6 Money-Saving Hacks for Wood and Laminate Flooring

Three stacks of coins on wood flooring.
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What You'll Need
What You'll Need

New flooring offers a quick facelift to just about any space. While there are some jobs that you will want to hire out for, installing wood or laminate flooring is something you can most likely tackle yourself. Once you create a plan and read up on the topic, you’ll be covering a room with new flooring in no time. While doing the installation yourself obviously saves you money on installation fees, there are other tips to help you save money on the product and the process.

1. Shop Bulk Stores

Stores like Costco and Sam’s Club carry laminate flooring at a good price based on the fact that the store has already negotiated a bulk rate for the product. Many stores only carry flooring products seasonally or a few times a year, so you will want to check your local store occasionally for availability. You can also scour the websites and have the flooring shipped from the warehouse directly to your home.

2. Check With Your Local Lumber Discount Store

A couple walking through a warehouse.

Similar to the clothing and housewares outlet malls spread across the country are lumber discount stores like Lumber Liquidators. These businesses buy discontinued products and make large bulk purchases, and then pass the savings on to you. The selection might be limited but, then again, they may have just what you're looking for. Check-in with them frequently to see what’s new in the warehouse.

3. Check Your Local Habitat for Humanity ReStore

For smaller projects, make a trip to your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. This organization makes homeownership possible for many families across the nation by helping them build homes and obtain an affordable loan. The ReStores accept donations of all building materials and resell them as a way to fund this goal. Check with your local ReStore for flooring that may have been donated. It’s common to see many unopened boxes of matching products at a steep discount from buying new!

4. Find a Coupon Online

A coupon app on a smartphone.

If you find the perfect flooring to suit your needs, be sure to check for a coupon to save you some dough. For example, if you plan to install a Pergo product that you find at Lowe’s, peruse the internet for a discount coupon. Lowe’s issues coupons to new customers or local patrons whenever they open a store in a new area. Recipients often post these coupon codes online for other people to use. Start with the store’s website to see if they are offering a discount or mention coupon code. If you don’t find anything there, run a search at RetailMeNot and try any coupon codes that pop up there. eBay members often sell coupon codes, as well. For example, you can commonly find a Lowe’s 10% off coupon, which you can buy for $ 0.99 and gain immediate access to via electronic transfer to your email. Then, use that coupon to place your online order or print and take it to the store.

5. Borrow Tools

Some jobs require special tools. For example, when installing wood flooring you will need a nail gun. But before you run out to buy one, ask your local flooring company if they have one that you can rent. Also, check with friends and neighbors to see if someone has the tool you need that you can borrow.

6. Avoid Waste

A man cutting wood flooring pieces.

For most laminate or wood flooring, it's recommended that you factor in 10% waste. While it's impossible to eliminate all waste, careful planning and proper layout of materials can significantly reduce excess garbage. For example, when installing planks, use the end of the board cut off from one row as your starting piece for the next row. A room that is square will have less waste than one that includes many corners, curves, alcoves, and closets. Minimize waste in rooms with those features by using small, cut pieces inside areas that will not be seen, such as the back of the pantry or closet. This tactic will prevent you from having to purchase additional flooring.

Additional Tips

When you allow yourself a little bit of time to plan for the project, it’s easy to find discounts on the products you need. Use the internet to comparison shop and be sure to watch for delivery fees that may be tacked on. Also, consider the quality of the product you're buying. While you can find laminate flooring for $.99/sq. ft, this product likely has a very thin top layer and may quickly peel or warp. This may be all you need for the project you have in mind, but if you have long-term plans for the flooring, then having to replace it in a few years is not going to save you any money in the long run.