Installing hardwood flooring on your own can be a great money saver. It is also a lot of work and takes a lot of time especially if you aren’t sure what you are doing.
For the past several weeks, B and I have been renovating our dining room and the last major part of the reno was the flooring.
Update 2.10.2022: Lumber Liquidators has become LL Flooring and while I cannot say for sure that they no longer carry the unfinished utility oak flooring, we have been unable to track it down for months. Could be their new image, could be the Pandemic, I’m not sure. While it may still be possible to purchase unfinished oak flooring, it may not be called the same thing anymore. Keep that in mind as you continue reading this post.
After looking at a ton of options, we decided on the unfinished utility oak flooring from Lumber Liquidators in the 5″ wide plank. Installing the unfinished hardwood flooring in the dining room is only the first step of this big project, but we are getting really excited about the results so far!
Flooring can be a huge investment that can actually help improve your home’s value. Hardwood flooring can be really pricey too and with the size of our home, it would have been nothing for us to spend upwards of $15K just on the first floor. The utility oak gave us solid oak flooring at a fraction of the cost. We paid around $1.69/sq foot compared to $15/sq foot for some of the pre-finished options!
With a major kitchen project looming, we decided to find something that was more affordable, but would still give us the quality we wanted. I think we made a great choice but this flooring does come with some drawbacks which I’ll be sharing more about soon.
The nice sales guys gave us a few samples of the unfinished planks to bring home so that I could test stains. B and I agreed we wanted to keep the color fairly light. I knew I wanted a little gray in the color. I tested three stains; a gray, a pickled oak and a 50/50 blend of the two. They were all pretty in their own way. With the flooring going in and our first floor stacked with furniture, we have misplaced the samples so I wasn’t able to take photos.
Now that a good chunk of the floors are in, we are starting to really love the color of the natural wood. While the color isn’t exactly what we both envisioned, we both really love the warmth it adds to the space. We are seriously leaning toward leaving them natural and just coating them with polyurethane. The flooring ties in perfectly with our mantel in the living room which will be the next room that gets the hardwood installed.
Taking on a large DIY project like installing unfinished hardwood flooring in your home can seem overwhelming. It can also be a huge money saver that will not only make your home look amazing but can also add value to your home. The key is to be prepared and make sure you can set aside the time to get it done. You may even be surprised by how things can change as you go along.
Have you every started a project with one vision in mind and then changed your mind part of the way through because you were surprised by the way it was turning out?