5 Ways to Save Big on Hardwood Floors & New Floor Reveal

From the moment I first saw our home I knew that someday (and I really hoped sooner than later) I would want to get hardwood floors that flowed seamlessly from room to room throughout the majority of the main floor.


I love these floors!



Abbott Moon via Houzz

Our main floor jumped around from carpet to tile back to carpet then back to tile and back to carpet again.  We have two halls  that run parallel to each other on either side of the staircase and it always bothered me that one of the halls was tile and the other carpet (I know, what a strange pet peeve to have).  Anyways, throughout the first year of living at our home I was determined to find a steal of a deal on hardwood or engineered hardwood floors as well as the labor to put them in.  Ha, no such luck!

I saw some engineered hardwood I liked for as low as $1.69 once but when I called around to see how much it would cost to have them installed my hopes were dashed to pieces (I love how dramatic that sounds).  The lowest quote I secured for floor installation was $2 a square feet.  We would be installing a little over 1,000 square feet so labor would be at least $2,000 (not including demo for the tile which I got a quote for $500).   If you add that all up plus $250 in underlayment the total would have been $4,440.

Believe it or not $4,440 is not a terrible price for 1,000 square feet of hardwood floors but was definitely NOT in our budget.

I normally would have then concluded that I should install the floors myself but being heavily pregnant at the time stopped me very quickly from entertaining the thought!   Heck, even not pregnant the thought seems super overwhelming.

Anyways, I accepted the fate that my dream of hardwood floors would have to wait 3-5 years down the road.  Well, that was until last November when I got a Lumber Liquidator’s flyer in the mail.  I had somehow gotten on their mailing list and had received flyers from them before but their prices although competitive were never the rock bottom low that I needed.  Well, until that cold, crisp day in early November when I thumbed through the flyer and saw the words 5/16 x 5′ Mayflower Bund Birch Engineered Hardwood Floor .99 cents sq. ft.

I read it many times just to make sure my eyes weren’t fooling me.  I had never seen engineered hardwood that low so I called to make sure it wasn’t a typo!  To make a long story short I went in the next day (it was only a 2 day sale) and brought home a couple of samples.

Because it was the color, size (5 inch wide), and price we were looking for we decided to buy it even though we were not in a position to install it yet.  It patiently sat in the basement for 9 solid months until we were ready (physically, financially, and psychologically:-)) to install it.

Here is how we saved big on installing our hardwood floors.

1.  Be familiar with the going rates for various kinds of hardwood flooring so you know what a good deal is when it comes.  Saved us over $1,000

2.  Do the demo yourself especially if it’s just carpet you are pulling up.  Saved us $500

3.  DIY or look around (I looked on Craigslist just be sure to get references) for a flooring person who will assist you on an hourly rate rather than for a whole job quote.  After some searching we found one that charged $25 an hour and had lots of tools, experience, and references.  Saved us $1,000

4.  Do your research on prices and reviews of underlayments and get the best price without sacrificing quality.  Saved us $140.

5.  Re-install baseboards and shoe molding yourself-  Saved us approx. $300

This equals a total savings of almost $3,000!


Here are our floors!  I’m still working on putting up baseboards in the kitchen, powder, bath and halls so I’ll save those photos for later!


Here is the Dining Room–this photo gives the most accurate depiction of the floor’s coloring!

Engineered Hardwood in Dining Room

The Living Room-  The middle of the room where the light is hitting the floors isn’t true to color in real life.  I’m brainstorming on possible rug options for this room.

New Floors in Living Room


We chose to keep carpet in the family room and “media room” because they are rooms that the kids like to sit on the floor and play in.  Here is how the wood in the kitchen looks next family room carpet.  And as I squatted to take the picture our lioness came beckoning for some lovin’.

New floors in Family Room


I do love the look of the floors, however, in the process of installing the floors we have realized that this particular brand and make of engineered flooring has a pretty thin (equals sensitive) top layer of wood.   Hopefully we can keep it pretty!  High maintenance is definitely a con of hardwood floors.  We’ll see how it goes!


I noticed when I was trying to find a link to the floors we bought (I couldn’t find it I’m wondering if it’s been discontinued) that Lumber Liquidators is having a sale on a very similar flooring (pictured below) for only $1.69 sqft!  You can check it out Here.

Mayflower Natural 5/16"x4" Birch Betula Spp. Stained Finish Engineered


What do you think about hardwood flooring?  Is the beauty and warmth worth the upkeep required?  Have any money saving tips to add to the list?

To see Before photos of these rooms, click HERE.

To see some photos of the floors during the installing phase, click HERE.


5 Ways to Save Big on Hardwood Floors

27 thoughts on “5 Ways to Save Big on Hardwood Floors & New Floor Reveal

  1. Amy

    I love your new floors! The color and look compliments the decor of your home so well. I always enjoy seeing photos of your living and family rooms–they are such inviting rooms!

  2. debbie

    Your floors are beautiful and so is your lioness. We still have carpet in our bedrooms and I hate it. We have furbabies (dogs and cats) which makes it even worse. I can’t wait until we put in hardwoods for the bedrooms I keep waiting for a killer deal, too. So happy for you that you were able to save so much $$$.

    1. Tamara Post author

      Thank you, Debbie! I agree fur babies and carpet aren’t a great match! For some reason I find a lot of cat hair on the stairs (I think her big belly leaves it behind). So excited to take the carpet off the stairs!! Crossing my fingers you can find some wood floors for your bedrooms soon! 🙂

    1. Tamara Post author

      Wow, Myquillyn, such a treat to get a visit from you today! :-). I loved your post today and your philosophy that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. I SO agree! Thanks for stopping by!! 😉

  3. Lauren @ Bless'er House

    Great tips! I’m so ready for wood floors in our house. I’ll definitely have to keep this post in mind. Love the floors you chose! I think they are totally worth it. At least they’re easier to wipe up messes than carpet. That’s the battle I’m facing now with a toddler. The boost in home value is a nice perk too.

  4. Deborah

    Oh your floors are gorgeous Tamara! What an amazing deal. I will keep an eye on Lumber Liquidators and save my pennies! Thanks for visiting and leaving a sweet comment. I’m so glad you found me so I could find you:)
    Blessings, Deborah

    1. Tamara Post author

      Cristy and Shay thanks so much for your concern!! The article only mentions Chinese made laminates from Lumber Liquidatots. Thankfully not engineered or other hardwoods at this point.

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Jona! It was the Mayflower brand called Birch Bund. I went on the Lumber Liquidators website to find the link for it and unfortunately it looks like they don’t sell it any more. I did notice they have a very similar one called Chase Oak. It looks so similar that I wonder if they just renamed it. Anyways here’s the link to that one, http://t.lumberliquidators.com/ll/c/Chase-Oak-Click-Mayflower-MFQCCO5/10035788. If you live close to a LL I would suggest picking up a sample and bringing home to see in your space. It helps a lot! Best wishes!!

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Miko! I wish that was my kitchen but it was my inspiration for the flooring I wanted. Sorry for the confusion. I did a little research though and think that Benjamin Moore “Grant Beige” or Sherwin Williams “Relaxed Khaki” would be a close match to the wall paint color in that kitchen!

  5. Janice kirwan

    I know engineered wood is less, but in the long run. .doesn’t hold up like solid wood. I made the mistake of using LL for over 1200 Sq ft. Cost over 5k. And we did the install. Now we have to replace.

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Alison! I’ve been impressed with how well it’s held up. We have 4 young kids and a dog and a cat so it gets abused on a daily basis but it has held up well. Just a few minor hairline scratches and knicks.

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