Flooring is often one of the biggest expenses of a remodel project. If you’re on a budget, choosing a type you can install yourself can save you money.
Check out these 7 easy DIY flooring options:
Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Tile Flooring
Self-adhesive vinyl tiles can be installed quickly and easily. The typical size is 12×12, so it’s easy to determine how many you will need. No special equipment is needed – just a tape measure and chalk line to find the room’s center, and a utility knife to cut the tiles.
Carpet Tile Flooring
If you want carpet flooring without the expense of professional installation, carpet squares can be a good choice. Not only are they easy to install, you have the option to create a custom pattern with your flooring. If one section of tile gets stained or damaged, you can just replace it. Carpet tiles are generally less expensive than rolled carpet, and the only tools you need for installation are a tape measure, chalk line and utility knife. If you choose peel-and-stick tiles, no adhesive is needed. For dry-back tiles, you’ll need either mastic or double-sided carpet tape.
Floating Vinyl Sheet Flooring
Vinyl sheet flooring can be installed by either gluing it down or “floating” it. A floating floor is easier to install, and there’s less mess because no adhesive is used. Starting with a clean, smooth subfloor is critical with vinyl sheeting, as well as getting accurate measurements of the room. In a large room, however, it’s best to use double-sided carpet tape around the edge of the room and under seams. A roll of butcher paper or craft paper to make a template of the room, which can make for more accurate cuts than just taking measurements. The vinyl can be cut with a utility knife.
Laminate Plank Flooring
Installing a laminate wood floor is easier than you might think. The tongue-and-groove planks just snap together. You’ll want to allow the planks to acclimate for at least 48 hours before you plan to install them. This will give them time to adjust to the temperature and humidity in the room. A roll of foam underlayment gets installed first. You’ll need either a power saw or hand saw to cut the planks, and you may need a hammer to help tap the planks together as you install them.
Engineered Wood Flooring
This installation has a higher difficulty level, but if you’re comfortable using power tools it’s still a manageable DIY task. Engineered wood planks have tongue-and-groove edges like laminate planks, but they’re usually adhered to the subfloor with a pneumatic brad nailer or floor stapler. Rather than foam underlayment, builder’s felt is typically used which is attached to the floor with a hammer tacker.
Painted Wood Flooring
Another easy, cost-effective flooring upgrade is to simply change the look of your existing floors. Painting a wood floor is not a weekend project because you have to allow at least 24 hours for each coat to dry, but you only need to be able to use sandpaper and a paint brush or roller. Before starting and after priming, you’ll need to sand the floor and vacuum it. You’ll apply 1 coat of oil-based primer, 3 thin coats of paint, and 1-2 coats of clear polyurethane. Let each coat dry for 24 hours before applying the next one.
Stained Concrete Flooring
Staining concrete floors will give you a more attractive look without the expense of carpet or wood. It will take 2-5 days to complete the project, depending on the size of your room. The process of acid-staining concrete is to apply the acid stain, allow it to work and then neutralize it. You’ll need to apply a sealer afterward, which is usually acrylic or polyurethane. Any marks on the concrete will show through, so it’s important to start with a clean floor. Instead of staining, another option is to apply an epoxy coating to the floor, which would be much like painting it.
No matter which room you need flooring for or what your skill level is, there’s sure to be a DIY flooring option that’s right for you.