Flooring Options for Your Home
By: Danny Lipford
Flooring is one of the most visible components of your home. It comes in a wide range of materials—from tile and vinyl to wood and carpet—each with advantages as far as durability, cost, and appearance.
Types of Flooring
Installation of some types of flooring are much more DIY-friendly than others, with laminate and prefinished hardwood being the easiest for homeowners to install themselves.
Laying a tile floor can also make a good do-it-yourself project, though there’s a bit of a learning curve involved in the installation process.
Installing carpet, unfinished hardwood, and glued down vinyl sheet flooring can be challenging to install for DIYers and are usually better left to professionals.
Watch our video on Pros and Cons of Different Types of Flooring to find out more.
Installing Tile Over a Subfloor
Thin-set tile adhesive can be used to attach tile directly to a clean concrete slab or a vinyl floor that’s glued down securely.
Before installing tile over a plywood subfloor, screw 1/2″ cement backer board down to the subfloor using thin-set adhesive. Tape and fill any seams in the backer board with thin-set before laying the tile.
Watch our video on Subfloors for Tile and Laminate Flooring to find out more.
DIY Vinyl Flooring
Unlike most vinyl sheet flooring, which requires messy adhesive to secure it to the subfloor, AirStep Evolution from Congoleum can be installed without adhesive, making it a good do-it-yourself project.
Start by removing the shoe molding and thresholds, and fill any holes in the floor with floor patching compound. Cut the vinyl flooring a few inches larger than the room you intend to cover.
Apply double stick tape to the old floor around the perimeter of the room. Align two sides of the vinyl flooring to the walls, and stick it down to the tape. Cut the flooring with a utility knife to fit the other two walls, and stick them down to the tape as well.
Finally, reinstall the shoe mold and thresholds at doorways.
Watch our video on How to Install Vinyl Flooring Without Adhesive to find out more.
DIY Tile Floor
Cliks porcelain tile from Daltile has a polyurethane backing that allows the tile to lock together without the need for adhesive or grout. Since it’s a floating floor which is not attached to the subfloor or flooring under it, Cliks makes a good candidate for DIY installation.
Start by removing any quarter round or shoe mold. For bathroom installations, remove the toilet as well, using LiquiLock powder to gel the water in the bowl.
Position the tile and click them together, leaving a 5/16” gap between the tile and walls to allow for expansion.
Use a wet saw (available at to rent at tool rental centers) to cut tile to size where needed. Once the tiles are all in place, reinstall molding around the edges and thresholds to cover gaps.
Watch our video on How to Install a Floating Tile Floor to find out more.
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Car Cargo Storage Solution
To secure items in the cargo area of a car, position an expandable shower curtain rod against the sides of the vehicle to hold the stored items. Run the shower rod through the handles of grocery bags, then secure the rod to the sides to keep the contents from spilling out. (Watch Video)
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Ridgid Tri-Stack Air Compressor
The Ridgid Tri-Stack 5-gallon portable air compressor provides has two regulators and three outlets for multiple tool use. The split tank design allows the compressor to be used separately from the air tank. The Ridgid Tri-Stack Air Compressor is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)
Ask Danny Lipford:
Install Flooring Over Radiant Heat
While most types of flooring (except vinyl) can be installed over radiant heating, check first to be sure it doesn’t void the flooring warranty. Tile and hardwood flooring work best over radiant heat. Hydronic radiant systems are more energy efficient than those that use electricity. (Watch Video)
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