Hardwood Flooring Tips

My husband and I have been sleeping horribly for the last year or so. We have slept on a queen-sized bed for the last 14 years, but it is simply no longer working for us. Maybe it is because we will both be turning 39 this August. Perhaps it is because the uber-expensive “princess and the pea” mattress that I bought two years ago turned out to be crap. Whatever the reason, this last year I have developed nervous legs, TMJ, insomnia and back pain. Matt sleeps with his feet propped up on a pillow every night to try and reduce his own back pain. We are a big non-sleeping-mess and Matt has resorted to sleeping in the guest room many nights to get away from my incessant tossing-and-turning. We NEED a new mattress and more sleeping square footage so we can stop worrying while we (don’t) sleep if we are bugging the other person. I have been researching king-sized mattresses and decided on one that I really believe will be the answer to our non-slumbering prayers!

decorating your bedroom

Uh…what does this have to do with hardwood floors? Glad you asked! You know what a slippery slope decorating can be. I have the new king mattress ordered and on its way. I have a king headboard and frame sitting in my dining room waiting to be installed. Then it dawned on me that if we are moving out the current bed, then now is the easiest time to replace the awful carpet on our master suite level and install hardwood flooring. The bed arrives June 5th and we aren’t able to work on the project next week due to other commitments. That gives us a few days to move everything, rip out all of our carpet, and prep the floors for install. Eek!

hardwood floors

But moving everything off of this entire level meant going through all drawers and closets and reorganizing everything. I managed to fill 7 ginormo black garbage bags with things needing to go to Goodwill. It looked like an episode of hoarders as I was trying to sift through our closest and three dressers. I’m proud to say that we are able to get rid of an entire dresser after my purging. I also needed to sell furniture on Craigslist that was in our current guest bedroom so that this bed could be moved in. And now that room will be need a complete makeover later this summer :). Slippery slope indeed! But I love it. Let’s keep slipping down that decorating slope together, shall we? It’s fun…like sledding only better.

I had to make a flooring purchase fairly quickly, so I reached out to a facebook group that I am a part of comprised of all talented DIY’ers and asked the following:

I’m looking at installing hardwoods on our bedroom suite level this summer. Does anyone have any tips on good places to shop for a deal and installation? We have a lot of closets and a hallway to do in addition to our bedroom so I’m leaning towards hiring out for install. I don’t like the look of oak but love maple, hickory, and some others in mid to darker finishes. I’ve heard that too dark and they show every dust speck and hair so I’m steering away from that. Sources? Tips? Help :).

They came to my rescue and here is what I learned:

Tips on Choosing Hardwood Floors

  • Darker stained wood is indeed going to show more dirt.
  • The floor’s sheen matters just as much as color. If your floors are glossy, they will show more dust and dirt. Go with a matte finish or a handscraped floor to reduce the appearance of dust.
  • Handscraped flooring is where each board has the “old-world” appearance of being scraped by hand. The boards do not have the “piano finish” of completely flat engineered flooring. It’s a different look that one needs to decide if they like. The boards look “ripply” and the sheen will be different because of this. I personally love the look and think they have more character but make sure you see them in person to decide if they are right for you.
  • Norwex or E-cloth microfiber mops were recommended for cleaning.
  • Options can be overwhelming with real versus engineered hardwood, or floating, glue-down or nail-down flooring options. The type of flooring you currently have in your space will dictate what type of flooring will be easiest to install. Research the installation procedures for each if you are planning on doing the install yourself and decide on what you think you can tackle.
  • Pick up samples of flooring and place them in the room(s) to see how they appear under your own lighting and with your own furnishings. This will give you a more accurate view of what they will look like in your space.

hardwood flooring tips

Places to Shop for Hardwood Flooring

The most popular places to shop were the following:

  • Lowes
  • Home Depot
  • Lumber Liquidators
  • BuildDirect
  • Amazon

You can also pick up samples and then comparison shop online to find the best price for the one you want.

Tips on Installing Hardwood Flooring

  • Hire someone. I kid. (Kind of.) I have never installed flooring myself, and I’ve heard some say it’s incredibly easy and others say it’s a nightmare. The price of flooring installation in my area ranges between $2.65 sq/ft-$3.50 sq/ft. Depending on the price of your flooring the install could cost nearly as much as the floor. You will definitely save a significant amount of money installing the floors yourself.
  • Glue down floors are more difficult to install than nail down.
  • My sister Kim from Sand & Sisal wrote a great post and video tutorial on how to install wood floors with a nailer.

