The Lifespan of Your Flooring – Long Term Flooring Costs

Today we’ll be covering long term flooring costs. When purchasing flooring, most people only consider the initial costs – the cost per square foot of the material and the cost per square foot for installation.

 

However, there are other issues to consider. Sometimes, the cheapest option is not the most affordable regarding long term flooring costs. You need to weigh the life cycle costs, such as price of material and installation, maintenance costs, and how long it’s expected to last.

 

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long term flooring costs

 

In 2009, This LCA study was commissioned by the Tile Council of North America and carried out by Scharf Godfrey in an independently. It shows the different materials and install cost per square foot in the Installed Cost column. Life Cycle Cost will show maintenance and upkeep over the years where Expected Life will show you how many years the flooring type is expected to last (when WELL KEPT).

 

The final column, Cost Per Year, will show you how much you’re paying per square foot per year, which will give you the best idea of what your most affordable option long term will be.

 

long term flooring costs - carpet

 

Keep in mind when you’re looking at these long term flooring costs that the life expectancy numbers are valid when kept up with very well. Flooring of any material, when treated improperly, can be ruined in a year or two. Keep up with your floor to get the best return on investment and keep your costs low.

 

Lifespan Of a Floor Chart: Long Term Flooring Costs

 

Floor FinishInstalled Cost USD*Life Cycle Cost USD*Expected Life (y)Cost Per Year*
Quarry Tile$6.83$16.1350$0.32
Glazed Ceramic Floor Tile$7.00$16.3050$0.33
Glazed Porcelain$8.34$17.6450$0.35
Mosaic Tile$8.20$17.5050$0.35
Unglazed Porcelain$8.30$17.6050$0.35
Natural Hardwood$9.31$20.8050$0.42
Travertine-Turkish$12.50$21.8050$0.44
Marble$21.00$30.3050$0.61
Laminate$8.84$17.7725$0.71
Man-Made Hardwood$9.58$18.5125$0.74
Portland Cement Terrazzo$14.88$24.2730$0.81
Stained Concrete$12.40$24.6025$0.98
Carpet$3.22$6.506$1.08
Resin Terrazzo$8.50$16.5315$1.10
Sheet Vinyl$6.90$13.9010$1.39
Poured Epoxy$8.18$15.1810$1.52
VCT

LVT

$3.91

$4.50

$18.35

$15.00*

10

25

$1.83

$.60

* Per square foot | Cost in USD Table sourced from “Tile is the Natural Choice”, 2009. This LCA study was commissioned by the Tile Council of North America and carried out by Scharf Godfrey in an independently

 

 

As you can see, several of the initially more expensive flooring options are actually much cheaper in the long run and you can greatly affect your long term flooring costs by the material you choose. I hope this has been helpful and informative and that you find the best flooring possible for your home and budget!

 

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Carpet Installation: DIY or Do It For Me?

Carpet installation is an incredible renovation project that provides warmth, sound dampening qualities, and comfort in your home. As a retailer of carpet, we’re often asked what the advantages and disadvantages are of DIY carpet installation vs. using a contractor for carpet installation. That is what we’re going to cover in today’s post.
Each installation type – having professionals do the installation for you or doing it yourself – each has its advantages. Those factors typically focus on cost, effort, tools and equipment, as well as how much time you are willing to invest.
Carpet-Shop-Ad

DIY Carpet Installation Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages

First off, we’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages of DIY Carpet Installation. A major advantage is that you’re going to save money. This is obviously because the cost of installation, labor and old carpet removal/disposal will be eliminated. The only large costs on your end will be the carpet itself and any specialty tools that you might need to rent or buy. However, those costs can add up if you don’t already own them. Another advantage is being able to work on your own schedule. Instead of depending on an installers schedule, you can start the carpet installation whenever you want. You can work at your own pace! Another advantage of DIY carpet installation is that the quality of the project is in your control. For some, this is an advantage, but for others it’s a disadvantage. If you’re meticulous and feel like you will take the time to do it perfectly, then this could be a benefit. If you’ve never installed carpet before, it could definitely be a draw back. If you’re worried about hiring a company only to find out later that they have done a poor job, then this could be an advantage to you.  To learn how to install your own carpet, visit this article.
diy carpet installation

