Money-saving tips for home improvement using Home Depot: Flooring

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If you’re a new homeowner and let’s say your floors are in less than perfect condition, it’s almost natural to dream about having new flooring put into your home. By changing out the flooring, your room can instantly change from drab to fab. But there are a lot of options out there and of course, the cost factor.

When I began my online research, there were only 2 options in my head: hardwood and carpet. Do I match our existing hardwoods in all our rooms or take out the old carpet in the living room and all 3 bedrooms and replace them with new carpet (by the way, I hate carpet). What would be the costs?

As a newbie, I quickly found myself overwhelmed with information overload and every price, wood grain, carpet color started to mesh into one. I was staring at terms like engineer wood, hand scraped laminate, loop pile carpet, click and lock, and the list kept going on and on. Shouldn’t it be simple as “I want wood” or “I want carpet”? This shouldn’t be rocket science!

Even with all the confusion, one thing was very clear: price. I quickly realized that my dreams of replacing 4 rooms with either wood or carpet was out the window. Especially since we just got our roof done and that cost was equivalent to purchasing a brand new car.
Since we only had a small budget leftover for one room, we decided to go with the most cost-friendly room which happened to be our girls’. My daughters wanted carpet because they of course, don’t like feeling of falling on hardwood floor, but on the other hand, I started to think of resale value and hardwood made more sense (I’ve only lived in the home for a month, but yes, that’s a factor).

In order to get a more hands-on look into flooring, I headed to my favorite store, Home Depot. Yes, I am loving this newly budding relationship and I must say, it keeps me on my toes. As I walked over to the flooring department, I was immediately greeted by my flooring professional, Kathy. She asked me if I was looking for anything in particular and I just told her I was looking at hardwood and carpet (very general, but I am not a sophisticated flooring aficionado), and it would probably come down to pricing (that was my husband’s voice coming from the back of my head).

Of course, the obvious answer is that carpet is cheaper, but by how much? If I’m paying let’s say $1800 for hardwood floor including installation on a 12 x 15 room and the carpet comes in at $1200 including installation, shouldn’t I wait a little and save for the one with a better resale value. Plus, I wouldn’t have to keep replacing hardwood and it’s a lot easier to maintain.

Kathy pretty much broke down the prices, the pros and cons of each flooring and she even went into detail on warranty, etc. She offered me cost effective solutions and educated me on all those styles, types and installation choices that once confused me during my online research phase.

Here is the breakdown of the price including materials, labor, haul away and warranty info on a 12 x 15 room (approximation on my daughter’s room according to my own measurements):

CARPET

12’w x 15’l  Padding: Step Ahead $6.21 (no tax included in this approx estimate)

Martha Stewart, style: Elmsworth 68.03 oz, 12’w Anso BCF nylon, Platinum Plus warranties.
Carpet Approx 20.33 syd @ $44.01 syd   =   $894.72
Padding Approx 20.33 syd @ $6.21 syd   =   $126.24
Basic Labor………………………………….         $97.00
Removal & Haul away of existing cpt/pad       $.18 sf

Approx Total Cost                                     $1150.36      

Warranty: Platinum Plus, 25 year abrasive wear warranty, limited lifetime stain and soil warranty, 25 year texture retention warranty.       

Mohawk, style: Santa Rosa II Special Buy 60 oz, 12’w Pet BCF Polyester, Premium Warranties

Carpet Approx 20.33 syd @ $18.81 syd    =   $382.40
Padding Approx 20.33 syd @ $6.21 syd   =    $126.24
Basic Labor………………………………….          $97.00
Removal & Haul away of existing cpt/pad        $.18 sf

Approx Total Cost                                       $638.04

Warranty: Premium, 15 year abrasive wear warranty, limited lifetime stain warranty, 7 year texture retention warranty.

HARDWOOD

12’w x 15’l = 180 sf (measurements will usually calculate with 10% cut allowance)

Home Legends, Special Order Red Oak Natural Engineered 7″: 3/8″ thick

Case: $70.44  17.7 sf per case Approx 198 sf (11 cases)     =   $774.84
Transition pieces: Quarter Rounds  78″  ……………………..  =   $27.98 ea
                           Carpet Reducers 78″ ……………………..  =   $41.98 ea
                           T-Moldings “78 ……………………………..  =   $44.98 ea   

Adhesive:   4 gal …………………………………………………..  =   $90.00
Basic Labor …………………………………………………………  =   $3.77 sf
Removal & Haul away existing cpt/pad ……………………….  =   $.67 sf 
Install Quarter round ………………………………………………  =   $1.80 lf

Approx Total Cost                                                               $1780.78

Warranty: Estimated 50 year residential warranty

(again this is just an approx estimate until a professional measure is complete and an actual quote can be built).

