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From finding the best tools or protective gear to the best hardwood flooring, home improvement projects always take a lot of thought– and sometimes can be costly. That’s especially true if you’re looking for new flooring, but it turns out that buying it at the best time of year just may save you money.
Whether you’re shopping for tile flooring or even debating whether to go for a cost-effective solution like laminate flooring vs bamboo flooring, now retailers are making that experience easier in 2021.
The global pandemic, interestingly enough, is what instigated many of these changes. Whole retailers switched up their displays in stores, and increasing focus has been placed on shopping for flooring online.
While websites, even for home improvement stores like Home Depot and Menards, used to only show what you could buy in-store, now catalogs increasingly reflect seemingly endless inventories, including options for custom orders and far more variety than you’d see in store.
While those capabilities have been around for a while, it was 2020 that ushered in even more tools for customers to search, filter and research the best flooring for their homes with new virtual makeover tools, consultants, and easier ways to find what you’re looking for– reducing the time you spend in-store or going from store to store.
New online search tools for flooring, of course, may save you time– but what about cost? While it’s true that researching online can help you compare shops, it turns out that there’s an even better way to get the best value out of your purchase.
In this guide, I’ll tell you not only the best time of year to buy flooring but also the best time of year to have it professionally installed– plus other tips to make sure you get the best deal possibility– and ensure that your flooring lasts for years to come.
How do I get a discount on flooring?
I’m a frugal shopper– but I also don’t like sacrificing on quality, especially when it comes to home improvement projects– and even more so with flooring. Flooring can be costly, but I also don’t want to opt for something that isn’t a solid investment.
The good news is that you don’t need an overly generous budget for new flooring. If you’re savvy, there are several ways to score a discount on flooring. Here are some of my favorite ways to do just that.
Make it a DIY Project
Installing flooring yourself is one sure way to slash costs- but comes with caveats. First of all, you should have some knowledge of installing flooring– it can be more difficult than you’d imagine, depending on your situation.
Even if you do feel confident, opt for flooring that’s more DIY project friendly, like pre-cut planks with a snap system, vs flooring you have to nail down.
Something like carpet tends to be the least DIY friendly because you have to have the carpet laid down perfectly. While it’s a great option to slash costs on flooring, I’d recommend hiring a professional for more difficult projects.
Nix custom orders
Custom orders, of course, may very well add to the overall cost– but even ordering from what the store has in stock can save you extra fees. That isn’t to say you should buy flooring you aren’t satisfied with just because it’ll cost less– but if there’s a close alternative, you may want to consider.
Comparison shopping and price matching
Instead of settling on the first flooring, you find, consider shopping around. By browsing other stores, you can get a general idea of what the average price for a type of flooring is– and see if you’re getting a fair price.
While far from universally true, some companies may offer a degree of price matching, or be open to some negotiation. Always explore all of these options, especially if the price tag seems high.
Go for last year’s style
Granted, flooring styles do not change swiftly as clothing fashion, but if you do opt for an older style vs new inventory, you may score a better deal. Occasionally, if you’re able to be flexible, you can even buy scraps or ‘leftovers’ if you just want to floor for a small area. You can always ask if they have anything in stock that’s not out on the floor.
Buy and install flooring at the best times
Of course, my final advice to scoring a discount on flooring is knowing the best time to both buy and install flooring. Buying flooring at the best time of the year can slash the initial cost, while having it installed may play a role in how long it’ll last, especially if you live in a more humid climate.
All of these steps can go a long way in reducing your total bill for your new flooring. Even just one of these steps could help you get discounts on everything from carpet to bamboo, wood, and tile floors– leaving you more wiggle room for a project for a new area of your home, or even that painting project you’ve been putting in off.
When is the best time to buy flooring?
You may be aware that there’s the best time to buy everything– from electronics to new furniture to even buying or selling a home. But it’s surprising to many that there are also better times than others to buy new flooring.
While there is no one best time to buy flooring, there are some months– and times specific to different stores– that could have you scoring a discount for the same flooring you’ve had your eyes on. It just takes so much patience, and the ability to plan ahead for your home renovation.
Here are some factors to consider if you’re looking to pay less for flooring.
What month(s) does Flooring go on sale?
Flooring goes on sale typically a few times a year, but one of the best times to score sales are through the months of December through January. During these months, holidays are in full swing, and renovation projects are less common.
Also, much of the inventory in December is end-of-year inventory– with the possibility of stores receiving new flooring options, especially in early spring.
With many focused on budgeting for gift-giving, and, in normal years, travel as well, renovations and flooring projects tend to get placed on the backburner. Because of this, stores may have sales or be more open to price negotiations.
Days to look out for, of course, include Black Thursday, Black Friday, and potentially even Cyber Monday.
What other times of the year can I buy flooring?
Of course, you can buy flooring any time of year and still follow my tips to score a discount and slash the price of the flooring. But you may also want to consider months in between seasons when new flooring is arriving. This transitional period often means scoring deals of flooring inventory from the previous seasons they may be phasing out.
The best practice is to ask the store itself about any upcoming sales or upcoming promotions. Even asking when they’ll be getting in new inventory is a good sign– make sure to shop the month or weeks leading up to that, so you’ll still have access to the inventory they may be trying to sell off.
One potential month is in May. Spring is an especially popular time for home renovations, so if you’ve had your eye on some new flooring from that Spring, it’s likely to cost less right before Summer hits.
