Don't let new flooring derail your renovation budget - South Lake Tahoe finish studio Skip to main content

Last month we kicked off our big home renovation project. We started off with the basics. First came the list and next we set the budget. The two biggest parts of the renovation are painting and new floors. These will take up most of the budget & time, so it’s been our focus as we get things started. It’s time to make some decisions on our new flooring.

A few weeks back, we wrote an article about how to choose the right floor. To sum things up… our new flooring options are to either hard surface with wood-plank tiles or re-carpet the entire house. While personally we love tile, this renovation is more about function & staying within our budget. Aside from the actual flooring, the biggest factor affecting our flooring budget is do we have a concrete or wood subfloor. And the verdict…

The Subfloor Reveal

While it makes for a sturdy house, it isn’t so good for our flooring budget. The answer is in… it’s concrete.

new flooring concrete subfloor

Concrete is what lurks below.

If you remember back to the flooring budget article, we determined that if we had a concrete subfloor, our tile could be no more than $1.48/sq. ft. That’s not an easy number to hit. Luckily, we did find a wood-plank floor tile we really like with a cost of $1.39/sq. ft. A deal for sure! So what should we do? Is it carpet or tile?

The New Flooring Decision

new flooring wood plank tile

A wood-plank tile that meets our budget!

Oddly enough, finding a tile that meets our budget just made the decision even harder. Had we just been unable to locate a tile we liked, the decision would have been really easy. But, now we have a real choice to make. Since both flooring options meet our budget, the only other factor to think about is labor. Our costs did not factor in any labor but time is money so we can’t just ignore it.

Our overall renovation list is quite long, with us touching almost every surface inside as well as outside. The longer it takes to finish the renovations on the house, the longer it sits vacant and accumulates holding costs. The new flooring project is a BIG project, covering over 1,300 sq.ft. That is not a weekend project. Looking at the complexity of the rooms, total square footage and outlining the steps and dry times, we know the tile floor would take us about 4 weeks to complete with the help of a generous friend. That is 4 weeks we aren’t working on the other renovation items and causing us to accrue holding costs for another month at a minimum. It just isn’t looking good for the tile, even though we really want it!

The Right Choice

new flooring carpet swatch

The right choice is new carpet throughout.

After all the calculations and considering the time & effort required, we have decided the right choice at this moment in time is to re-carpet the entire house. We haven’t lost hope for hard surface floors though. Design trends change continuously, so when we are ready to talk again about new flooring in the future, we will repeat this process and decide what’s best for that time. I have hope that someday this house will have beautiful hardwood floors you can’t take your eyes off of. Until then, we will continue to update & maintain the house, get it back into the long term rental market that desperately needs it and keep a close eye on our budgets all along the way.

Leave a Reply