Month: March 2022

Tips to Save Money on Your Next Flooring Job

With the daily cost of living continuing to rise at a record pace, many households are budgeting more cautiously. Maintaining your home is the best way to protect your investment and add to your equity. With that in mind, your floor is something that has a major impact on your property value. So, what steps can you take to save money on your next flooring job?

Get a Few Different Estimates

Many of us are guilty of not familiarizing ourselves with the median cost of a job before hiring someone to do it. You can benefit from detailing your needs in writing and then articulating these needs over the phone or by email to several different companies to get quotes. In addition, you should attempt to find information online about the average cost for the type of job that you need.

Avoid creating a bidding war between several different companies as the process can become complicated. However, companies often have a little bit of wiggle room on pricing. Getting a few different estimates can help you make an informed decision about what company you want to proceed with.

Don’t Simply Pick The Cheapest Option

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It’s definitely tempting to get your estimates and then immediately gravitate to the cheapest option. Do some digging on the companies that you’re getting quotes from and make sure that they are all highly rated with a proven track record. The last thing you want is a poorly done job that could cause more harm than good, requiring additional costs.

Another risk associated with selecting the cheapest option is low-quality materials, unskilled and/or underpaid installers and questionable work ethics. It’s important to understand the value of what you are paying for and make wise decisions. When your floors aren’t properly installed with quality materials, they aren’t going to last very long.

Use a More Affordable Wood

While we talked about the importance of quality materials, there are lots of types of wood out there that cost less and still last for years to come. Many types of wood look very similar and are of similar thickness but cost less than the original type of wood that it is imitating. It’s something that more people can benefit from exploring. Options like engineered wood, luxury vinyl plank, and plywood look great and don’t break the bank.

Remove Carpet and Move Furniture Yourself

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If you currently own a carpet, part of a flooring installation job will involve ripping up your carpet in addition to clearing the room of furniture. Since these are things that you can do yourself, you can save some money here.

No, it doesn’t take any special skills to rip up a carpet. Moving your furniture is easiest done with the help of a few friends. You simply need some determination and strength, and time of course. Staples from your carpet can have a frustrating way of sticking around so try to pick them all up to make the job as easy as possible for contractors who later will install your floors. Carpet on your steps is harder to remove and will take a bit longer.

Remove The Existing Floor Yourself

If you do decide to rip up the carpet and clear furniture out of the way, you might as well get rid of the existing floor. The amount of work that this will require is dependent on the state of your home and the size of it. Make sure you watch a DIY guide or two on this first so that you don’t damage anything. To make things easier, a lot of people in this position will rent equipment to help with the process. It depends on what type of floor you originally had. Doing all of this can seriously help with lowering the cost of your next flooring job.

Set a Budget

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If you set a budget for yourself and stick to it, you can ensure that you don’t spend any more money than you are comfortable with. Sure, it takes a lot of self-discipline, but that’s always a given when it comes to taking steps to save money with anything.

If you aren’t in a rush, you can start by dividing your home into several different zones. Using your budget, schedule a timeline for when you expect each zone to be finished. Start with one at a time so it’s less of an impact on your savings at any given time. Maybe you can learn a thing or two during the completion of each zone to make the next one more affordable.

Other Alternative Materials

Don’t overlook this one. There are actually a lot of alternative materials that you can use to save money on your next flooring job. For example, you can use reclaimed flooring. Some of the best-looking homes out there use reclaimed wood in their floors.

If you’re ordering materials yourself, it’s best to look at websites where the company has a bulk amount of a certain type of wood in stock. Companies always want to move inventory, and if they have an excess amount of a certain type of wood, a cheaper price can often be negotiated.

In addition, a lot of factories sell their lesser-desired wood for a much lower price. These “manufacturer seconds” are perfectly fine most of the time. Just be sure that you order extra product because it’s possible that you might be given some unusable boards.