LAMINATE

12’w x 15’l = 180 sf (measurement will usually calculate with 10% cut allowance) (no tax included in this approx estimate)

Pergo Presto, Special Order Beech Blocked

Case: $55.07 20.10 sf per case Approx 198 sf (10 cases)    =   $550.70
Transitions:  4 in 1  78.75″ ……………………………………….  =   $36.98 ea
Quarter Rounds 94.5″ ……………………………………………..  =   $13.98 ea
Airguard underlayment:  100sf …………………………………..  =   $63.00 ea roll
Basic Labor  …………………………………………………………  =   $1.99 sf

Approx Total Cost                                                                $1022.86

Warranty: Estimated 30 year limited residential warranty

Note: Home Depot will come out to get specific measurements for your rooms. The cost is $50. The amount is applied to your services, should you go with them. But if you’re not sure if you’re doing your floors within the next 6 months, hold off on the measurement because it’s only good for 6 months and after that, you have to get it remeasured.

After being educated on all my flooring options, here are my overall thoughts on the material and services provided by Home Depot:

Warranty matters. If something goes wrong, you want to have the piece of mind that it will either be fixed or replaced. All installs with the Home Depot have a one year warranty on installation. If something happens to your carpet, laminate or hardwood, they also come with their own warranties that go up to 50 years.

Carpet isn’t always cheaper especially if you are going with name brands. While basic carpet is still cheaper after installation, if you take a close look at branded carpets like Martha Stewart, they’re more expensive than laminate after installation. Moreover, the cost of materials on the branded carpet actually turns out to be more expensive than the cost of materials on the hardwood, but the installation of hardwood makes the total cost higher.

Cheaper now doesn’t always mean cheaper over time. Even though carpet is cheaper, over the course of many years, the price to clean the sucker every 18 months may end up being more expensive. Yes, you heard that correctly. The wonderful limited warranties that come with the carpet become void if you don’t have it professionally cleaned every 18 months (you have to keep those receipts). So essentially, if you decide to deep clean your carpet yourself, your carpet is no longer under warranty (when Kathy told me this fact, my jaw dropped).

Focus on one room at a time. For a new homeowner, having your focus on making over one room at a time will save you from headache. Just because you see special promos offering free installation or discount on installation, don’t overwhelm yourself and your bank account by signing up to do too much. Yes, you can get carpet in all 3 rooms and take advantage of the free installation which saves you over $97 or the recent offer where you only pay $397 on a click and lock installation for over 200 square foot of hardwood or laminate, but it has to make sense for your bank account. I would rather make small changes to my home that I can afford than doing a whole remodel and crying every month when it’s time to pay the bills.

Take time and think out your choices. While my husband and I are still undecided, as I want one thing (hardwood), he wants another (laminate) and our children want neither (carpet), we have a better understanding of our choices and options. I walked into Home Depot all dazed and confused and I left there feeling like I knew what I wanted and how much I would need to spend (the store employees are so resourceful and I feel like I’m learning for free).

Remember, you’re not in a rush to race across the finish line. Enjoy your home and as you go along you’ll figure out what you need and how you want things done. Some things are just going to have to wait and some you’ll do in an instant. In the end, you’ll have a home you’ll love and enjoy while not having to go into debt.

Every day during our 5 part series, answer the question of the day by commenting on the post to be eligible to win a $100 Home Depot gift card. You must comment on all 5 posts by 11:59pm PST on 03/10/2013 to be eligible (please see contest rules). Plus, take advantage of this rare Home Depot coupon to get $5 off your purchase over $50. Today’s question is: Let us know what sort of flooring you have and what you love or want to change about it by commenting below.

(Source: Savings.com)

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  1. Jeannines

    2 years ago

    We have hardwood in kitchen that I love. I want to continue that through out the house

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  2. rkosully

    2 years ago

    I have carpeting in all the rooms except the kitchen, which has tile.
    I wouldn’t mind having lovely hardwood floors in the living room!

    Comment
  3. sunnee63

    2 years ago

    We put in laminate. A couple of the 1940 hardwood floors were cost-prohibitive to restore. One great solution: I am in TN – the winters are pretty mild BUT the floors are still cold, especially in the a.m. I found area/throw rugs for many of the rooms. I shampoo them myself but if they ever got too bad, it wouldn’t kill me to just replace them.

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  4. Birdie1999

    2 years ago

    we have wood and I wouldn’t change a thing…I love it

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  5. ashley_wil

    2 years ago

    We have tile in half of the house and carpet in the other. I’m really happy with the tile. I don’t worry about making marks in wood and it is easy to clean. We have a grey/brown carpet which is great for stains.

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