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Old 10-05-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
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DIY Flooring

Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and DIY in general.

I recently bought my first house and wanted to do some minor renos (possibly update the floor with laminate and the kitchen with newer ceramic tiles)

Having NO experience with the two aforementioned tasks I pose the question - Is it something to be left to the pros or could one do it with a bit of research. I have seen a few of the Lowes How To videos as well as others online.

Another side note I had it mind was do you thing it is worth it, because after buying all materials and tools the cost to DIY may add up to the point of the cost of a pro - and some tools may never be used again..

Any suggestions?


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Old 10-05-2009, 06:51 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
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DIY Flooring

Tile I do myself..after doing bath enclosure & floor - very small (new subfloor), & kitchen backsplash at my last house
I bought a cheap tile saw......don't if you will do more tiling
I bought the floats (dunno all the names of tools), a tile "nibbler", different notched trowels
I went to a HD tile class to get the basics
I was in the stoor & it was going on so I sat down & listened
There was a tile forum I wet on & asked some questions

I tried the tile cutter where you score & snap - no go for me

Laminate I have on the 2nd floor
Had to take some up to dormer the house & reconfigure knee wall area
I didn't have to buy any tools to take it up or put it back down

Research & ask questions before you buy anything & before you start

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Old 10-05-2009, 07:04 PM   #3
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DIY Flooring

My experience for what it is worth, in terms of what pays and what doesn't in the DIY world:

Electrical: absolutely pays, if you know what you are doing, if you don't know what you are doing the learning curve is steep

Plumbing: definitely pays, but only if you don't mind getting wet and cutting a few fingers

Floor tiling: not sure it pays, we did it, it was VERY hard work, and probably did not save a huge amount of money, but the results were good.

Floor refinishing: We did one room of hardwood, never do it again, hard to get right, rental costs were high, a pro would have done it in less than half the time, with better results, probably not much more money

Floor installation: Installed hardwood floor, worked out well, used prefinished hardwood.

Kitchen cabinets: I built all my own, took about 6 years to make about 15 of them, they look very nice, spent a small fortune on wood, don't even think about it unless you are not in much of a hurry

Replace load bearing wall with steel beam: Definitely worth it, but only if you know what you are doing, can be very dangerous to mess with structural elements.

Insulation: I hired a pro to blow in cellulose, I couldn't possibly match the speed and quality of his installation.

Drywall: Much harder to do well than it looks like, we have been doing it for years, still can't match a good drywaller for looks, certainly not for speed. Only worth it for small jobs, unless you are good.

Painting: Definitely worth it, but as I get older, I am less inclined to climb on ladders for outside work, easy to get hurt.

Rough carpentry: I really like carpentry, have gotten pretty good results at a reasonable cost, built a shed, treehouse, and framed out a climbing wall in the garage.

Granite countertop: Wouldn't touch it for love or money, I left that one to the pros. Good thing too, that stuff is heavy, expensive and you only get one chance to make it fit.

Roof: I did my shed, but the house is more than I could handle.

Sump pump: Put my own in, saved a lot of money on that one, plus I got the results I wanted.

As for you, all depends on how much time you have versus how much of a hurry you are in. Read up first, I have a library of books on everything from framing to tiling, books are great resources. I especially like the pictures, sometimes it is so difficult to visualize how to do something, but a picture really tells the story.
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:27 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10

DIY Flooring

Electrical and plumbing are definately things you don't want to mess around with unless you know what you are doing. You bring up great points as well with the other tasks. I guess with enough research, patience and time any job is attainable for a DIY.

To save an extra couple dollars is not the goal, its more or less the knowledge and skills learned by DIY. But yes, it may not be much more to pay a pro as you mentioned and the price difference may not be worth the headaches / results of DIY. These are all things I need to consider.

Thanks scuba / daniel

I did a bit of tools researching and from what it seems all the tools needed for the job (not including tiles) would be around 150-200 depending on if one goes high end or low end with the tools. With that in mind, how much would a contractor charge more or less to tile a bathroom - say around 200sf
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:23 AM   #5
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DIY Flooring

You might be able to rent the necessary tools at a place like Home Depot.

The price a contractor will charge really varies depending on your city and if the person is licensed and insured.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:24 AM   #6
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DIY Flooring

You might be able to rent the necessary tools at a place like Home Depot.

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