Budget Backward Flooring Find

It’s been a few weeks now that I’ve been living with just subfloors. You can’t walk in the house without shoes, or slippers or you end up with snags from nails sticking up. I’ve even caught and ripped the cuff of my pants a few times.

These were my Christmas gift to myself. Target slippers that keep me warm and free of subfloor slivers.

Target Slippers

I had a budget backward plan for flooring and had considered everything from paper bag flooring ideas and plywood flooring ideas on Pinterest. I’d settled on the plywood idea and was at Home Depot picking out which plywood would be best. The lumber guy and I had done all of the math, figured all of the cuts and he had brought the slip to the Customer Service desk where I would pick up the pieces after they’d been cut.

While they were pulling the plywood and prepping to cut, I was zooming over to the refrigerator section. I was getting really antsy to have a fridge in my home again. I mean, it is pretty awesome to get home from the grocery store and unload the groceries into the fridge that is in the garage…but no.

On my way to the appliance section I was sidetracked by a clearance section. What?!!? I’d somehow never seen this before. I found a fridge on clearance! I loved it! I even started to love it more when somebody else started loving it, too. As the other women ooo’d and ahh’d over what I’d already considered my fridge, I also saw pallets of clearance flooring. According to my calculations (and I’m really bad at measuring) I needed 900 square feet of flooring. There was only 650 square feet of hickory, but there was also 300 square feet of cherry. I found a helper and we called a few other Home Depot’s to see if there was any hickory at other locations. There wasn’t.

This trip was turning out to be like a game show. You know, the ones where they have to run through a store and collect items super fast and then checkout and hope that they’ve won.

Shit! My plywood! My fridge! My hickory!

I had to get to the Service Counter before they started chopping the plywood into hardwood flooring sized planks! While I was up there I grabbed a wobbly orange lumber cart and went back to load the hickory and cherry flooring. I got there just in time to see the women walk away from fondling what I was still considering my fridge.

As I was loading the six million boxes of flooring a Home Depot person came by. She was careful not make eye contact with me. I grabbed her attention anyway and asked her how much the fridge was. I’d searched all over the inside and outside and hadn’t seen a price tag. Hmph, she also couldn’t find a price tag and called for another person named Helen to help us figure out what was up with this fridge. Was it sold? Was it free?

Helen was Pisssssssed. She was going to have to work New Year’s Day and that’s pretty much all she cared about. She punched numbers into her price checker tool thing and told me that she didn’t know the price and couldn’t know the price until the next morning when Ed got in. She gave me her business card and told me to call her in the morning, because SHE’D BE THERE, even though she’d asked for it off WAY before other people had. Haha, omg yikes.

I bought the flooring from the Customer Service counter because I was going to need it to be delivered. I may have been able to fit it in my car but I was literally way too pooped from loading it to even think about loading it into my car and then unloading it into my garage.

Delivery was $65, even though the HUMONSTEROUS black and yellow sign above the checkout said free shipping. They were quick to explain to me that shipping and home delivery are different. It would be free if I purchased it online. I grabbed my phone to see if I could purchase it from their .com but it was discontinued. Shucks. Sly suckers.

When I got home I started thinking that maybe I should call more than 2 other Home Depot’s for the Hickory flooring vs. using Hickory and Cherry mixed. SCORE! I found more, but I had to pay another home delivery fee. I also remembered that I was going to need that underlayment stuff. While I was on the phone ordering the additional Hickory, I asked if I could also add 900 square feet of underlayment. They told me that I could and that it was $25/100 square foot roll. Ummm…no. Online it was $75 for 700 square feet. They once again had to explain to me that .com is not the same.


Shipping: free

Underlayment: $75/700 square feet

in store:

Home Delivery: $65

Underlayment: $25/100 square feet

I did not buy the underlayment from “in store.” I actually didn’t even get it from Home Depot at all. I bought it at Lowe’s. It was $29/square foot, but by this point I had gone from budget backward to timeline driven. I needed to get my flooring done starting the next morning and there I was, in Lowe’s, staring at $29/100 square feet of underlayment. I had no choice.

So, how much did I pay for 950 square feet of flooring? $380 for the wood, $130 for Home Delivery and $270 for underlayment. That’s $780 or eighty-six CENTS per square foot. You guys, this price is unheard of. Obviously the biggest savings was that I was going to DIY this project, but I’m still jazzed about the savings.

Look at this:

Laminate Flooring Estimate for MN area.
Laminate Flooring Estimate for MN area.

If you’re in search of budget backward flooring, I found out later on that the Hickory flooring that was on clearance at Home Depot was heavily advertised as a deal on websites that specialize in bringing you the latest coupon codes and bargains. I’d used sites like this before, but I’d never thought of them for things like flooring.

Retail Me Not




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