There is all kinds of "do-it-yourself" or DIY content out there these days. From guides to checklists to videos, all aim to empower weekend warriors to take matters into their own hands. Many of these DIY videos are great, however, homeowners should remember that the people posting these DIY videos are professionals themselves – with years of experience thanks to apprenticeship, onsite training, and actual practice. They’ll make the work look easy because, for them, it is. So before you take on a project like installing hardwood floors yourself, here are some things to consider:
Taking the DIY route may seem like the best way to save money, however, upfront savings can easily be canceled out later when the job is not done right. Installation mistakes lead to issues later. Also, if you plan to do it yourself, chances are you don’t have the right equipment; you’ll find that you’ll have to spend more to either buy or rent the right tools and machines.
Prepping the sub-surface, planning out the grain/pattern, ensuring you’re not skewing the plank alignment – not knowing how to do all these right can lead to all sorts of issues. Pros plan ahead and know how to install around irregular shapes, corners, and doorways. They also know the best techniques for different types of flooring and even the quirks of specific brands for engineered or LVP. Pros also know how to install floors that transition seamlessly across connecting floors.
Because of insufficient knowledge and training, DIY takes more time. What takes the pros a day to do may take days or even weeks for others. This can be a huge hassle since you’ll need to avoid the areas of unfinished work.
One of the biggest reasons to trust a professional rather than attempt to install hardwood floors yourself is the warranty. You can purchase hardwood floor planks from the store that come with a 25-year or lifetime warranty. But if you read the fine print, you’ll see that the warranty can be voided if a professional does not install the floors. Many, if not all, hardwood floor manufacturers explicitly include this in their warranty conditions. Manufacturers take pride in their product, boasting its many benefits, including durability, quality, and beauty. However, they know these can be compromised when the product is mishandled.
It just makes sense to at least speak with a professional before you embark on a floor project.
What to look for in professional flooring contractors
- Licensed for flooring
- Have good reviews or references from past clients
- Have experience in your specific type of flooring (hardwood vs. tile, etc.)
- Provide an estimate before the job
- Walk you through the entire process from floor selection to after installation care
We support a homeowner’s decision to take certain matters into their own hands – whether to save money or take pride in doing the work themselves. When it comes to hardwood floors though we think you should leave it to the pros. We’ve been asked many times to fix floors that were installed by homeowners, or even inexperienced contractors.