Hardwood install in kitchen: DIY or hire someone?

jlc102482May 14, 2010

My kitchen currently has vinyl sheet flooring, and I'd like to install hardwood flooring (probably oak) in its place. Is installing hardwood flooring something that can by done yourself with some prior research, or is this something that is best left to the professionals? I don't think I'd be getting the floating type of floor, as I haven't heard too many good things about its durability in the kitchen.

Also, does anyone have any good websites for quality hardwood flooring at a good price? The only stores I have near me are Lowe's and Home Depot, and I'd rather not use them.

Thanks very much!

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We DIY-ed ours with no significant problems or regrets. Yes, do your research (there are how-to's and videos online) and ask questions here. But if you're a reasonably skilled DIY-er you can do it.

We bought ours from a local sawmill, so can't help you out on the websites.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 2:28PM
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Be sure to get the correct product for your lifestyle. Buying the wrong product would be the bigger disaster. Do your research. You can do it but it will be a slow process. Are you prepared to undercut door jambs, finish out under cabinet toe kicks, properly space your joints, etc.? If so go for it!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 7:21PM
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First things first. At least this is my "first thing".

You want to replace the vinyl with hardwood. Will the new hardwood be butted up to any other type(s) of flooring on this floor?

What I'm getting at is that vinyl is thin and the hardwood comparatively thick. Think about any transitions that will have to be made form the new hardwood to any other flooring.

Your vinyl is probably 1/8" thick, it might be over luan or masonite which might be 1/4" thick. Or it might be right on the subfloor. Who knows.

Just something to consider...

Other than that, if you're one with basic skills and can follow directions, you can install your own hardwood.

When you do your search, ask about "stick length". If you order from a place like Lumber Liquidators you might end up with a bundle of wood full of "shorts" or short pieces. They can make for a lot of butt joints in your floor.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 10:11PM
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Hi. We're in the process of doing exactly what you're asking. We have oak hardwoods in the front of the house, so to get the linoleum kitchen/nook floor moderately level with the oak, there is a 1/2" plywood floor under the linoleum and on top of the 3/4" subfloor. Therefore, I had to rip out the 1/2" plywood (meaning I didn't have to first remove the linoleum), which wasn't fun because it was nailed with ring shank nails.

Some gotchas:

* The cabinetry was installed on top of the 1/2" plywood, and we decided not to remove the base cabinets for the new floor. So, I bought a cheap ($80) flush cut (toe kick) saw from Harbor Freight. It's tough to hold on to and can kick back like a mule. Before cutting, I had removed the existing toe kick trim with intention to replace it. Tough to reuse as it was glued. The saw doesn't get you *exactly* flush because of the thin blade guard, but it's close. I'll just have to use a slightly thicker toe kick to cover.

* The sawing you do doesn't get you right to the wall on either end, so to finish the cut, I used a rotary tool with a cutting bit and handed it.

* I did have to remove the fridge, range, and DW temporarily to get out the plywood. Will have to remove again when laying the floor.

* Also removed all the baseboards, and numbered them and the wall section they came from. I didn't remove the door trim.

* The new flooring is thicker than what was removed, so i will need to saw up the door trim, and bought a hand saw for that.

* Lastly, my "archway" cabinetry that rides above and on either side of the refrigerator and was really a separate piece from the rest of the base can be removed entirely, but if I put it on top of the new floor, it will no longer be flush with the adjoining cabinetry. Not sure yet what to do about that.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 10:59AM
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Great website to use....www.Localflooringstore.com....Google it on the map of your town.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 8:59PM
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