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Should I DIY My Hardwood Flooring?

The decision to install hardwood flooring in your home on your own is not one that should be taken lightly.  Rather, when taking on a DIY project as large as this, it’s important to carefully evaluate the pros and cons to ensure that you are capable of producing the results that you so desire.

Typically, the biggest expense associated with home improvement projects is labor costs.  To save money, some homeowners decide to tackle projects like floor installation on their own.  However, even for experienced do-it-yourselfers, hardwood floor projects can be quite challenging.

Before deciding whether or not you’re going to install hardwood floors on your own or leave the job to a trained professional, consider the following points.

  • What is your timeline?  Obviously, a team of professional installers can complete the job much more efficiently than you can on your own.  If you’re under a time constraint or you would simply like the extra assurance that the job is done correctly, your best bet is to hire a professional.
  • Some floors are better for DIY projects.  If you’re set on installing hardwood floors on your own, you may want to consider a floating floor setup.  This type of flooring uses a tongue and groove system to click and lock the floor into place, requiring no glue, nails or staples.  The floor is simply “floated” over an existing subfloor, making it much easier for DIY installation.
  • Make sure you have the necessary tools.  The tools you will need will vary depending on the type of flooring you go with (i.e. floating vs. nail down).  Before you start your project, take inventory of your tools and make sure you have the necessary items.  Having all the right tools will make the job much simpler.  For a list of things you’ll need for installation, click here.
  • Do your homework.  For first time do-it-yourselfers, it’s a good idea to read a few hardwood floor installation guides before starting a project of your own.  Many of these can be found online and offer valuable resources such as step-by-step tutorials, pictures, and more.

In conclusion, you may also want to ask yourself the following question before deciding to install hardwood on your own:  Can I achieve a professional look on my own that I’ll be happy with?  If you have any doubts, my suggestion is to leave it to a trained professional.  Hardwood floors are an investment that can significantly increase the value of your home, if installed correctly.

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