DIY Flooring VS Professional Contractor: Pros & Cons

Like any part of your home, sooner or later, your floors are going to need significant attention. Depending on the floor, this can be as “simple” as replacing carpet or tile, or as complex as completely rebuilding the floor, or restoring hardwood floors.

Most would instantly expect a professional to be the one to go to for such a project, and yes, that’s the most recommended thing to do in most cases. However, as you’ll learn shortly, professional services come with expenses that, in some cases, DIY projects may not.

But, slow down there, don’t go running off committing to a DIY project just yet. There are some things to think about first. DIY may not always be the right answer for you. It all boils down to your skill, experience, talent, and dedication. There’s also the fact that DIY can, if overdone, be far more expensive due to entry barriers and costs.

Flooring Type Matters

Of course, one of the biggest decisions would be the flooring type. This affects much more than just expense or challenge. Here are some major factors in choosing your flooring type regardless of who is installing it.

  • Allergies – Beware carpets or other materials you may be allergic to. There is nothing more miserable than being allergic to your carpet.
  • Pets – Pets bring in a host of problems. Not only do they add a lot of traffic to the floor, but they produce dander and “pet dirt” which can be ground into some carpets or tiles. They sometimes relieve themselves on the floor. But another big problem is that even indoor pets can potentially catch fleas, which tend to infest carpet. Carpets that discourage flea infestations can be nice.
  • Traffic – How much traffic will it endure? This puts wear and tear on it, and people track things in.
  • Room Specifics – Consider what will go on in the room. Will there be water usage, heavy furniture, other such potentially damaging elements?
  • Budget – Finally, you have to land on something within your budget, which makes balancing these other aspects even more complex.

Clearly, one obvious advantage professional services offer is their ability to make this decision somewhat easier as they’re used to balancing all of these aspects for you. This is actually not an added expense itself, as this is often done during the consultation, which most good contractors don’t charge for.


It’s no surprise that your budget winds up being the main defining line for your project at the end of it. Let’s take a quick look at general DIY expenses versus professional.


  • Materials.
  • Repairs when mishaps occur.
  • Tools for removal and application of materials.
  • Shipping expenses.


  • Prep and installation.
  • Materials.
  • Cleanup and waste removal.

Obviously, you have a larger itemized list for DIY, but at the same time, in some cases, these expenses are individually smaller than for professionals, with one exception – materials. Contractors can usually obtain materials at a somewhat lower cost than ordering them directly.

However, one thing to bear in mind, aside from materials being a scalar expense, is that a DIY project can go wrong, and from there, cascade into disaster. When you pay a contractor, it will be done right, at the cost paid. DIY expenses can run wild if it goes wrong.


Ask yourself a few questions, because contractors answer a big yes to all of these.

  • Have you ever worked on flooring before?
  • Are you cool with hard work?
  • Do you know how to use the tools properly?
  • Do you have home improvement experience?
  • Do you know how to inspect a floor?
  • Do you understand level transitions?
  • Do you understand slope math?
  • Do you know how to replace subflooring?
  • Do you know how to remove existing flooring?

On a scale of one to ten, if you check less than five in any of these, you probably aren’t the type for DIY flooring.


Either way, plan your project ahead of time. Yes, if you go with a contractor, they will probably need to alter your plan if you’re not handy with this going in. However, they will better match your goals if you provide them such a clear description of what you want to be done.

Put research into mapping your project out, look up prices, the difficulty involved in the different steps.

To learn more about flooring and the challenges involved, fill out our contact form today.