10 Great-Looking DIY Flooring Ideas

low maintenance laminate flooring

If you’re the handy type, this list of do-it-yourself flooring ideas is for you AND your guests. Let’s face it, the best part of a DIY flooring project (besides the price tag) is the moment of the big reveal. DIYers, you know what we’re talking about: the moment when guests are awestruck by your phenomenal flooring project. The oohing and aahing makes all the hard work worth it—and gives you a home décor project that you can claim all the credit for.

To get you to that awesome moment, we’ve compiled a list of DIY flooring ideas that can inspire you—and those aha moments from guests.

Luxury Vinyl Planks

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) floors are incredibly durable and fairly easy to install. These planks can be installed as a floating floor, meaning no grout or adhesive is required. (Use these step-by-step directions for a smooth luxury vinyl install.) There are also very few tools needed. Luxury vinyl planks need to be installed over a level surface, meaning some preparation work is necessary. For that reason, luxury vinyl planks should not be installed over a tile floor.

LVP floors come in a variety of styles and can mimic almost any style of wood. Most luxury vinyl plank floors are water resistant and can be installed in high-traffic areas (read more about LVP floors here). Contact your local flooring professionals to see DIY flooring options or to get a deal on in-stock LVP floors.

Laminate

Laminate floors are tough enough for households with kids and pets. As a DIY project, these floors are a fairly simple install with minimal tools. The subfloor should be prepped for a level installation. (Use these step-by-step directions for installing laminate flooring.)

These floors have one drawback. Standing puddles and moisture can damage laminate flooring. Laminate flooring should not be installed in basements. Porous moisture from the basement concrete slabs can warp and damage laminate floors.

Laminate flooring comes in a variety of styles that look exactly like wood floors. This DIY flooring option comes in wide or narrow plank styles and are manufactured to resemble common types of wood.

Tile

tile floor in bathroom with white vanity and tile showerPorcelain and ceramic tile floors are a classic favorite for DIYers; tile is an easy DIY project, especially when the tile is installed in a simple pattern. Tile can be installed with a tools and an ample supply of spacers. (Use these step-by-step instructions for an efficient tile install.) These floors do require a robust surface underneath; the tiles can be installed over concrete or backer board. A complete prep of the surface can prevent cracking and other long-term damage.

In addition to being an easy DIY flooring project, tile is water, odor and mildew resistant. These properties make tile ideal for bathrooms, mudrooms, foyers, and kitchens. In busy homes, tile is durable and easy-to-clean. Some tile products can even be installed outdoors on a porch or patio. When the cold feel of tile is a concern, tile can easily be installed over radiant in-floor heating. Modern tiles can be found in nearly any style and color (even with the look of wood).

Painted Concrete

Painted concrete can be an ideal flooring solution for basements that flood. This DIY flooring idea can add color to a space, though care should be taken to select the right paint for the project. Proper preparation of the concrete is key to project success; the concrete should be cleaned and repaired before painting begins. (Use these tips for preparing a concrete floor for painting.)

This simple DIY flooring idea can give any room a unique and custom look. Use a neutral color for a room with a bright décor or the colors of a favorite sports team for a one-of-a-kind style that lasts for years to come.

Herringbone Pattern

This unique DIY flooring idea can work with many different kinds of floors, such as tile or engineered hardwood. Installing a floor in a herringbone pattern is a bit more complex, especially in spaces that are uniquely shaped. (Use this guide for installing engineered wood in a herringbone pattern.) Even professionals can find this pattern difficult to lay; be sure to practice prior to the actual installation. If there is any doubt, contact the professionals to do the actual installation.

Though a herringbone pattern is a flooring idea, it can also be used for unique backsplash and bathroom designs (i.e. behind mirrors, in a shower, etc.) The herringbone pattern can add character and impress any guests that step into the room.

Wood Floor Refinishing

Refinishing wood floors is a do-it-yourself project for anyone willing to roll up their sleeves. Hardwood and engineered wood floors can both be refinished, though the latter type can only be refinished if it is thick enough.

Some wood floors may need to be repaired before refinishing; contact a flooring professional for repairs or to verify that the floor can be refinished (dependent on the amount of damage and floor thickness). Refinishing a wood floor does involve renting the right equipment and quite a bit of time, but does guarantee that the finished product is done in the preferred wood floor color.

Wood floors add a classic and timeless look to any home. Some hardwoods can even add value to a home. This flooring can also be incredibly durable, though it is susceptible to water stains and damage.

Patterned Tile

patterned tile in bathroomA tile with a unique shape or pattern can add a one-of-a-kind style to any home. These tiles can add interest and draw the eyes down, such as a brick or mosaic tile. Most patterned tile products come with the benefits of tile: water, odor, and mildew resistance. These tiles are incredibly durable and can be installed in mudrooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and foyers.

Many of these tiles can be installed with the same preparation and installation techniques as a rectangle or square tile; however, care should be taken to ensure tiles are centered and in the appropriate pattern. Before laying tile, ensure that the concrete is level or that backer board is properly installed.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) floors are resilient even in the busiest households. These floors look exactly like tile but feel better underfoot. LVT floors are installed with a glue adhesive; ask flooring professionals for a recommended adhesive. Just as with LVP and laminate, LVT should be installed over a level surface. These floors can be installed with grout. (Use this step-by-step guide for installing luxury vinyl tile.)

These water-resistant floors can be installed in almost any room. LVT can withstand high humidity and moisture in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Modern LVT floors come in a variety of colors and styles, blending with almost any existing décor.

Carpet Tiles

Carpet tiles, also called carpet squares, are an unexpected DIY flooring idea—and the most unexpected part if the variety or choices and easy install. These tiles are installed in patterns with the adhesive backing. (This step-by-step guide on installing carpet tiles can help.) Preparation can be as simple as ensuring that the surface is level and the moisture is low. In a basement, the concrete slab may need to be sealed before installing carpet tiles. If applying over a wood floor, be aware that the adhesive backing may damage the wood floor. If that occurs, the wood floor would need to be refinished.

These carpet tiles are durable and can be replaced when irreparably stained. Carpet tiles come in a formal elegant style or a fun pattern; head to a local flooring style to see styles and ask about discounts for these unique floors. These floors can be installed in bedrooms, playrooms, basements, dens, man caves, and nurseries.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood floors add warmth to almost any space. However, these floors should not be installed in rooms with high-humidity and moisture. These floors can be installed as a floating floor (just like luxury vinyl plank and laminate floors), requiring few tools and expertise. Engineered hardwood floors should be installed over a level surface. In some cases, engineered hardwood floors can be installed over existing flooring. (Use this guide for installing engineered hardwood floors for a smooth project.) In many cases, these floors can be bought at discount in volume; ask the local flooring pros for specific deals.

Depending on the engineered hardwood flooring product, these long-lasting floors can be refinished multiple times. Engineered hardwoods are easy-to-clean and tough, though care should be taken to clean up water spills and minimize home humidity. As a wood floor, engineered hardwoods can be damaged by moisture.

Engineered wood floors come in a variety of styles and colors. This flooring comes in both wide and narrow plank, making them an excellent combination with a variety of home decors.

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