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INSTALL OAK STRIP FLOORING

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 $1,952 to lay unfinished oak strip flooring in a 12- by 15-foot room. If you have carpentry skills and tools, you can buy the materials for $925 and do it yourself, saving 53 percent. That's a substantial savings, but it's strenuous 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. To find more DIY project costs, and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com and www.m.diyornot.com on smartphones.

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Pro cost DIY cost Pro hours DIY hours DIY savings Percent saved
$1,952 $925 7.2 15.0 $1,027 53%
Source: Tribune Media Services

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