After taking into account all of these considerations, we purchased handscraped bamboo flooring on clearance from Lumber Liquidators. With what I saved on the wood, we have money in the budget left-over to pay for installation. Matt was NOT at all excited about helping me so I figure this is less hassle and cheaper that marital strife and counseling :).

2 Fengtai Strand Handscraped Bamboo~10026736_sw


Thanks to all of the DIY’ers who contributed their hardwood flooring tips. You can check out how their flooring looks below. Feel free to add your own flooring link and tips!

Share this:


  1. says

    Love the idea of using bamboo flooring….very dense so dings don’t occur as often AND it is a great “green” choice environmentally.

    • Beth says

      We looked into conventional mattresses, Sleep Number, Tempurpedic, and Intellibed. In the end we chose to go with an Intellibed. I’ll be blogging about it once it arrives and I’m working with the company to get a discount code for readers. I am SOOOOOO excited about it! After having it recommended to me by a blog friend, I watched a webinar about it and was totally sold. It was like watching a “Ted Talk” on beds. I’ll talk more about why we went with Intellibed in a post once I can show what it looks like in our room and take pics.

  2. Kat Moss says

    I hope your flooring holds up better than the flooring we purchased from Lumber Liquidators in 2011. What we purchased (carbonized bamboo, floating) is junk. I would love to rip it out and start over, but after spending almost $6k on just the flooring, we’ll have to wait a few more years. It scratches terribly – we were told it would resist scratching. The finish is dull no matter what product we use to clean it. The board are separating & buckling all over the place. We contacted LL on numerous ocassions to try and get their assistance and they were HORRIBLE to work with, basically telling us it was our fault, it was our installers fault or it was our house’s fault for being too dry (even though we live in humid Oklahoma and run a humidifier in the winter months). I would never, ever, never recommend LL to anyone.

    • Beth says

      Hi Kat, that’s horrible :(. I’m so sorry you’ve had a bad experience. Our floors weren’t expensive at all and since we were considering stick on vinyl at one point, I don’t think I’ll regret the purchase. I do think that when you go through bulk discount-type stores you run the risk of bad customer service and a cheaper quality product.

  3. says

    Side note about RLS if you take ranitidine for heartburn it can cause RLS. Discovered while I was pregnant. Just an FYI that I did not get until half way through my second pregnancy. And I love the hardwood you chose :)

    • Beth says

      Thanks Tennille! I think mine tends to happen with too much caffeine. I don’t take any meds so not sure what exactly brings it on but it is so annoying! I take magnesium and potassium when it happens and that sometimes helps.

  4. says

    Hope y’all are getting a good night sleep soon. One of my bfs has restless leg and she says it’s so annoying.
    Love your flooring tips btw. 😉
    Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

  5. Lynn W says

    We went with Handscraped Acacia Engineered Hardwood from Hardwood Bargains. They are glued tongue and groove floating floors and we installed them ourselves, having never done anything like it before, and they turned out so pretty! We’ve got two large dogs and a cat so hair is an issue, but I just run a dust mop over it once or twice a day (takes like 1-2 minutes each time) and that’s a whole lot more than I ever vacuumed, our house is so much cleaner because of it! None of the gunk getting embedded in the carpet, just clean floors. We haven’t had any issues with their nails scratching it either. And since they are handscraped, they will hide a lot of that if it does happen. HB had the best price on it, and are located in Austin TX (and somewhere in CA) and I’m in Fort Worth, so when we ran short because of my excellent measurement skills, we just made a day trip to pick up some more. Just as helpful in person as over the phone. Going to order more for the bedrooms with their Memorial Day sale.

  6. Vicki says

    I’m interested in your new mattress. Which did you choose?
    Please help the rest of night time flippers! Thanks, Vicki

  7. Diana Walters says

    Love the floors! I hope your bed works for yall. My husband and I ended up buying a Sleep Number bed within a couple of months of our marriage. He likes concrete, I prefer clouds. Not conducive to one mattress type. His sleep number is 100 (uh… it doesn’t get harder than that), while my number is 35. Big difference. Huge. It saved our backs & tempers since we sleep like babies now! Luckily we both love the hardwood floors we have. Since the house is 100 years old we are just thankful they are in such great shape. Some stains, odd creaks and the occasional lumpy board, but I do adore them. Hope you love yours just as much. Thanks for all the hard work on your blog. I am a faithful reader and enjoy my time with ‘you’.

