December 13, 2018

DIY flooring: is hiring a flooring professional worth it?

It’s easier than ever to tackle home renovations yourself—or, at least, the folks at home improvement stores make it seem easier than ever. You probably even know someone that has done some remodeling work themselves. Home renovations can be expensive, and many homeowners are budget-conscious. But, will installing new floors by yourself actually save you money in the end?

professional flooring installers

Things to consider before starting a DIY flooring project

Before installing new floors on your own, be realistic about your skill level. Do you have experience with home improvement projects? Do you know how to properly use construction equipment, like saws, tile cutters, and nail guns? Do you always finish projects that you start? Do you have the know-how and spare time to deal with related problems if they come up during the installation process?

If you plan to install new flooring yourself, you’ll need to:
It’s a good idea to be honest with yourself before taking on a project that could get you in over your head. Properly installing a floor that lasts requires skill and patience.

Time is money

Installing floors yourself will take a lot of time. The typical flooring installation process is multi-step and, even with the assistance of others, installing a floor on your own will take more than one day. Life gets in the way, and it isn’t uncommon for DIYers to get busy, and that “easy” flooring project might even take weeks (or months).

If you hire a professional flooring installer, you will have a dedicated team of experts working on your project from start to finish. Your floor installation will typically get done within a day, meaning you can resume living in your space quickly and without delay.

Disposal of old flooring

If you start replacing floors yourself, what will you do with the rolls of old carpeting or piles of broken tile that you’ve removed? Disposal of old flooring debris is an important consideration when deciding whether you should tackle a DIY floor project. Often, you will need to pay a fee to have your trash company or a third party to come pick up and dispose of old flooring.

Professional flooring installers will not only remove your existing flooring, but they will also haul away the old flooring and construction materials so you aren’t left with the cost and hassle of getting rid of a mess.

Expect the unexpected

From preparing the subfloor to installing new flooring, each step of a new flooring installation includes the potential to uncover issues that will delay your project, if you are not equipped with the knowledge, time, and resources to properly address them.

Professional flooring installers are trained to handle common flooring problems, and they can also provide guidance on when you should bring in contractors to evaluate and repair more complicated issues.

Common additional costs of DIY flooring projects

Even if you have the time and the desire to start a manual labor project of this kind, DIY flooring may not end up being the cost-savings you expected. While it may seem like installing flooring yourself will save money on the cost of installation, this is typically not the case. Professional flooring installers have the know-how and the tools to install floors efficiently and correctly.

If you plan to DIY floors, you will need to buy or rent equipment to remove old flooring, prepare the subfloor, and install the new flooring. Depending on the type of flooring you need to remove and the flooring you’ll be installing, the types of equipment you’ll needed might include:
  • Saws: table, miter, jigsaw
  • Tile cutter
  • Pneumatic nail gun
  • Shop vacuum
  • Rubber mallet
  • Grouting tools
  • Cleats
  • Measuring tape
The typical savings, if any, from going DIY will be minimal, particularly when you add in extra costs like equipment rental and value of your time.
The cost of renting flooring installation equipment can add up quickly, and—oftentimes—the tools available for rent at home improvement stores are not the same standard of professional equipment.

Professional installation comes with professional results

Flooring installed by a professional will be installed correctly, ensuring that your new flooring lasts as long as possible. If you install your floor yourself, there’s a chance that you will not install it properly, thereby voiding your warranty by not meeting their product installation requirements. Additionally, flooring that isn’t installed by professionals is often more susceptible to damage and may not last as long (or as well) as you hoped it would.

When deciding if you should hire professional flooring installers, it comes down to experience and tools. Flooring professionals are just that—professionals. They have the equipment and the knowledge they need to install your flooring properly and quickly. A floor installed by professionals will be finished in a day and—with proper care—will last for many years to come.

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