DIY Wood Floor Installation

15 Materials
3-4 Days

It took us awhile, but we finally decided to pull the trigger on installing hardwood floors in our hallway/loft area upstairs. We decided to keep the bedrooms carpeted for the time being. This was a DIY project, so we were able to save a significant amount of money by not hiring somebody to install the floors for us.
To see more detailed pictures and to read the full tutorial please visit:
We chose 3/4″ x 5″ Handscraped Hickory from Lumber liquidators. We love all the color variation in the boards! It’s hard to believe they’re all from the same type of tree!
We started by ripping all the carpets out. They were in good condition and I had no problem giving them away for free on Craigslist.
We brought the floor inside for 10+ days, stacking it log cabin style, and opening the ends of the boxes to help with air flow
we put our Aquabar vapor barrier down. We used a 500sqft roll from Home Depot
We used a combination of our jigsaw and circular saw for almost all of our cuts. We did use our table saw for a few of the long skinny ripped cuts.
For shorter boards I used a mallet, rag, and prybar to get the job done. For installing slightly bowed boards I used a clamp to reduce gaps.
Voilà! We have wood floors upstairs!
We are very happy with the end result, and would happily do this project again. We actually think this floor was significantly easier to install than our floating laminate we installed in the downstairs.
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Mary Coakley
    Mary Coakley
    on Nov 8, 2018

    Is Hickory native to the USA?

    • Barbara
      on Nov 9, 2018

      Yes, it is. I live in central Virginia, and we have a ton of Hickory trees -- main reason why I have about a gazillion squirrels on my property, because they LOVE Hickory nuts!!

  • Mary
    on Nov 9, 2018

    This is the exact color of flooring that I want to use on a bathroom wall. When I went to Lumber Liquidators and enter the name/size of what you said you used, it brought it up a smaller size, (3/8" x 5") but it is really really light in color. I love yours as it has a few of the darker tiles, and that is what I need for my bathroom. Can you tell me what was the size of your wall that you did, (how many square feet you had to cover) and how many tiles you had to buy, and the cost. Love your hallway!

    LL online only has the 3/8" x 5" Handscraped Hickory, which I need for my bathroom wall, because it has to go behind the toilet and the vanity, but I need your color of tile.

    • K
      on Dec 6, 2018

      Just a word of caution: hardwood flooring in high -moisture areas can buckle /warp(even on a wall) if the room is not properly ventilated and the wood not properly cared for.

      Most of the projects I've seen like you described (wall of wood behind the toilet) have used untreated pallet wood. It's cheap (often free), and easier maintenance than hardwood.

      If you still want hardwood flooring:

      You're not limited to Lumber Liquidators. Check around your area for other flooring suppliers, including the big-box stores. Also check online for clearance prices on flooring. You might be surprised at what you find.

  • Joann Stransky Garland
    Joann Stransky Garland
    on Jan 2, 2019

    Beautiful flooring! Question....Did you just lay the boards side by side? Nothing is connecting them like a floating floors does?

Join the conversation

2 of 20 comments
  • Kathleen Walker
    Kathleen Walker
    on Nov 10, 2018

    Absolutely gorgeous, you did a great job! We just finished a total kitchen remodel and I chose hickory kitchen cabinets. They are beautiful. What a change from the original 1955 plywood!

  • Twyla J Boyer
    Twyla J Boyer
    on Dec 18, 2018

    Gorgeous! Great tip about padding the prybar, too!

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