How to Select and Install Hardwood Flooring on a Budget
Hardwood floors are more expensive than other types of flooring, but there are ways for homeowners to get the hardwood floors they want without spending a fortune.
Here are some tips that explain how to select and install hardwood flooring on a budget:
- Let's start with the hardwood you'll actually use. A top grade hardwood such as red oak costs about $5 a square foot, while medium grade hardwoods like natural maple are $4 per square foot, and lower grade hardwoods such as rustic ash are $3 a square foot.
- Preparing the old floor for new installation – You may need to replace the subfloor with plywood, which costs about $22 for each 4' x 8' sheet of plywood. The average living room needs eight sheets for $176.
- DIY installation: One of the major ways to save money on hardwood floors is to install them yourself. You'll save on labor and spend your money on the materials. Suppliers of hardwoods can provide instructions for installation. If you need professional help with installation, carpenters charge between $20 and $35 an hour and should be able to complete the project in one day. If you do hire a carpenter, you can save money by removing the old flooring first.
- Prefinished hardwood flooring: You can save money by installing prefinished flooring that has already been sanded and finished, so it only needs to be glued or nailed down. Using prefinished flooring saves money over unfinished wood and can be installed very easily, so you may not need professional help.
- Don't install hardwood flooring in every room: You can save money and still get the appeal of hardwood flooring by installing them in your living room or bedroom, but not the rest of the house.
- Shop around for the best deals: Many companies offer a variety of prefinished and unfinished hardwood flooring. Compare the prices of discount stores and lumber retailers to find the most affordable price.
- You can also look online for hardwood sites that offer major brands of hardwood flooring at competitive prices. A variety of unfinished and prefinished domestic and exotic hardwoods are available, from red and white oak and hickory to Brazilian walnut and cherry. You can also choose solid or engineered hardwood flooring, with engineered flooring featuring natural wood over a ply birch base that creates a 100-percent wood floorboard.
Hardwoods are the most durable and beautiful of flooring options that will boost the value of your property. Use these tips to select and install hardwood flooring in a variety of styles and finishes and to get beautiful hardwood floors on a budget.
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