Install Hardwood Flooring Myself?
LESLIE: Coming up, we have Paul in Georgia who’s looking for a new floor for his living room.
Hey Paul, tell us about it.
PAUL: In regards to wood floors, I wanted to put some wood floors in and I was thinking of just putting down – well she likes the look of like a restaurant, barn-type floor.
LESLIE: So a larger plank.
PAUL: Yeah. Yeah, the wide plank. And I’m pricing stuff out. Geez, I could probably go get 1x8s at Home Depot or something and …
TOM: Make your own. (Leslie chuckles) Do your own distressing. Get a chain and start beating on the thing, you know.
PAUL: Yeah, just tongue and groove on the router table and lay that stuff down. But my brother was saying, “Aw, it’s going to shrink and everything” and “Aw, you’re going to have huge gaps and everything.” She’s OK with it. I’m just concerned about resale value of the house. I know everything’s modern; most of the places around here are going with hardwoods and stuff.
TOM: Yeah, well if it’s amateurishly done, it could impact resale value, so you want to approach cautiously there. Have you thought about laminate floor or you got your heart set on wood?
PAUL: Yeah, really heart set …
PAUL: … on that look and feel of a hand-distressed. I mean I’ve …
TOM: Well how about engineered hardwood? That’s kind of a happy medium. It’s not real hardwood but it’s engineered, it’s structurally stable, it’s incredibly durable stuff, it’s real wood and you can get a hundred different finishes on it.
LESLIE: And you can get that wide plank that you’re interested in.
TOM: Yep, it comes wide plank and it looks very distressed.
PAUL: What’s the average on that; more like 2.5, 3 bucks a square foot?
TOM: I would say, yeah, it’s probably the 3 to 5 area.
LESLIE: Where are you thinking of putting this, Paul?
PAUL: This was on a – well we’re in a contemporary and it’s on a main floor and it’s like a lofted ceiling with a big, stone fireplace and everything.
TOM: Oh, it sounds nice.
PAUL: And there’s rough cedar around the window trim and things like that. It looks real neat, like a chalet. And the foyer is done with a little composite stuff that’s not even like a hardwood imitation. It’s the stuff where it’s contact paper.
TOM: Yeah. Exactly.
PAUL: I want to get away from that and I was thinking, geez, for a buck a square foot, almost, maybe I could do the other and was wondering about wear-and-tear on that.
TOM: I think that your best bet, from what you’re telling us, is to use an engineered hardwood and buy one that looks like the distressed pattern. They’re gorgeous. A good website to go to kind of take a look at these things is Armstrong Floors’s website. Just go to Armstrong.com and check out the floors there.
LESLIE: Tom, do they have that visualizer where you can sort of create your own flooring and they’ll allow you to see it in the room?
TOM: Yep, exactly, they do. That’s pretty cool, too.
LESLIE: The extra expense now, Paul, will come back to you tenfold when you sell the house.
TOM: Alright, Paul?
PAUL: Alright. Appreciate it.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.