DIY always sounds like such a great idea, but practical implementation can be more difficult than people realize. Many look at flooring, whether carpet, luxury vinyl plank, ceramic tile, or hardwood, and think “I’ll bet I can do that myself and save a TON of money.” But anyone who has seen or committed a “Pinterest fail,” knows that projects aren’t always as simple as they seem on the internet.
Flooring is an investment that will pay off in enhancing the beauty of your home and increasing resale value; however, improper installation can negate your investment.
We suggest that inspired handy-persons think carefully about their decision to DIY. Before you make a choice to crawl around on the floor for a few days, you should consider the following points:
- If you’re not great with your hands, a flooring DIY project may be a poor choice. Flooring installation requires strength, technical skill, and industry-specific tools. If you don’t have these, don’t do it.
- If you’re in a hurry, a professional installation company will be faster. Because they do this every single day, they are quick and efficient.
- If you don’t have a helper or two, reconsider. There is a reason why professional installation companies send multiple installers. For example, wood flooring requires every single plank to be measured and custom cut. That second person will prevent you from moving on and off the floor for every plank, which is exhausting and will take twice as long.
- Estimators rock! They know how to look for potential problems with damaged subfloors, asbestos hazards, unlevel floors, and traffic patterns. They can provide knowledgeable feedback on the best material selection for your particular situation, and even more important – what to avoid! The incorrect choice of flooring materials will cause you to be dissatisfied with the wear and function of your new floor.
- Sheet vinyl installation seems easy, but is unforgiving. You can’t hide or fix miscuts. There are often installed fixtures, cabinets, doorways and corners to work around.
- When installing ceramic tile, keeping the tiles in perfect alignment, square in the room and grouted correctly are challenges. Spreading thinset is an art that an expert makes look easy. Amateurs typically discover they wear more than they spread and it takes them forever.
- Did you know that your warranty can be voided because of improper installation? If you have performance complaints the manufacturing company will send a professional inspector to evaluate the installation. For example, installing flooring on an unlevel surface, lacking proper expansion joints, or installing solid hardwood over concrete or particle board can all void a warranty.
- Repairing or replacing a damaged floor can be pricey.
- Your installer will remove and dispose of your old flooring material.
There are ways to save money even when you don’t install your own flooring. One way is to choose a flooring option like engineered hardwood rather than solid hardwood, so you have the look without the cost. You can also do some of the legwork yourself, like moving your furniture or tearing up old carpet. Our salespeople and estimators can look at your project and make personalized suggestions for cost savings on your project.
While DIY flooring can offer a short-term cost savings, the expertise of flooring professionals can mean the difference between floors filled with gaps like this:
And beautifully installed floors that look like this:
Considering a DIY flooring project? Let us in on your plans, and we can provide an estimate that includes professional installation. You might be surprised by the affordability of professionally installed flooring!