Mother-of-two transforms her utility floor for less than £50

Mother-of-two recovering from Covid-19 transforms her utility floor for less than £50 using a stylish homemade cardboard stencil after the existing laminate was ruined by a leak

  • Nicola Hill, 48, a civil servant from Stoke-on-Trent, transformed room after leak 
  • Mother made amazing geometric floor pattern using stencils and Frenchic paint
  • In total she spent between £40 to £50 on the entire ‘painstaking’ project 

Buying and laying a new floor can be an expensive endeavour – but one mother-of-two managed to transform hers for under £50.

Nicola Hill, 48, a civil servant from Stoke-on-Trent, created an incredible stencil pattern for her utility while recovering from Covid-19, after the existing laminate was damaged by a leak.

When she pulled it up, she discovered tiles from the 1960s which were splashed with old paint.   

But Nicola accidentally damaged them when using an acidic cleaner, meaning they were left with a white powdery coating that wouldn’t budge.


Nicola Hill, 48, a civil servant from Stoke-on-Trent, created an incredible stencil floor for her utility room – all for under £50. Underneath existing laminate flooring there were 1960s tiles (right) which were splashed with white paint. Nicola damaged them by mistake with acidic cleaner so created the stencil floor instead

So she decided to totally transform the whole room by creating an amazing geometric floor pattern using stencils and Frenchic paint. 

In total, she spent between £40 to £50 on the entire project, and is thrilled with the results.

Nicola told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: ‘I came up with the floor idea from seeing other people’s outdoor patio areas on Facebook.

‘My partner is a maths teacher so the maths side of it was worked out by him, although I ordered the wrong size stencil as I didn’t listen to him!

‘He therefore made me one from a cardboard box which allowed the repeat pattern to work on the nine inch tile. 

Nicola spent only between £40 to £50 on the entire project – and was helped by her maths teacher partner

‘These tiles were irreparable and a new floor was out of the question.’ 

Nicola said she transformed the floor when she was recovering from coronavirus and off work for ‘some weeks’ because of side effects from the infection.  

‘I’m not used to sitting still so became really fed up and low, so would sit on the floor and take my time creating it,’ she said. 

‘I sat on the floor doing it – it was a bit painstaking but worth it. I just did it a bit at a time as I was unwell – I did test positive for Covid and was quite unwell but I needed to keep my brain active.


Nicola told how her partner made a stencil for her out of an old cardboard box. She used Frenchic paint for the different colours

Nicola first painted a base coat over the old tiles and then began the stencil project, which she admitted was quite ‘painstaking’

‘I cleaned the floor with sugar soap and started the stencil from the middle.

‘The stencil was made out of dense cardboard – a Ted Baker dress box actually!

‘I used masking tape and used a limited amount of paint on the stencil brush to do the first coat and dried it with a hairdryer, then applied a second coat by dabbing the stencil brush.

‘I did every other tile first so as not to smudge it, then my partner made the edging stencil to fit the border and I did this as I got to the wall.


Nicola said she transformed the floor when she was recovering from coronavirus and off work for ‘some weeks’ because of side effects from the infection

Nicola covered up the old tiles using coats of paint to create a base layer on which to draw her stencil pattern

‘The cardboard stencil lasted really well. Cost-wise, if we discount the price of the wrong size stencil, it cost the price of two tins of Frenchic paint and a stencil brush which equates to around £40 to £50 at most.

‘I used Swanky Pants paint for the base coat and the colours in the stencil are After Midnight and Blackjack.

‘I sat with a hairdryer to help dry the first coat before applying a second coat and then moving the stencil. Due to being poorly it took around two weeks but this was due to doing it a bit at a time.

‘My paint was dropped off by a local supplier which helped!’


Nicola’s partner is a maths teacher and so was easily able to create a stencil for her to use for the floor

Nicola is delighted with how her project turned out and felt a real sense of accomplishment with its success, especially given that she completed it while being ill.

‘I was really quite proud of myself given I was so poorly too, it looks amazing – but none of my family has seen it yet which is frustrating,’ Nicola adds.

‘It’s really transformed the room with minimal cost.’

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘Whether you go for a laminate, real wood or tiled floor, the cost of sourcing it and laying it can be a real expense.

‘After dealing with a leak at home, Nicola came up with an ingenious solution: her stencilled floor looks incredibly stylish and fashionable, and cost a fraction of what replacing the entire floor with wood or tiles would have cost!’ 

Nicola is delighted with how her project turned out and felt a real sense of accomplishment with its success, especially given that she completed it while being ill

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘After dealing with a leak at home, Nicola came up with an ingenious solution: her stencilled floor looks incredibly stylish and fashionable’

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