cheap kitchen floor that doesn't _look_ cheap?
I know, it's probably an oxymoron, and definitely a tall order. We're putting our house up for sale in a couple of months and the existing sheet-vinyl floor is in such bad shape that it has to be replaced - stains, hopelessly-ground-in dirt (the idiot who thought off-white was a good color for the floor of a kitchen with three outside doors and a muddy lot needs either heavy medication or an intimate discussion with a baseball bat), peeling-up seams (the kitchen is almost 13' wide x 16 long and the seam parallels the French doors) and tears that are stapled down where the repair glue stopped sticking... *sheepish grin* A flooring allowance is a last resort since left as-is it'll detract from the other features and skew toward "fixer-upper", which the house definitely isn't. There are nice 2-year-old honey ash hardwood floors in the adjoining room with a 6' wide doorway, slightly dated but solid oak cabinets, and soon new laminate counters (dark/light brown, black, gold, and cream granitey-looking stuff).
However, we're squeezing every penny until Lincoln screams because we're quite low on upfront cash (and things keep cropping up to eat yet more money), and we're admittedly useless in the DIY department - slow, unskilled, up to our *ahem* eyeballs in work to do, and short on time. There's about 300sf of flooring divided between the and the attached , which is an ugly maze of closets and niches; we can scrounge up about $1000. I was thinking about VCT because it's about $2.50/sf installed and _I_ think it's nifty looking, but the reaction from local people I've mentioned it to has been undiluted horror. Is there a nice-looking, low-priced vinyl tile that's either fast and moron-proof :-) or cheap to hire someone to do, that doesn't LOOK "cheap, quick and dirty"? We'll have to pull up the sheet vinyl, which I am dreading because it wasn't perimeter-glued, because if we put an underlayment over it we won't be able to open the doors! They scrape as it is. The Novalis planks at Lowes are fantastic but with the real wood right by it, not so good.