Final Thoughts

Your next flooring job doesn’t have to break the bank. If you follow the tips in this blog post, you are sure to make some breathing room for yourself. 50% of our floors are sold to contractors or families who will install their own flooring. We love helping DIYers and can assist you throughout the installation process. If you’re in Colorado and are in need of services relating to hardwood floors, we are here for you. You can talk to us about your budget and our team will help find a solution that works for everyone.

Reach out today.

Should You Use Waterproof Flooring?

When it comes to flooring, there are a variety of different options to choose from. Waterproof flooring is a great option for bathrooms and kitchens with a high risk of water damage.

Typically made from either laminate or vinyl, or a combination of the two, it’s not really known for being high quality. It can get the job done, but there are reasons why you are often better off going with something else. In this article, we will go over both the positives and negatives of waterproof flooring and if it’s something you should be using in your home or business.

What is Waterproof Flooring?

As previously mentioned, there are a few different types of materials that it can be made from, but they’re all constructed similarly. They’re a type of multi-layered synthetic flooring that usually comes in the form of planks or tiles. Due to the floor being synthetic, the design on the top doesn’t have to resemble wood at all. Anything can be printed on them. This print layer has a wear layer over it that prevents the design from being worn off and provides most of the actual waterproofing.

Positives of Waterproof Flooring

There are a few different positives that are worth mentioning about waterproof flooring.


Hardwood Flooring

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This type of flooring can be very resilient, at least in the medium term. As long as you’re regularly sweeping, using a mop when needed, and maybe the occasional cleaning solution to return the shine to the boards, you will find that waterproof flooring is rather durable.


To some, the flooring is more comfortable than stone or hardwood, having a more padded feeling to the foot thanks to its construction usually including a layer of foam or felt. This same construction also allows the floors to maintain a more even temperature throughout the year. It can also be easier to stand on for long periods of time. You won’t be freezing your feet if you decide to walk to the kitchen in the middle of the night in the winter.


It is surprising how affordable and easy it is to work with. In most cases, it’s the cheaper option to go for as opposed to traditional hardwood. You can scale your costs to your needs, buying anything from simple peel-and-stick squares, all the way up to high-quality luxury vinyl tile (LVT) that’s almost indistinguishable from what it’s imitating. If you’ve never installed flooring before, laying down vinyl flooring and the like can be much easier than installing wooden planks.


Unfortunately, waterproof flooring does have its disadvantages.
Resilience (Again)
The previously mentioned resilience of waterproof flooring is a double-edged sword. While it indeed does last a good number of years, it has a rigid lifespan that cannot be extended by much.

The condition of it can really only go down until eventually it completely deteriorates, requiring the need for you to replace your floors entirely. Unlike wood, you can’t do anything like sanding down a scratch or making a new layer, as you would be cutting past the wear layer and destroying the design underneath it, as well as exposing it to the elements and defeating the waterproof aspect of it.

How long waterproof flooring lasts can vary wildly depending on a good number of factors. It depends on how well it was installed in the first place, the thickness of the wear layer, how regularly used it is, and the quality of the vinyl in the first place. This can be anywhere from 5 to 25 years. In a home with a lot of activity, expect to be on the lower end of this range. Remember that if you damage the flooring, you need to replace it. It’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to completely repair anything more than simple scratches without making it worse.

Resale Value

Hardwood Floor Grain

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This leads into the next point, that there is next to no resell value to be had for reused vinyl, let alone for the value of the house itself. Unlike hardwood and tile to a point, once vinyl is past its life span, that’s it. It needs to be thrown out. As a result, you may find that it may even decrease the value of your home by having it installed.

Buying more expensive vinyl with thicker layers and better materials can help, but at a certain point the cost benefits just begin to wear out and you’d be better off just buying stone flooring or the like.

Environmental Impact

Another complication with waterproof flooring is the negative environmental impact the manufacturing process has. They use toxic chemicals that may even stick around in the plastic afterward. These can then create harmful gases right into your living space. It should be noted that the companies manufacturing the flooring are aware of this and have taken many steps to reduce the number of toxic chemicals.

If you decide to get waterproof flooring, you will want to make sure you get ones that have low concentrations of these gasses, though none of them will be completely free of them. You will want to look at the FloorScore certification to see what flooring has the lowest VOC, or Volatile 5 Organic Compounds.