Disadvantages

There are also some drawbacks of DIY carpet installation. A common issue that many new DIYers run into is that they find the installation to be more difficult than they originally anticipated,  but because you’ve already started the installation, cutting come pieces of the carpet, then your warranty will most likely no longer be honored anymore, so that can present a problem. The cost of the tools can also add up if you don’t already own them, which most people don’t. Many places make you rent certain tools by the day, or even hour, so if you’re not very quick the cost could add up quickly. Some things you’ll need will be a crow bar, pliers, box cutters, tackless strips, knee-kicker, carpet stretcher, or a steam roller. Also, if you’ve done a poor job, there’s no one to help you cover the cost. You’ve got to reorder more out of pocket, or redo the work at your own expense. Installation equipment can be hard to use, especially if you’re new to it, and may cause problems for someone who has never tried to do their own carpet installation before. While carpet installation can be a DIY project, it’s important to remember that it’s also a large undertaking. You’ll be walking or laying on this carpet for years to come, and you want it to hold up. Your babies could take their first steps on this floor. Your pets could be snuggling on this floor every day. Wear and tear will occur, but a good installation helps keep it in the best shape possible, for the longest possible time.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Professional Carpet Installation

Advantages

Professional carpet installation starts with finding a qualified installer. We turn this sometimes disadvantage into an advantage. Because we sell carpet, we also offer carpet installation. We guarantee our clients that the job will be done to 100% satisfaction every time, giving them piece of mind. They also save time having to seek out, call, interview and vet several installers. We turn this into a one-stop-shop process.
Diy Carpet Installation
We also include carpet installation in the cost of our carpet. While you can always opt to do it yourself, we have tried to make this process as simple as humanly possible. Our price also includes a free measure (as long as a purchase is made), as well as removal and disposal of all old carpet and pad. These are always typically additional costs when using an independent carpet installer. The only additional cost in our carpet installation is the cost of a pad. Our carpet starts at $2.19/sq. ft. and varies depending on the fiber and style of the carpet.

When you call in a pro to install your new carpet, you can expect a certain level of quality and knowledge that the job will be done to the highest of standards. Installing your own carpet could end up in any number of ways, but if you hire those who know the process, you should end up with a job well done.
Even if the worst-case scenario occurs – for example, if you find huge ripples in your new carpet, the seams are showing, or the carpet is lifting away from the walls – you know you have some recourse against the contractor or retailer that installed it. You should always get some sort of warranty when using a professional. You should have the guarantee that the job will be done right the first time, or you won’t have to pay for the repairs. While it can be frustrating if they have to come back to correct issues, at least you can breath easy knowing that it will be fixed.
carpet installation
And what does a good carpet installation look like? First of all, the carpet will meet the walls snugly and without any edges showing. Also, the carpet will be smooth and won’t show any bumps or ridges. Finally, any seams where the installers had to put two sections of carpet together won’t be noticeable at first glance. This is indicative of a job that was done well.

Disadvantages

Some disadvantages of Professional carpet installation (although many are avoided when using Builders Surplus) are the following:

  • Spending the time to find, contact, meet and vet numerous contractors to get the best quality and price.
  • Issues with scheduling; having to wait to get started if the contractor is booked up for a period of time.
  • Having to pay for the installation as well as the add on’s, like removal and disposal.
  • Not being happy with the finished product and having them have to return to fix their mistakes.

Some things to look for in a poorly done installation include the following: frayed edges where the carpet meets the wall, seams that don’t match or are aligned improperly, or bumps and ridges in the carpet.
Hopefully this article has been helpful in your decision to do a DIY carpet installation or to hire a professional. At Builders Surplus, you can guarantee that your carpet installation will be affordable, professional, and will come with a warranty. We eliminate the additional costs and include installation in the price of carpet! If you have ANY questions about carpet or carpet installation, please reach out to us or comment below!
Carpet-Shop-Ad
 


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Written By: Allie Bloyd

DIY Flooring Installation – Laminate or LVT

Some people think about doing their own DIY Flooring Installation and cringe. They have this image in their head that it will be incredibly difficult, incredibly time consuming and something that only a professional can swing. But that’s just not the case. At Builders Surplus, we know a lot about flooring, having laminate flooring, LVT flooring and hardwood flooring in stock daily! While it does take some time if you have a big space, you can easily knock it out with one or two people in one day or a few if you’re not working on it non stop. I will break this down as simply as possible and will use my own personal experience with installing click together laminate flooring. Just like everything else, there are slightly different ways to do things when it comes to home improvement projects, so if you’ve had different experiences, share them in the comments below!

Tools You’ll Need:

Tapping Block
Rubber Mallets
Knee Pads (Trust me, you want these)
Hammer (Baseboards)
Pliers (Taking out staples)
Chisel (Baseboards)
Shop Vac
Duct Tape
Table or chop saw
Eye Wear (When using electric saw)
Tape Measure
Utility Knife
Triangle
Crow Bar

DIY Flooring Installation Steps

Step 1: Remove baseboards and old flooring

Use a hammer and chisel tool to remove your baseboards one by one. If you plan on reusing, be very careful. Also, try to damage your drywall as little as possible. Some damage might be done, but it will be covered by new baseboards, so it’s not the end of the world. Rip up any old linoleum, carpet, or laminate flooring and dispose of it.
 

