Studio Flooring (Plus A Home Depot Money Saving Tip)

After my studio flooring setback last week, I was determined to make a new flooring decision by the end of the weekend. The last thing I want is for this project to get held up even more by my indecision.

There are so many ceramic and porcelain tiles that would be beautiful in there, but I just can’t get past the coldness of tile. And by that, I mean that it’s both visually cold (to me) and literally cold to the touch (even here in Texas). It’s fine in a bathroom or laundry room, but in a 20′ x 20′ studio where I’ll be spending quite a bit of my time each day, I just can’t get past it.

So I went with unfinished red oak hardwood flooring, which is currently stacked in the studio where it will have to acclimate for a few days before I can install it.

And I unloaded every bit of that flooring by myself. 😀

It’s the same red oak hardwood flooring that is original to our 1948 house, and it’s the same flooring that I installed in the kitchen, breakfast room and pantry.

But now I have to return this stack of tongue-and-groove OSB subfloor.

That’s not a job I can do myself, so I’ll have to call in reinforcements to help with that.

But I’m just glad to have this decision made. I can’t move forward with things like door casings and cabinets until the flooring is down.

I had originally decided against hardwood flooring because it’s more easily damaged than ceramic or porcelain tile, and if it’s damaged, it’s not as easily replaceable as vinyl tile. And seeing that this is a studio, and I won’t be able to baby these floors like I do the hardwood floors in the rest of the house (yes, that’s a joke 😀 ), I was concerned that they may get damaged and need repair too often.

But I’ve just decided to embrace it for what it is. It’s a studio. I’m sure I’ll drop paint and other products on the floor, and it’ll probably get a few scratches here and there. But I’ll just chalk it up to the creative process and try to be okay with it.

This might also be my opportunity to do a painted wood floor, especially in the back entry, where I’d still love to have a black and white floor. Something similar to this might be nice…

Anyway, while buying this flooring yesterday, I learned something new about making large purchases at Home Depot. While the guy who was helping me got the forklift for my flooring, he sent me over to the desk in the flooring department to pay.

I told the lady that my debit card has a point of sale limit of $1500, which is something that the bank does to protect me from someone stealing my card and immediately draining my account. I generally don’t think anything of it since I don’t regularly spend $1500 at a time. But every once in a while, it sneaks up on me, like when I need to purchase a new laptop, and I forget to contact the bank first to let them know, and my card gets denied and panic sets in before I realize the reason.

So I was going to suggest that we might need to ring it up in two transactions so that I could pay with two separate accounts. But before I could make that suggestion, I heard her say, “Okay, well, let me just throw it into the bedroom and see if that can help you out any.”

I sat there completely confused. Throw it into the bedroom? What the heck is she talking about? Is she going to double check my room dimensions to make sure I’m not purchasing too much? But why would she assume I’m putting the flooring in a bedroom?

I was so confused as I sat there watching her input data into her computer, but I thought, “Well, she seems to be pretty confident in this plan, so I’ll just let this play out and see where it takes us.

After she got all of the data input for my order, she explained to me that when you make large purchases, you should always ask if the person will put it into the bid room….

BID room! 😀

Aaahhh, that makes much more sense. Well, kind of. I’ve been a very loyal Home Depot customer, and have spent countless thousands of dollars there over the last decade. Why am I just now hearing about this bid room?

After a couple of minutes of waiting, a bid appeared on her screen for my order. Long story short, I saved about $300. And that did, in fact, get me just barely under my point of sale limit, even with sales tax.

So I just wanted to pass that along. I have no idea if you need a pro account for that (but that’s easy enough to set up, and it’s doesn’t require opening a credit card), but I do know that it’s something you have to actually request on large orders. But before you can request it, you have to actually know about it. I sure wish I had known about the bid room several years ago!



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  1. This post cracked me up! Thank you for that – AND for the very interesting Home Depot information. I will have to remember that.

  2. Lowe’s has some kind of big savings thing for contractors also. Our home builder has been in business for 20+ years and just found out about while building our home.

  3. Ooooh….I got a horrible idea about your floors. You might just want to ignore this so you don’t think about it. But that flooring pictured above. Could that theoretically be stained like the rest of your house and contrasted with the finish you used on the countertops in the pantry? I know. That sounds tedious and awful to imagine with a zigzag pattern on a floor….but that’s what I thought of when I saw that picture!

    1. Ugh. Now that we are done with our remodeling and all our purchases at HD I find out there is a bedroom.😉

  4. Kristi:

    I smiled when I saw this post. As some one. who was forced to use vinyl planks in my kitchen some years ago, I was not at all happy with the way it wears in heavy duty areas (lot’s of chipped edges from chairs being moved on the floor).

