Ceramic tile doesn't have to be expensive, you can find 1' squares for as little as $1 sometimes at the home stores. If you're hiring this then your biggest cost is going to be labor, which is also true of one piece linoleum, carpet, wood, or other solutions.There is also no reason you can't put down tile with an eye toward expansion in the future. Do the room as it sits, but buy enough to do the additional space later and put the excess in storage (along with another 10% for breakage or repair.) You have to buy the extra at the same time so the dye lot will match. And you can't pre-buy the grout, because it only lasts about 6 months before moisture ruins it, so buy a very popular color and brand so that you can get it again a year or whenever in the future. (I did this in my kitchen in our Boston condo when it had w2w carpeting in the adjoining room. When it was time to remove the carpet I added another 4x12 tiles to "enlarge" the kitchen; matched perfectly.) Plan for the expansion by putting the tiles in a configuration to "continue" the tiling at a later date. Even if there's an irregular bend or two it's a simple matter to grind out the grout and chip away at a couple pieces, then continue the full tile run.You could do cheaper vinyl/linoleum tiles, then cover most of it with a throw rug, which would look decent. The plus is that self stick tiles are simple to install, and if a tenant ruins the rug, well, they're cheap and you just throw it away and get another.
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