Subfloor Complication

Subfloors are another issue to consider. In an ideal scenario, vinyl can be installed right over the subfloor without any need to modify or remove anything. However, this can often be difficult, and a subfloor that is more aged may need some repairs and other extra maintenance for it to support the vinyl’s adhesive.

Care should be taken for the subfloor to be completely free of any loose particles over where the adhesive will go, as these can easily weaken the glue. Even worse, you will likely see those particles straight through the vinyl due to how thin and flexible it is.

Final Thoughts

Waterproof flooring certainly has its uses. It is cheap, easy to install, can come in just about any shape, color, and design, not to mention its namesake of being waterproof. That said, there are quite a number of tradeoffs that should give you a pause. It often doesn’t last as long as you’d want it to, there’s no easy way of repairing it once damaged to any significant degree, and it generally doesn’t offer the same value to your home that something like stone or wood does. You may find that a different type of flooring would give you a lot less of a headache.

If you’re in Colorado and in need of anything to do with hardwood floors, we are here for you.

Contact us here to get started.

Douglas-fir: Exceptionally strong and abundant

Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is one of the premier species of the Western forests. Not only is the wood exceptionally strong for its weight, but the trees are abundant. Trees can grow over 250 feet tall (with the first 150 feet free of knots and branches) and over 6 feet in diameter. Some trees are well over 800 years old.

Certainly, harvesting of some of these “old-growth” trees today must be done cautiously to avoid environmental damage and avoid depleting the forests of these icons. However, forest fires in recent years, brought on in part by poor forest management in the past years, have raised questions. Should we remove trees before they burn? If so, how many? 

Much of the Douglas-fir lumber today is coming from trees under 100 years old, which are called second-growth. Lumber properties may not be as high as with old growth, but the wood is still a superior product–strong, clear, nice grain appearance, good processing characteristics and so on. Most uses for Douglas-fir today capitalize on the wood’s high strength, yet the beauty of this wood makes it favored for millwork, furniture, cabinets and flooring.

Douglas-fir has two varieties: Coastal Douglas-fir, coming from British Columbia to California, with the best growth west of the Cascade Mountains, and Interior Douglas-fir coming mainly from the Rocky Mountains. Most wood processors prefer the Coastal variety, as it is stronger, stiffer, clearer (free of knots), and processes better. Data shown here is for Coastal. Clear wood is desired for its high strength and consistent look, and so is quite expensive.

Processing suggestions and characteristics
Density. Douglas-fir has a green specific gravity (SG) of 0.45. At 6 percent MC, the SG is 0.50. The weight, when dry, is 32 pounds per cubic foot or about 2.0 pounds per board foot (planed to 3/4-inch thickness). Most Doug-fir lumber will be sold dried and planed (S4S, surfaced 4 sides). 

Strength. For dry wood, the ultimate strength (MOR) is 12,400 psi, stiffness (MOE) is 1.95 million psi and hardness is 710 pounds. Douglas-fir, when quite dry, does have a tendency to split, so predrilling of holes for large-diameter fasteners might be required at times.

Drying and stability. The wood dries rapidly with little risk of quality loss. Most suppliers will sell only KD stock, rather than green. Shrinkage in drying is fairly low. Overall shrinkage from green to 6 percent MC is 6.9 percent tangentially (the width in flatsawn lumber) and 3.8 percent radially (the thickness of flatsawn lumber). Once dried, the wood does not move much even with large RH changes. A typical, desired, final moisture range is 9 to 10.5 percent MC. This final MC range, although high for hardwoods, facilitates machining. Once dry, it takes a 4 percent MC change to result in 1 percent size change tangentially and 7.5 percent MC change radially. 

Machining and gluing. This wood machines well, unless the MC is too low (under 9 percent MC). This wood glues without much difficulty.

Grain and color. The color of Douglas-fir varies from a reddish color to yellowish. The color darkens somewhat when exposed to light. Light earlywood and darker latewood gives the wood an obvious heavy grain appearance. 

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