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