top of page
  • Writer's pictureTri City Furniture, Auburn

Cheap Flooring DYI

Lots of people are do-it-your-selfers and especially when it comes to flooring!  There are many products out today, that are designed to be EASY  to install, or at least, the manufacturers make it look that way!

Let’s talk about the click floor products that are offered today!  Are they as easy to install as they look?

A lot of the lower cost products offered today are click systems, so they hook to each other, and can basically go over any hard surface subfloor. The flooring itself is pretty easy to put down, but it is still the details which some people do not have the abilities to the install as good as someone who is trained in this job!  Probably one of the hardest things in cutting the boards, and fitting them under the door jams.  Around the walls is pretty easy as you just take the baseboards off, go to the wall with a small gap, and then put the baseboard back on!  Usually, a door jam is not removed, so fitting it perfectly is much more difficult!

Yes, that sounds a bit more complicated!  Do you need special tools?

For laminate flooring, you definitely need a saw, as the core is a hard product!  For a door jam, the installers actually undercut the door jam so that it slides under and makes a perfect fit.  I have seen  do-it-your-selfers just cut it square and leave gaps in the corners!

What about the main floor fitting the pieces together?

The click system is usually pretty easy for most.  Just understand that there are a lot of different click systems, some easier and some more difficult.  Also, in the higher quality floors, the click systems are designed a bit thicker and can be put together and taken apart several times. Some of the lower cost products do not have this ability, and that click edge many times will break off so you need to be careful that when you put it together, it is where you want it!

Why are some of the floors so inexpensive and others higher in cost?

It has to do with several variables…

  •   Many of the products are a discontinued style so the manufacturer is getting rid of the stock

  • The product is made cheaper to sell for a lower cost…..core may not be as thick, click system may be thinner, and especially the wear layer is thinner so it does not protect as well from scratching!

  • The picture on the plank may be repeated on every piece, as compared to a higher quality, all the boards may be different which makes it look more like a real wood floor.

  • The type of finish that is used. Many laminates are smooth and have a sheen to them whereas  a higher quality will have some texture and a duller finish.  These will be less slippery!

  • Trim, Bull Nose, transition pieces are available.

Is there anything else to consider when thinking about installing a floor yourself?

No matter what cost of the product you purchase, keep in mind, there is a cost!  When you do all the steps correctly,  like cleaning the sub floor, taking baseboards off and replacing, pulling toilets and replacing, and having the tools to do the job correctly, there is an invest of dollars and time!  Make sure you buy enough quality that it gives you the look and service you want. A quality product takes all the same effort to install, so make sure it will last the way you want it to! Remember if you purchase at a big box store, you most likely are buying remnants, so get enough. Get more than enough! You probably will never find that product again.

There are a lot of factors to consider when thinking about these products!

Yes, most times there are reasons why the product is cheaper, so be aware, it is made for that price and it not the same as the higher cost products!  Keep in mind, if you have 100 square feet, you can go $1.00 more per square foot and it is just $100.00 more on the whole job!  Put quality down, you will be happier longer!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page