    Your studio seems like it will see of lot of action and I couldn’t help but wonder if you would be happy with vinyl tile in the long run and if a wood floor might be the better choice. So when I saw the wood planks, I felt a bit better for you. I know that it will look great and if a mishap does happen, you can also sand it down a bit.

    I can’t wait to see the finished room and also the progress along the way. I know it will look great!

  5. Kristi, if anyone can install and finish Home Depot red oak, you sure can. The “bedroom” or “bid room” thing may be a Texas accent? It would be in Georgia.

    1. Paint the floors!!!! I did that to my badly damaged hardwood floors and love them. They are a little warmer to look at and feel plus you have so many options with paint.

  6. You can alwats put a tarp on the floor when you are doing a messy project. The hardwood will be beautiful.

    1. LOL…….She doesn’t like to use tarps or any kind of dropcloths !! That is why she made the joke about being careful with her other floors when she has been doing work……….LOL

      1. If you’re opening yourself up for comments on buying oak for the studio floor, I say hoorah and what a good decision. Wood is so much more comfortable when you’re standing on it all day, and normal wear and tear adds to its beauty (IMHO). I love the look of the painted part for the entry way, and you do floor finishes better than anyone I’ve ever encountered. You might even try a floorcloth or two in places to protect the wood, like in front of your desk. I’ll bet you could do the most amazing floorcloths ever! And I’d love to watch you do it/them. And thanks for the ‘bedroom’ tip… never thought that would be an A2D item, but what a nice bonus😜😜

      2. Sorry i haven’t followed long enough to know that. I’ll keep my thoughts to myself in the future. Lol

    2. Have you considered a painted canvas floor cloth as a sort of rug over the wood floor? It would protect the floor and it can be sealed so you can clean it. You can make them yourself with a canvas drop cloth and then any color or pattern you want. And if it gets too messy, you can repaint it.

  7. Krista , I am so glad you went with the hardwood ,as for damaging it ,think of it this way ,I doubt you will do anymore damage then was done over the years since 1948 to your original floors and boy they cleaned up good. I love the black and white entry too. You are going to amaze even yourself on this one!!!

  8. Why not save the OSB for the addition. Just have the contractor use it. Store it in the extra bedroom? You would need to move it in, but less hassle than returning it😐

  9. Tile is very hard on your body when you stand for long periods. It would be a mistake. I think the hardwood will work out.

  10. So . . . I’m thinking that that LVT flooring mismatch was such a happy accident:) The red oak flooring just feels more in line with you & your creative process. Can’t wait to see the finished product and . . . thanks for the ‘bedroom’ tip. Good to know!

  11. Your studio is going to look amazing, no matter what you choose! As an fyi, I had porcelain tile installed in my entire condo 14 years ago and still love it. The coolness feels great when having a hotflash and it is super easy to clean up. Have 4 long haired cats, so lots of barf and furballs. Cleans right up with a baby wipe. As a DIYer I’m always dripping paint and nail polish. If its caught while still wet, baby wipe to the rescue; if its already dry i just use my fingernail to scrape it off.

  12. WHAAAAT!?! A bid room? what is that even? my husband is an electrical contractor so he has a pro account and now we routinely shop at Home Depot since our move 1 1/2 years ago. Never heard this.

  13. I love everything about that Thom Filicia space! Based on some of the comments of the readers, I think it’s good you went without the vinyl. Sounds like it is not durable at all!

  14. Ha! My friend though I was pulling an April Fool when I told her about ‘bidroom.’ Good timing Kristi!

        1. I STILL don’t get it. Who is bidding? Why would HD compete with anyone else for business? So confused. I read the whole thing, but still don’t understand.

          1. From what I gather, it’s just a volume discount for contractors, or others who have a professional account. As the website says “When pros buy more, they save more at The Home Depot. That means real buying power you can use TO WIN MORE BIDS.” (emphasis added) So it’s for when you (a contractor) are putting together a bid on a project. You go with your supply list and Home Depot can give you a volume discount if your total supplies are over $1500 so that you can then submit a more competitive bid to your client.

  15. Well, I have to tell ya, the commenter’s remark that ‘Kristi doesn’t like to use dropcloths…’ sorta threw me. Seriously? For messy projects, I cannot imagine not using one, but then, my firm view of the need for them has been influenced by my over three years in Ecuador.

    I nearly cry to see the carelessness of some trabajadores. (workers) For example, a tile man did a beautiful job putting down tile in an outside laundry area. Then the welder came to install a stairway for access to the roof. He failed to cover the surrounding spaces, including the floor. Sparks burned 25 of those new tiles. So careless. The building owner lived in the States and the property manager was not bothered at all. The welder just shrugged when I asked why he had not taken precautions.

