In carrying out hardwood floor renovations in your home, you have the option of choosing either DIY or flooring contractor services. Your choice may not simply be one or the other; it could be a mix of both.

Whether it’s hardwood floor installation, sanding, staining or finishing, you certainly don’t want to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars only to be left with an obviously amateur or malfunctioning upgrade.

DIY Installation

Installing tongue and groove hardwood floor - DIY or ContractorHardwood floor installation is most definitely not a DIY project. It requires expensive tools and specialized skills to use them.

In addition, you need the appropriate sub-floor; both the sub-floor and flooring should be tested for moisture; you’ll need to measure the room properly, plan for gap expansion, cut accurately around obstacles and much more to have a successful install.

Our recommendation is to request multiple estimates from reputable hardwood flooring contractors in your area and get the job done right.

But just in case you’re still considering DIY, here’s the NWFA Guide to Wood Floor Installation.

DIY Sanding, Staining or Finishing

Hardwood Floor sanding, polishingIt may be possible to sand, stain or finish a hardwood floor yourself. However, you should be pretty competent at DIY renovation, be willing to purchase or rent the specialty tools required, and be prepared for mistakes or possible damage to expensive materials.

Anyone who has watched “This Old House” knows that homeowners carry out some of the time-consuming, unskilled work while professionals do the more skill-demanding, experienced tasks. A scenario like this may be the right compromise for you.

DIY or Flooring Contractor Resources

A hardwood floor is a large investment and adds value to your home when installed and maintained properly. Whether you choose to hire a pro, take the DIY approach, or a combination of both – research thoroughly.

Find a Hardwood Floor Contractor

National Wood Flooring Association Directory

Veteran-owned Flooring Contractor Directory

World Floor Covering Association Directory

DIY Skill Assessment

If the DIYer in you is determined to make a go of it, check out this fun resource:
Armstrong’s DIY Flooring Skill Assessment.

One option is to hire a professional flooring contractor for an on-site survey.

Your Pro can provide humidity, moisture, and ventilation testing, check the material and level of the sub-floor, counsel you on storage and acclimation of the wood, and other installation or related advice.

DIY Publications


Doing smaller projects yourself can certainly save you money and result in a great deal of personal satisfaction (i.e. bragging rights).

But the DIY or flooring contractor decision is also about appearance, lasting quality, budget and, ultimately, peace of mind. Choose carefully.