I would like to attempt to install hardwood floors in my family and living rooms. I’ve never done this before, is it possible for me to do this myself? -Sherida
Installing wood (or wood-like) floors can range from a fairly easy DIY project to one that requires a good bit of carpentry and finishing skills. Here are the three options that are commonly available from easiest to hardest to install:
Laminate flooring is by far the simplest to install. While not really wood but made from the same material as plastic laminate countertops, it’s gotten pretty realistic looking in recent years. Laminate is a “floating” floor that locks together without nails or glue, so it can be installed on top of most existing floors and taken back up if needed. Be sure to follow all the instructions that come with it, particularly with regard to allowing time for it to adjust to the room’s temperature and humidity before installing.
Engineered wood flooring would be your next best choice for a do-it-yourself project. It consists of a thin veneer of hardwood glued to a substrate made of wood plies (much like plywood). It is available prefinished and can be nailed or glued down. Some types like Lyptus Flooring even lock together without fasteners similar to a laminate floor.
Solid hardwood flooring is the most difficult of all to install. It’s usually attached with a special flooring nailer then sanded with a drum type floor sander and finished. The sanding process can be tricky if you haven’t done it before, and since the smoothness of the sanding can make or break the look of a wood floor, you might want to consider hiring that part out even if you decide to lay and finish the floor yourself.