    Workmen (almost exclusively men) do not clean up after themselves during or after a project. They leave that for the householder to do after they depart. That includes professional painters who never use anything on the floor when painting anywhere, inside or outside.

    One man painted my first apartment and paid no heed to where he sloshed paint on the baseboard tile and the ceramic tile floor. He was not perturbed to see me follow him from room to room to wipe up the drips and dots of paint. I chewed up the whole day doing it. He paid no attention to me at all. He was set on his exclusive task: paint and be gone for the day.

    I didn’t know enough Spanish then to request that he cover the floor for the next coat. So, I bought the plastic roll with the blue tape that unfurls to a meter and I attached it to the baseboards. He had never seen it although it is in the paint store for purchase and is not expensive. He was impressed but still managed to fling his roller and decorate the uncovered parts of the floor with specks.

    Apartment number two went much better. The pro who painted this one lived in the U.S. many years. He carefully prepared everything and covered the floors. Meticulous work and follow-through.

    In the midst of a project, does a person really stop and wipe up spills, etc. Or isn’t the goal to just get it done? All this to say, I hope Kristi will preserve the new floor with foresight and action to protect it from needless damage.

    I am done with my rant.

    1. Elaine, my dad was a third generation residential painting and drywall contractor, and he would’ve been appalled at your account. I think that would be unheard of in most areas of the world. My dad had so many drop cloths, and I helped him fold those every day when I was growing up. He always said that protecting everything and cleaning up took more time than the actual painting!

    2. I hired a professional painter to do dark colored paints throughout my last house. I was only home for one day while he worked. I hadn’t seen him use cloths, and thought he just took them up at the end of the day. Boy, was I surprised! he worked so fast, and so neatly…and I never saw him spill a single drop of paint anywhere! He did primer and two coats of a dark, dark red paint, a bright orange, and also yellow, green, and blue. Not one drop out of place! He said that drop cloths slow him down and he is more likely to trip over them! He was worth every penny!


    Assemble your project list. Build your cart in the store. If your total adds up to at $1,500 you probably qualify for a volume discount.
    Get a quote. Talk to a dedicated Pro associate at your local Pro Desk and request a quote to see how much you can save.

    Quotes can be processed by the Pro Desk any time and most requests are priced immediately. Membership in Pro Xtra Loyalty Program is required to receive discounts.
    Get savings now. Leverage your buying power and save big on every job.

  17. Wen I was reading the part about them maybe getting paint on them or getting dinged…my mind went to the beautiful old wood floors in an old school or a factory that gets refurbished.. They leave the dings and all when refinishing and they are gorgeous. You would be giving them character….

  18. I think a plainer floor with painted or stenciled designs – even when it gets worn and scarred up a little bit – would be a more suitable floor than an elaborate vinyl tile design that is very easily damaged. To me, the painted wood gives more old fashioned warehouse vibe, which I’d prefer to chipped up and peeling vinyl planks. The wear on that appears more organic and less like “oops – my plastic floor I spent way too much time cutting on the diagonal is failing.”

  19. Woot Woot! I am thinking you’ll love them more as time goes on. IMHO, by far the best choice. I’ve been hoping you’d come around to the oak!

    I’m looking at your chevron pattern, and thinking that is with stain, because the wood grain it showing through. That would be time consuming, but beautiful, that could match your bleached counters and other stained wood. What ever you do is going to be grand! Can’t wait!

  20. This has nothing to do with your plans or project. I thought I’d just make sure you’re not really meaning you use a debit card. I am really hoping you mean a credit card. One that earns you points, even if you pay it off that night you can earn points. We use our credit card for EVERYTHING, gas, food, groceries, Home Depot, you name it. We just pay it off every single time. Just thought I’d share.

  21. Congrats.
    I just visited several Parade of Homes in Minneapolis, both new and remodel showcases. I saw water based oak floor finishes in several. Supposedly durable but beautiful. It was soft, the grain really showed and was featured versus shine. Also a bonus was dust did not show, even on darker colors. What a perk. It was so lovely.

  22. You probably made a wise choice for you. I don’t think you would have been happy with anything else in the long run. I don’t understand the whole bid room thing -who is bidding? But glad you were offered a discount without even asking! I love it when employees do that! I used to tell seniors to ask me if we have a discount, because we were told not to give it unless they asked! HA! HA! As for the Thom Filicia floor – if you do it, I heard of a tip to get the clean line: You score the line slightly, then the stain will go into the score line, and not bleed into the other section. Now I haven’t tried it, but I think I saw it on This Old House a long time ago. Don’t know if it works with paint, as that is a thicker product.

  23. karen, sorry can’t get it to load site info from home depo. It’s just a way that they can choose to compete on a specific sale. Business are hungry. Even grocery stores will give give you a break on like, kind and quality if they’ve run out of a sale item.

