Building Tips

Should You DIY Your Hardwood Floor Installation?

Whether to DIY your own hardwood flooring or to hire a professional can be a tough decision. Considering we have been on both sides, I wanted to give you some things to consider before deciding. Several factors went into our decision each time we were getting ready for this project and as you know, we have gone down this road several times.

Time, Tools, and Knowledge

Here are a few things to consider: do you have the correct tools, enough time, and the knowledge to be able to install your own hardwood flooring? The tools and knowledge are easily attainable, but do you want to spend the time doing it?

Most tools you will need to install hardwood flooring can be rented or even borrowed. You may even choose to purchase the correct tools if you think you might use them again. Keep in mind, even with purchasing the tools, you will spend lots less than hiring a professional. Henry purchased a floor nailer and strongly recommends the Bostitch Pneumatic Flooring Nailer.

The biggest problem many face when considering to install their own hardwood flooring is not knowing how to install it. I always say, if we can do it, I know you can too. It seriously isn’t that hard and there are many online step-by-step tutorials that can easily help you get the job done. If you are willing to learn, you can save some money.

We have taken on this project several times and know it is a place we can save when building and remodeling. The tools and knowledge was never an issue for us. Henry loves buying new tools and learning new skills. It was always time that was the problem, but we were willing to put in some long hours to get it done. On our current home we truly did not have the time to do it and ended up hiring it out, but for the flip house, well, it really wasn’t a choice. We were unable to find anyone to work us in to install it, so we are doing it ourselves.

In all honesty, putting down hardwood flooring is not that hard. Henry even got in on the action on most installations.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Professional?

So, I keep telling you it will save you some money and now I bet you want to know how much. Has it really paid off for us to DIY this project on several occasions? The answer is quite shocking! Installing engineered hardwood can range anywhere from $3.00 to $6.00 per square foot. This depends on the complexity of the layout, type of hardwood flooring, and your location. Another big factor is whether or not there is existing flooring to remove.

Pneumatic Floor Nailer Floor | Hardwood Flooring Staples

For our current home we did not have any existing flooring and we had a clean slate so our price was a little cheaper. We ended up paying on the low end at around $3.00 per square foot to have our engineered hardwood installed. For us, we had around 3,000 sq ft. It took the installers around 5 days of work to install and cost us around $9,000 dollars.

As you can see, that would have been a pretty big savings to do it ourselves. However, with this build it didn’t make sense. Our schedule did not allow and we couldn’t take on anything else at the time. Depending on your budget and schedule, you have to decide which is more important to you: time or money?

That being said, it is now two years later and we still see the benefit of DIYing it. We have already installed a majority of the hardwood in our new new flip house project. A combination of saving some money and as I said before, not being able to find workers definitely led us in this direction this go around.

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  • Reply Kendra

    This was super high level. I wish you got more into what was challenging when you did it yourself or what tools you need or how long it took. This wasn’t super helpful and I hope by leaving this comment it will help you to add more meat to the post in future.

    January 14, 2020 at 9:13 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Kendra. Thanks for your feedback! This was intentionally high level. We have another article coming out soon on how to install engineered hardwood.

      January 15, 2020 at 3:46 am
  • Reply Bailey

    Great article! Which hardwood floor did y’all end up choosing in the end for your new home?

    January 15, 2020 at 2:53 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks! We ended up going with Sea Smoke from ADM Flooring.

      January 15, 2020 at 3:47 am
  • Reply Nicholas

    Is the article out on how to install engineered hardwood?

    July 20, 2020 at 4:33 pm
  • Reply Ingrid

    Which of the two are in style right now, light or dark hardwood?

    August 12, 2020 at 6:21 am
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