Step 2: Clean up and level out

Having a clean space to work with when doing a DIY flooring installation is critical. You need to make sure that all traces of the former floor are gone and that your subfloor is clear of ANY nails or staples. This is one of the most time consuming parts of the process in my opinion. I work in sections, making sure that I have run over every square inch and that all is clear. Then, take a shopvac or something similar and clean up any dirt or debris that your demo has left.
 

Step 3: Lay underlayment

Underlayment is a very important part of laminate or LVT flooring installation. This is a moisture barrier that is necessary in keeping your floors, subfloors and flooring joists in great shape. Some LVT, like COREtec Plus, comes with a built in cork backing, another type of underlayment, already attached to the back. If you have chosen a flooring like that, you don’t need to do this step. To shop COREtec, Click here! For everyone else, you’ll need to lay your underlayment over the entire surface and duct tape it together and to the edge of the floor. Leave about an inch around the edges.
Underlayment-Shop-Ad

Step 4: Lay your first row

Laying your first row of laminate is extremely important. You want everything to flow smoothly, especially in a large space. You don’t want to have to change directions at any time. Because of this, find a place in the furthermost left corner and work your way to the right and forward. For me, My front door, dining room and part of my kitchen are recessed back a little bit from the wall. You need your first row to flow completely from left of the space to the right to make sure that all of your flooring lines up properly. Because of this, we started as shown below. We added several rows going down, and then worked our way back towards the wall.
DIY Flooring Installation Step 4
 
You want to start your first piece up against the wall. You can put a spacer, or a cut piece of flooring standing vertically right between your first piece and the wall to get started. You’re going to just click and lock the flooring on the long end all the way down. You’ll have to make a cut at the very end, which we’ll show you how to do in the next step. With your second row, you’ll want to cut your first piece about half the size of your regular piece of flooring to get the stacked pattern. You may want someone to stand on your first row of flooring while you work on the next few rows (If you have to start like I did and you don’t have a wall that it’s already butted against) so that it doesn’t shift because you’ll be using your tapping block and mallet to knock the pieces flat on the long ends. Click and lock the flooring in place as best as possible, but then if it’s not 100% flat and locked in, take your tapping block and put it on the edge of the flooring. Tap it down downwards and towards the crack that you’re trying to get flat. Be careful so that you don’t chip off any part of the locking mechanism. This is important in the flooring working properly in the next row.
DIY Flooring installation step 4-2

Step 5: Making Cuts

Making cuts is a lot easier than it looks, but make sure you do it right to get the best, cleanest cut and don’t cause a lot of waste. First, you’ll need to flip the flooring board upside down. This is because when you make your cut, the flat cut end needs to be up against the wall, You don’t want to cut off your click and lock mechanism at the end. If you do, it will have no way to lock into place. Mark it with a sharpie or pen. Next, take your triangle and get a perfectly straight cut. Next, take it to your saw and CAREFULLY cut it. If you are not comfortable using a saw, they do have non electric laminate choppers that you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot. Make sure you have a little bit of space because you will most likely need to tap your last piece into place. I didn’t take a photo of this but there is an illustration below showing the motion. You can do this on pieces other than the end piece if needed, but majority of the time I don’t find it necessary.
installation-last-plank-flooring
flooring-cuts
 

Step 6: Notching Out around doorways, cabinets, and other obstacles

Every home is different, and every space has different obstacles to overcome. There is not always a 1 size fits all answer. In the video below, you’ll see how to do an easy notch out. Some notching will be more difficult, and it may be trial and error, but the main thing to understand is that you want to measure twice, cut once, as the saying goes.

This piece below was in our hallway, and was by far our most complicated cut. It took us a few tried, but we still got it. We will be adding new baseboards and quarter round, so you won’t see the cracks.
Notching Out

Step 7: Keep going, keep flowing

Keep the flow going, if you have a hallway like I do, you keep the lines going all the way down. I went into two bedrooms to the right, but I just kept the pattern going.
 
Step7
 
For the most part, you aren’t going to have much waste. Even if you cut the wrong end of a board, or you cut the board too short, just use it in a place that the space is smaller, or at the beginning of the next row. When I cut the wrong end, I would place those boards next to the wall that the board would fit, so I always reused those boards. What you see below is all the waste that I had from almost 1700 square feet.
 
Waste in DIY Flooring Installation
 

Step 8: Baseboards

Finally, you’ll put on your baseboards and/or quarter round. Remove the spacers around the border and install baseboards and quarter round covering the plastic moisture barrier on the wall and the gap between the wall and the flooring. Set nail heads slightly below the surface of the molding and fill with wood putty. Use touch up paint to cover the wood putty.
That’s about it, folks! It’s really not as hard as it seems to do a DIY flooring installation.


Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Written By: Allie Bloyd