5 Easiest Flooring to Install: DIY-Friendly Options

By Samuel N •  Updated: 02/15/23 • 

Installing new flooring in a home is an investment that can be costlier. If you’re looking to save, as a homeowner, choosing a flooring type you can install yourself is the right way. As a DIY enthusiast, I know not all floorings are easier to install. Some require specialized tools, while others require professional skills.

In this post, I’ll list the easiest flooring to install without needing specialized tools or professional skills. Enjoy.

Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Tile Flooring

The concept of peel-and-stick flooring is similar to that of peel-and-stick wallpaper. This type of flooring uses adhesive backing to stick directly to the existing floor or prepared subfloor. It is the most DIY-friendly flooring to install with no drying time and comes at a fraction of the cost of traditional flooring options like hardwood, ceramic, or porcelain.

Unlike other types of flooring, peel-and-stick does not require installing an underlayment. This makes it even easier for a beginner to install it. For peel-and-stick vinyl tile flooring, you’ll need any level and solid surfaces, like concrete or a subfloor, that can hold it. The room where you plan to install the flooring should be cleaned and free of debris and dust that could affect the adhesive.

When installing peel-and-stick flooring, start from the center of the room, working your way outward to the walls. Also, where two tiles meet, take care to leave a seamless look. There are different designs you can choose from wood-like designs to beautiful accent tiles and much more.

Floating Laminate Flooring

Most homeowners choose laminate flooring because of its resiliency, versatility, affordability, and ease of installation. You can get laminate flooring that looks like hardwood floors, stone designs, and many other designs. Unlike peel-and-stick vinyl flooring, with laminate flooring, you’ll need some basic tools to install it correctly.

A utility knife, hammer, pull bar or tapping block, tape measure, and handsaw are among the tools you’ll require. Before you begin laying down your laminate flooring, make sure you prepare the subfloor or old flooring. It should be flat, smooth, and clean, or dust and debris. Also, install the right underlayment, which will help absorb sound, provide a thermal barrier, and also make it comfortable to walk on laminate flooring. Your new laminate flooring should also be allowed to acclimate to the room they are to be installed.

Once the subfloor is prepared and you’ve laid down the right underlayment, it’s time to start installing. Take the measurements of the room and plan out how to lay the flooring. The first row should be where you begin, and start by trimming the edges of the plank that touches the wall. Remember to leave an expansion gap between the first row and the wall. When laying additional rows, remember to stagger the laminate planks so that the seams don’t line up between the adjacent rows. Check out the common mistakes to avoid when laying laminate flooring to help you get the best results.

Floating Luxury Vinyl Tiles/Planks (LVT/LVP)

Floating Luxury vinyl comes in so many different colors, patterns, and designs to choose from. It also comes in different shapes, like tiles and planks. Like floating laminate flooring, floating luxury vinyl flooring requires no adhesives to bond to the subfloors. The planks/tiles snap together end-to-end and edge-to-edge and are held down by the overall weight of the floor.

Like other types of floating floors, preparation of the subfloor is essential to get the best results. The subfloor should be smooth, level, and properly cleaned and vacuumed to remove dirt and debris. Once this is done, lay down the right underlayment if necessary. Some brands come with a layer or underlayment adhered to the plank/tile, which eliminates the need for another underlayment.

Once the preparation is done, plan and lay down the planks/tiles. For vinyl tiles, start by installing them from the center of the room and working your way toward the walls. For the planks, start by laying the first row on the longest visible wall and stagger them correctly. Some essential tools you’ll need when installing vinyl plank flooring include a vinyl flooring cutter, pull bar, tapping blocks, mallet/hammer, and spacers. Check out this vinyl flooring installation kit and the ### vinyl cutter to get started.

Carpet Tiles

If you love carpet flooring and you’re working on a budget, carpet tiles are an inexpensive and easy-to-install alternative you can check out. While traditional carpeting requires tack strips for installation, carpet tiles are installed using an adhesive piece by piece. Carpet tiles come in different colors, thicknesses, and fibers. You can also achieve a custom pattern by combining different tile colors.

Before installation, prepare the surface by removing old flooring, fixing cracks and gaps, and cleaning it to remove dirt, debris, and small particles. After surface preparation, seal the subfloor to avoid water seeping down or up the carpet tiles. Once done, measure and mark the center of the room with the room divided into four quadrants.

Carpet tiles come in two styles, those that need to be glued down or peel-and-stick. With Glue-down, also called full-spread-mastic, you’ll spray or paste the adhesive to the subfloor before installation. When installing the carpet tiles, start in the middle and work your way toward the walls. Using a utility knife, cut the carpet tiles where necessary to accommodate edges, corners, and features like door frames, pipes, and cabinets.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors are renowned for their beauty and durability. However, their price makes them a turn-off for homeowners working on a budget. If you prefer the authenticity of hardwood flooring but at a cheaper cost, engineered hardwood floors are the way to go. Engineered hardwood comes with several layers, with the top being a solid hardwood of your liking mounted to a solid core.

The level of installing engineered hardwood will depend on different. There are those that you’ll need a pneumatic nailer or flooring stapler, there are ones that you’ll glue down, and there are floating engineered flooring where the installation is similar to that of floating laminate or luxury vinyl planks/tiles. If you’re a DIY enthusiast, all these methods will be easy. However, for beginners, floating engineered hardwood flooring is the best way to go.

Before you proceed with the installation, make sure you acclimate the boards. To acclimate engineered hardwood flooring, unpack and leave the planks in the room where they are to be installed. The time of acclimation will depend on the manufacturer. Follow the instructions or recommendations of the manufacturer for acclimation time to get the best results.

Samuel N

Samuel N is the founder of Improve Floor and has been in the flooring industry since 2005. Since then, his mission has been to make flooring easier for everyone. He helps countless people with flooring installation, finishing, maintenance, and repairs each year.