Finally, consider individual store discounts– which I will discuss later. Some stores have unique months where they run promotions, either for flooring or for the entire store. Check with your local store before making a flooring purchase.
What is the best time of year to install flooring?
While knowing the best time of year, or even the best month, to buy flooring, can save you money, it’s also important to know that there are better times than others if you want to install it.
The biggest concern is thinking about the best time of year to install hardwood flooring. Even the best wood flooring tends to be susceptible to different conditions, and installing at some times of the year over others may actually help the flooring last longer.
New houses and renovations
The best time of year to buy hardwood flooring, first and foremost, is important if you’re building or working with a newly constructed house. Even if you’re doing a major renovation, you need to keep this in mind. Home plumbing work, or anything involving water, must be completed before installation.
If you live in a humid climate– or even just somewhere that gets humid a few months a year, it’s important to keep in mind that both humidity and ventilation are factors in installing hardwood flooring in particular.
Excess exposure to humidity can cause damage, and may, in extreme cases, cause floorboards to swell or even pull apart. However, at the same time, excessively dry conditions can cause floorboards to shrink or crack.
For these reasons, I recommend having hardwood floors installed at a more temperature time of year, especially if you live in a region with distinct seasons.
Fall and Spring may not be the best time to buy flooring, but if you’re opting for wood flooring, it’s the best time to have it installed. This will more likely provide better conditions at a time when it’s most vulnerable.
That said, there are things that can be done should you decide to– or need to– have the flooring installed at a less than ideal time. For winter installation, I recommend running a humidifier. During summer months, or for year-round warm climates, run a dehumidifier or air conditioner.
Are there any flooring safety considerations I should be aware of?
Even if you’ve scored a great discount by buying flooring at the right time of year, and even had it installed in Spring or Fall to protect your new flooring, there are a few more factors I recommend you consider to make sure this home improvement is a great investment.
One question too few ask is about health and safety– both risks whether you’ve decided to take on a DIY project, and even if you’ve opted to hire a professional. Here’s what you need to know after you score the best deals on flooring.
What flooring is least toxic?
While flooring has come a long way in terms of the quality and safety of the materials used, there still is some flooring that uses adhesives and other materials that are potentially harmful both for your health and for the environment.
You can always query about individual flooring types, but hardwood flooring is generally considered the best option for this concern; natural bamboo flooring may also be a decent choice.
You should also ask what kind of finish the flooring has: ideally you should opt for a low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) finish, as well as an installation method that is considered low VOC. This is especially important for laminate flooring.
What ventilation for installing flooring?
Your second safety concern– and to ensure that your discounted flooring is worth the investment– is simply ensuring that the installation process is a safe one. If you’re doing it yourself, make sure that you have the best protective equipment. If you are cutting planks yourself, ensure that you have the proper tools to do so.
Whether you’re installing the flooring yourself or having it professionally done, ventilation is important, no matter what time of year. Have windows and doors open if at all possible, for fresh air circulating while the flooring is being installed. This is important due to adhesives, stains, and sealants, or other fumes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: You can, in fact, negotiate flooring prices in order to get the best deal for your new flooring– whether you’re doing overall flooring, or flooring for a specific purpose, such as a kitchen renovation. I recommend doing your research first, by comparison, shopping. Take note of other prices and be prepared to show examples.
You’ll want to come across as knowledgeable, but also courteous. Demanding a discount won’t get you far, but coming prepared and explaining your request may get you closer to a discount. You also should consider negotiating when flooring sales are lower– for example, in January– where stores may be more open to negotiating.
Answer: While other flooring options will cost you for professional installation, Home Depot offers free carpet installation. You’ll want to consider other stores, and ask upfront about installation costs not only to determine if a project fits in your budget but also so you understand which store is best to go with.
Final Thoughts & Individual Store Promotions
Whether you’re shopping for the best carpet, or debating on other options, like tile floor options, wooden floors, or even bamboo flooring. There certainly are better times of the year than others to buy flooring and to have it installed.
Keep in mind that if you do go the DIY route, you need to be careful. If not done correctly, especially with wooden flooring, you could actually end up paying more in the long run. Either opt for an easier flooring option or hire a professional if you’re less experienced.
Of course, I wanted to offer one final bit of advice as to where and when to buy the best flooring for your home.
Sold on Home Depot for your next flooring purchase? They offer a few ways to save money throughout the year. The Home Depot Tool Rental may be helpful if you’re taking on DIY flooring but don’t own your own tools.
New home? Most Home Depots will offer a 15 percent discount coupon if you ask. Black Friday often offers discounts on building materials, while they run deals as much as 40 percent off during January through March– plus, they often are willing to price match.
While Lowes has the expected sales during events like Black Friday, they also offer special financing and discounts with a store card. Like Home Depot, Lowes offers price matching, with perks like free store pick up. They also run weekly discounts and promotions, which you find through store flyers, via their website, or through signing up for a MyLowe’s account.
Menards offers several different ways to save not only on flooring but even equipment like power tools, mostly with year-round promotions. One way is their mail-in rebate program– while not commonly applied to flooring, the rebate program pertains to anything that has a rebate distinction on its price tag– just make sure to hold onto your receipt.
Throughout the year, aside from special events like Black Friday, Menards also offers several 11 percent off storewide events. Of course, there’s also the store card, which applies a 2 percent rebate annually, in addition to another 1 percent off when used to pay for gas.
Looking for flooring but want a different option? Check out the Best Home Depot Alternatives in 2021.