    • Beth says

      Hi Diana, thanks so much for the sweet comment! I am praying that our bed is the answer to our sleeplessness. We almost went with a Sleep Number but I liked the research behind the Intellibed bed. We did sleep on a Sleep Number at a hotel once and it was nice to have the ability to adjust our own comfort.

  8. says

    Congrats on your wood floors! I would LOVE hardwood floors in my home (we have wall-to-wall carpeting), but my husband LOVES his carpeting and doesn’t want to pay for hardwood … but I am working on convincing him! 😉

  9. says

    Thank you for letting me link up my wood floors post among all these other very talented bloggers!! Your floor is going to look beautiful too, I like the wood you’ve picked out!

  10. says

    Gorgeous flooring, Beth! We also bought and put down Bamboo hardwood flooring in our new place last Summer. Also from Lumber Liquidators. We love it! We put it down ourselves {only one room had a glue adhesive, the others were click and lock}, although hubby did most of the work. I do love the wood flooring over the wall to wall carpet that was here, although I think it was a little bit colder this past Winter without the carpet. In the long run, I think we made the right choice.

    • Beth says

      Oh that’s something I hadn’t considered. In our last home when we pulled up the carpet the house became FREEZING during the winter. Hopefully it will be okay since it’s on the third floor but I guess I’ll have to wait and see. I’m so excited to see them installed! And yay you two for doing it yourself! It saves so much money.

    • Beth says

      I really love them. They are gorgeous and just what I was hoping for. I haven’t blogged about them yet so I can’t direct you to a pic yet, but I’ll blog about them soon. Our installer did however find them difficult to work with. The bamboo is VERY dense so you have to use the right nailer. I didn’t ask what he used, but I gave him a sample to test out before he started install so he’d come prepared with the right tools.

  11. April says


    Your floors look beautiful. We were actually planning to put the exact same floors from Lumber Liquidators on the entire main level in the house we will be building soon. I had second thoughts and was really disappointed (because I loved the look so much) after reading some reviews that said bamboo floors (no particular brand) were not as durable as advertised and that several people regretted putting them in their homes because they scratched so easily. We have a large labrador retriever and had hardwood in a previous home that were destroyed by his nails. That’s why we wanted the bamboo because we thought it would alleviate that issue. I was wondering if you’ve had any problems with this particular brand of bamboo being easily scratched, dented or showing signs of wear? Your feedback on your experience would be super helpful in our decision making process. I’d hate go through the expense just I regret it soon afterwards. ~ Thanks! : )

    • Beth says

      Hi April, I love our floors and so far they have held up great. However, they are on our bedroom suite level which gets the least amount of abuse in the home. The dogs aren’t allowed up there and the kids aren’t up there much either. I have moved a heavy bed across the floors a few times with no scratching, but I can’t say how they would hold up to dog nails and heavy use. Our hardwoods on our main level are an orangey oak (that I hate) and they weren’t supposed to scratch at all. Six years later and they are horribly scratched from the dogs, but it only shows in certain lighting. I think most composite hardwoods show scratches over time. Many people suggested to me that the sheen of the floor makes a big difference in showing wear and tear. Glossy floors will show scratches and marks much more than a matte finish or hand-scraped floor. I hope that helps!

  12. Karen McGuire says

    Just wondering how the bed worked out? We had the assorted issues w/a very expensive mattress and eventually went to a piece of thick temperapedic type foam over a gel foam mattress and it has worked significantly better than what we had. Also looking at floors and I agree w/going the route of handscraped, although been looking at bamboo because of the higher durability ratings too, and now will question this. Our house has super cheap older laminate, but been here for nine years plus and still in good condition with exception of areas the person installed, they did not stagger the pieces and seams over time start to rise up. Otherwise, has endured animals and kids well I just wanted something that didn’t look like a pattern repeating, etc. and like the look of real wood.

  13. says

    Installing hardwood floor can be a long and difficult process. I agree that darker wood will usually show off more dirt and grime, but I think the color is worth it. I enjoy darker colored homes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *