5 Tips to Lower the Cost of Redoing Your Floor

Redoing an entire wood floor in your house can be a costly undertaking. In fact, many people put off this renovation because of the cost and time involved. However, there are several ways that you can cut down on the cost of redoing your floor. By following these steps carefully, you should be able to save a substantial amount of money.

Tip 1: Do Your Own Research

As with any home improvement project, it pays to start by doing your own research on the subject. Look around online and familiarize yourself with floor types, contractor standards, and the actual amount of work involved before you get started. This will not only give you a more realistic idea of what the job will be like, but it will also help protect you from overpaying for parts or labor that you can get more cheaply.

You can look at online forums, home improvement sites, and local directories in your region. You should look at a variety of sites to compare perspectives, hard and soft costs, and options.

Understand Flooring Options and Compare Prices:

Choosing the right flooring for your home involves considering a variety of factors to ensure you get the best match for both your space and your wallet. It begins with understanding the different types of flooring available, each offering its own set of advantages and considerations. From classic hardwood to versatile laminate, durable vinyl, and resilient tile, each material brings its unique blend of style, durability, and maintenance requirements.

Once you've familiarized yourself with the options, it's essential to evaluate your specific needs and preferences. Consider the traffic patterns and usage of the room where the flooring will be installed. For high-traffic areas like entryways or kitchens, durability and easy maintenance may be top priorities, while in bedrooms or living rooms, comfort and aesthetics might take precedence.

Tip 2: Choose the Right Material

When it comes to home improvement projects, selecting the right flooring material is essential for achieving both practicality and aesthetic appeal. With an array of options available, ranging from hardwoods to laminates, and vinyl to tile, navigating through the choices can feel overwhelming.  But with a clear idea of what you need and what you can spend, along with some research on durability, moisture resistance, and warranties, you'll be ready to find the perfect fit for your home. Whether you love classic hardwood or prefer easy-to-clean vinyl, making a smart choice means you'll have a beautiful floor that suits your lifestyle and lasts a long time.

When choosing wood types, consider:

  • Durability: Flooring durability is paramount. Consider the wood's ability to withstand heavy foot traffic, impacts, and other forms of wear and tear over time. Hardwoods like oak and maple are known for their durability and are suitable for high-traffic areas.
  • Resistance to Moisture and Scratches: Moisture resistance is crucial, especially for areas prone to spills or high humidity. Some wood species, such as teak or cedar, naturally resist moisture better than others. Additionally, scratch resistance is essential to maintain the appearance of your flooring, particularly in homes with pets or children. Look for wood species with a high Janka hardness rating, such as Brazilian cherry or hickory, for increased scratch resistance.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Consider the ease of cleaning and maintaining your wood flooring. Finishes like polyurethane or aluminum oxide provide added protection against stains and spills, making them easier to clean with regular sweeping and occasional mopping. Avoid softer woods or unfinished options that require more frequent maintenance and refinishing.
  • Warranties Offered by Manufacturers: Investigate the warranties offered by different manufacturers to ensure your investment is protected. Warranties can vary in coverage and duration, so review the terms and conditions carefully. Look for warranties that cover defects in materials and workmanship, as well as guarantees against excessive wear and damage.
  • The Hardness, Width, and Shape of the Wood: Options can include squares of beveled edges, wood of different grades, and different milling types.
  •  Installation Style: Styles may vary, including options like nails, herringbone, glue, basketweave, and more. Consider what would be practical and aesthetically pleasing for the rooms you're looking to cover.
  • Finishing: Whether you want prefinished or unfinished wood. If you choose unfinished wood, your contractor will have to add a seal on top of it.

Note that poor humidity control can potentially cause hardwood floors to buckle and crack, so you’ll want to be sure you have this covered. You might need to alter the level of humidity control in your house or choose a wood type that is more durable in humid conditions.

Tip 3: DIY Preparation

Thinking about tackling flooring renovations yourself to save on contractor costs might sound appealing. But, safety should come first. Certain tasks need specific tools and safety gear, and if you don't have them or know how to use them, it's best to hire a professional. However, in some cases, you can cut some expenses by doing some less risky tasks yourself. Like if your floor is carpeted, removing the carpet yourself could be an option. It can save time and money if done safely and correctly.

Also, if you know what type of wood flooring you want, buying the wood yourself could save you a lot of money. Just keep in mind that some contractors might prefer to use their own materials. Be ready to negotiate or look for another contractor if yours won't use your wood.

Tip 4: Gather Quotes from Various Contractors

When you're ready to reach out to contractors for your project, don't settle for just one quote. Instead, aim to gather quotes from several contractors in your area. It's common to see significant differences in prices between contractors, even for the same job.

Once you've collected quotes from multiple contractors, take the time to compare them thoroughly. Request itemized estimates from each contractor, breaking down the costs for materials, labor, and any additional services. By doing so, you can gain a clearer understanding of what each contractor is offering and identify any potential areas where you could save money by handling certain tasks yourself. This careful comparison will empower you to make an informed decision and choose the contractor that offers the best value for your specific needs and budget.

Negotiate With Contractors:

Prepare to negotiate with your chosen contractor to potentially lower costs. There are various strategies you can employ to persuade contractors to adjust their rates. For instance, offering to handle certain preparation tasks yourself, purchasing your own materials, or opting for more budget-friendly materials from the options provided by the contractor can all help reduce the overall estimate.

Additionally, thoroughly research the contractors you're considering. Explore third-party reviews on independent review platforms like Yelp! and other service listings specific to your area. Reach out to people you know who have recently had flooring work done and inquire about their experiences and recommendations. If your attempts to negotiate with one contractor yield unsatisfactory results, reconsider your other options. You may discover that a contractor who initially quoted a higher price is open to negotiating terms with you.

Tip 5: Explore Flexible Payment Options

Even if you are able to manage part of the process yourself, the cost of redoing an entire floor will still likely be high. You should explore different options for flexible payment. These could include:

  • Customer Financing for Home Improvements: There are companies that offer customer financing, which you can pay back in easy installments. Customer financing options are usually flexible, and you can choose one that suits your personal circumstances.
  • Home Equity Loans or HELOC: Home equity loans are loans based on the amount of mortgage that you have paid off on your house. HELOCs (home equity lines of credit) are lines of credit against the available equity of your home.
  • Personal Loan: You can apply for a personal loan. The drawbacks are that you will have to meet certain criteria, and there will likely be significant interest to pay back.
  • Government Grants: Some government grants are available for home renovations if you can prove that you are in financial need and that the renovations are necessary for the safety and normal functioning of your house. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a program called the HOME Investment Partnerships Program for this purpose.


Doing a complete floor makeover is a big deal, both in terms of time and money. Since it involves a significant investment, it's important to think through each step of the project carefully. Take a close look at what materials and labor you need so you can make smart choices and manage your budget well.

Looking into getting materials yourself or tackling parts of the project on your own can save you a lot of money in the end. Also, being willing to negotiate with contractors to lower their initial quotes can help you keep your expenses in check.

Moreover, it's important to think about how you'll pay for everything. Whether it's through payment plans, loans, or other options, picking the right way to finance your project can make sure you can afford it without sacrificing quality or what you want to achieve.

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