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DIY or Professional Flooring: Which Is Cheaper?

A flooring project is a big investment, and there are many important decisions to make along the way. One of the biggest is whether to go with DIY or professional installation.

A well-informed decision can save you money and ensure that your new floors look great. Here are some factors to consider before making your final decision.

Cost of Materials

Flooring materials can be expensive, especially if you opt for high-end options. DIY can be a cost-effective option for smaller projects or basic floor types but requires time, effort and a certain level of skill. Professional flooring contractors have access to discounted material costs and may save you money in the long run by avoiding costly mistakes and repairs.

The most important factor in determining how much a flooring project will cost is the type of material chosen. Laminate flooring is a popular and affordable alternative to hardwood, with prices ranging from $3 to $7 per square foot. Vinyl and fiberglass-backed linoleum are also popular flooring alternatives, with a wide variety of colors, patterns and finishes to suit any design style. Unlike carpet, these flooring types are invulnerable to moisture and work well in most climates.

Tile is another common flooring choice that adds a touch of luxury to any space. It’s available in a wide range of colors and styles, works in a wide variety of climates and is invulnerable to damage from moisture or termites. Natural stone and ceramic tile are more expensive flooring materials, however, with prices ranging from $6 to $20 per square foot.

Solid wood floors remain a classic choice that adds to the overall value of your home and can be refinished to extend their lifespan. They can also be more expensive, though, with costs averaging from $14 to $32 per square foot.

It’s vital to shop around to find the best flooring deals and consider your options carefully. For example, if you’re looking for hardwood floors, consider pine rather than ritzy mahogany. With the right staining and finishing techniques, pine can look just as appealing as mahogany.

Considering reputable epoxy flooring contractors in Miami can offer expert advice and services if you’re exploring epoxy flooring options for your space. You should also budget for the cost of removing and disposing of your old flooring. This is a labor-intensive task that can leave your walls and subfloors damaged and requires special tools. Most flooring material can’t be thrown out with your curbside trash, so you’ll likely need to rent or hire a junk removal service.

Cost of Labor

Generally, the cost of labor accounts for most of a flooring project’s total estimate. It can vary by region and installer, but a good general rule of thumb is to add 50 percent to the purchase price of the materials to arrive at a final estimate. Depending on your skills and experience, you may find that this figure is much higher for DIY installations.

Depending on the flooring material, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of tools for your installation. You’ll likely need a wide range of equipment, from inexpensive necessities like chalk lines and measuring tape to more expensive items such as saws (jigsaws, circular saws, or miter saws), pneumatic staplers, and nail guns. These tools can cost a few hundred dollars just to rent for a week, and the expense of purchasing them can easily eat into any savings you might have made on your flooring materials.

You’ll also need to factor in the costs of specialized floor prep, such as removing old flooring and underlayment, repairing subfloors, insulating, or addressing moisture issues. Many DIYers don’t include these prep costs in their estimates and may end up incurring extra expenses later on.

There’s also the possibility that you could make mistakes during your flooring installation, which can lead to costly repairs or replacement down the road. Most professional installers offer warranties on their work, so you can rest assured knowing your new floors will be properly installed and protected against future damage.

Taking on a DIY flooring project is a great way to save money, but it’s important to consider all the pros and cons carefully before committing to this type of undertaking. Even if you have plenty of experience with home improvement projects, flooring installation is a very specific skill that requires precision and attention to detail. If you’re not comfortable with the challenge, hiring a professional is the safer option. They can handle all aspects of the installation process, including any cleanup tasks, and give you a stress-free and professional result. Plus, they can provide expert advice and guidance based on their knowledge and experience.

Time It Takes to Do the Job

When homeowners take on DIY flooring, they need to consider the time it will take to get the job done. If this is your first flooring project or the first time you’re working with a particular type of floor, it could easily take longer than you expect. A professional installer, however, knows how to work quickly. What takes you 5 hours might only take them 3.

Flooring projects can be more expensive than expected if you make mistakes or fail to follow proper installation procedures. Hiring a professional can eliminate these extra expenses and ensure your new floors look great and are built to last.

Professional contractors also know how to plan ahead, making it easier to install around tricky areas like doors and corners. They’re also familiar with the specific quirks of different flooring types and can offer tips to help you avoid problems down the road. This helps you save money by avoiding costly errors that can be fixed later.

In addition, DIYers have to factor in the cost of tools and equipment. Whether you need to rent an air compressor or buy a new tool, these costs can significantly impact your savings. Not to mention, it’s easy to damage flooring materials if you don’t have the right tools.

Finally, DIYers may not realize how much they’re paying for if they don’t measure correctly. This mistake can result in ordering too much flooring, which means you’ll have to pay for the extra materials or store it until you need it again. Professionals know how to properly measure a room, which cuts down on wasted material and makes the process more efficient.

Although it’s tempting to cut out the middle man by taking on a flooring project yourself, there are many benefits to hiring professionals instead. They provide better-quality materials, reduce the risk of costly errors and install your floors faster. This allows you to enjoy your beautiful new floors sooner and saves you valuable time that could be spent on other home improvement projects. Not to mention, most professional contractors offer warranties and guarantees that protect your investment.


There is no denying that a new flooring installation can greatly improve the overall look and feel of any home. However, deciding between DIY flooring or professional installation requires thought and consideration of multiple factors. Choosing the right route can lead to beautiful and lasting results that make your space a more comfortable place to live.

While DIY projects may offer cost savings and a sense of accomplishment, they also require significant time and effort. Hiring a professional flooring contractor is the better choice for those who want a fast, efficient, and quality installation. They understand the intricacies of various materials and can apply the right techniques to ensure a flawless finish. Additionally, professional installation services follow safety protocols to protect their workers and the homeowner.

In addition to their expertise and experience, a good professional flooring service offers a warranty that covers any problems that arise after the installation is complete. This provides peace of mind and protection against unforeseen issues that could potentially increase your budget. Warranties also provide a sense of confidence and support, helping homeowners feel confident in their decision to hire professionals for their flooring project.

One of the drawbacks to DIY installation is the lack of a warranty. While it is possible to get a warranty through an independent retailer, this process can be more complicated and may not cover all potential issues. It is important to get all warranty information in writing, as this will help you understand any disclaimers, limitations or exceptions that may affect your specific case.

Ultimately, whether to choose DIY or professional flooring is a personal preference. Both options have their pros and cons, but the most important factor is your results. Hiring a professional will ensure you have stunning and durable floors that will last a long time. However, if you are confident in your own abilities and can handle the extra time commitment, then DIY is an option worth considering. No matter which option you choose, both will result in beautiful, new floors that can make your home a more comfortable and inviting place to live.