  24. Have you considered using a black & white Indoor/outdoor rug in the entry? It would be flat (easy with Matt’s wheelchair), cleanable, replaceable, and still get your black & white pop!

  25. One other problem with Vinyl groutable floors; I put them in several areas of a rental house (sans grout). The tenant was meticulous about keeping them clean but we found the joints were not waterproof. Ever time she mopped them water seeped between them, eventually soaking and warping the subfloor and pushing up the tiles. We had to remove them, remove and replace the subfloor and start again. I don’t know if the same thing would happen if the joins were grouted but the space between them was small it would be difficult to do much of a job with the grout.
    I have laminate floors in my studio now and rather than drop cloths etc I use a few foam rubber, 2 x 2 jigsaw type mats. They are very nice to stand on, easily cleaned and easy to move around from one workstation to another.

  26. That is VERY interesting – but I’m completely confused! Who makes this bid? There’s alternative sellers or something? Whatever it is, I’m glad you got to save some money!!!

  27. Wood floors are my favorite flooring. All I know is folks buy old wood floors for alot of $$ because they have alot of character. You can buff or refinish the floors eventually if you really want to. I walk around in alot of old factories with wood floors that are scratched and beat up with stains from heavy equipment that was formerly housed there and I think they are awesome. They add to the value to the home. I think they are an excellent choice. I would rather look at a scratched wood floor than holey lino or cracked tile.

  28. Kristi – I did a home tour of a local artist in our area not too long ago. She had beautiful hardwood floors in her studio, but had put locking rubber tiles down over the areas she used most. Something like this:

    Those rubber tiles were covered with paint and dings from the canvases, but her floors were still beautiful underneath. Maybe this could work for you too?

  29. I have just finished an historic home restoration. Under five layers of lino (the bottom layer had a glued on felt layer which sanding got up) was a gorgeous maple floor. BUT, there had been a porch addition that I had to repair with a 5′ by 5′ section that reversed the board direction. To minimize that area, I painted the whole floor. First, I bleached the wood, then whitewashed it, then grided it in 7″ by 7″ light walnut stain squares. It camouflaged the repair. I have received so many compliments on that floor. The home is a 1930’s Arts and Crafts, so this retro look matches perfectly. If I knew how to send a pic I would gladly do so. Shauna in Charleston, 78 and still restoring houses. I am also addicted!

      1. I have some pictures in my phone, but I don’t know how to transfer those to my computer. I am not good with techno stuff. I will try to figure it out. I also painted some arts and craft designs on the portrait floors in most of the other rooms. It’s my ‘signature’ when I work on a restoration.

  30. I love your blog and your tenacity!
    I rehabbed an older house with wood floors that were ready to recover or refinish. I found the most wonderful no VOC product that promises that you will not have to sand your floors again. It is from Belgium and used extensively in commercial and residential applications. If you have the time, look into Rubio Monocoat. It smells like honey and is ready to walk on in hours. No one has to leave because of the odor and fumes – there are none! I can’t wait to redo my floors downstairs this spring as well.

  31. I love real wood floors! I’m trying to figure out what to use for my own floors, and keep going back and forth between real wood, wood-look porcelain, and wood-look luxury vinyl. Will you be able to do a serious mopping of your floors (as in, more than just a damp mop … we’re talking mopping with a bucket of water) to clean it of all the dirt/debris that’s bound to collect in your studio, or will you have to “baby” it with damp-mopping/sweeping? If one can do sloppy wet mopping of hardwood floors, then my own decision for flooring had been made!

    1. So I don’t know if I’d call it “sloppy wet mopping,” but I do use a string mop and a bucket of water with cleaner in it. I wring out the excess water, so it’s not sloppy wet like I see people doing in commercial buildings. But it’s definitely more than damp mopping or simple sweeping. I guess it depends on the type of flooring and how it’s finished. If you have a finished-in-place solid hardwood flooring, then I think you can use a wetter mop. If you use a prefinished hardwood floor where the cracks between the boards wouldn’t be sealed, then you probably would want to use a dryer mop.

  32. Love your use of color on everything! I was wondering if you have heard of Unicorn Spit? I think that it would make a beautiful floor application (you can look at several examples of it used on tables on Pinterest. An example is here at or even with a stencil applied on it like this I think this floor would be very forgiving if paint was spilled on it and would mask dents and dings… just a thought!

  33. What a wonderful tip- the BID room… I thought that the 17k I spent to “just move into” this new home at Home Depot was awesome because they did give a discount but also they did a project loan vs credit. and that is the rate of a home loan!! I wish I’d known on the other cash projects!! But flooring is next and now I do!! Looks beautiful. Excited to see your studio floors when you’re done!!