By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Anyone who lives in a home with hardwood flooring knows the beauty and warmth it gives to a room. With its rich good looks and durability, it’s no wonder oak strip flooring is one of the most popular choices. It’s more expensive than laminates, but an oak strip floor is a long-term investment you’ll enjoy for as long as you live in your home.
A flooring contractor will charge $2,507 to lay unfinished oak strip flooring in a 12- by 15-foot room, which includes labor and material. If you have carpentry skills and tools, you can buy the materials for $935, the oak flooring cost, and do it yourself, saving 62 percent. That’s a substantial saving, but it’s stenuous work, using expensive materials. Before deciding to do it yourself, weigh the risk of damaging the material and the time required.
No matter who does the work, the first task is to empty the room of all the furnishings; then remove the base shoe molding around the room with a hammer and pry bar, and thoroughly vacuum the floor. The new oak strips require a base of a clean and sound subfloor. The random strips of oak are milled to fit together as tongue-and-groove boards that are nailed together with a flooring nailer; these tools are available at most rental centers for about $35 to $50 for a day. You’ll pay more to have the new floor sanded and finished to complete the job.
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Don’t even think about doing any kind of flooring work without wearing a pair of knee pads. Invest in a good pair because you’ll use them for many more home improvement projects.
For inspiration and ideas go to American Hardwood Information Center.
Wrapping up, given the average cost to install oak flooring you can compare the price of a contractor’s bid with doing it yourself. For a local cost input your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.