DIY or HIO {wood wall}

One of the great things about blogs, pinterest, the internet, etc. is that there is a wealth of information out there about projects that you can do yourself (DIY). And I’ve spent many an hours reading these projects and thinking, heck yes, I can do that. But then….the projects don’t get done. One reason might be that we live really busy lives raising three kids ages 5 and under and don’t always have the time to DIY. Another reason might be that Mr. Suburban Bitch ain’t that handy with tools and really doesn’t want to be bothered with another one of my crazy projects. So I find that either my projects live on a Pinterest board forever or I find someone to hire for the projects. And that brings us to the introduction of a recurring theme that we wil l cover on the blog, do it yourself (DIY) or hire it out (HIO). We are going to take some projects that plenty of people on the internet DIY (but we’re not up for the challenge) and we will hire the job out and compare the cost. The first project that we’ll talk about is the rustic wood wall that is in my living room. Remember this guy:


I have seen a lot of people install walls similar to this in their homes using wood pallets. One example of this can be seen here. The main benefit of doing a wall like this using wood pallets is that the cost is super low. Most of the time you can get pallets for free so there is little to nothing in terms of material costs. But the downside to using pallets is that there is A LOT of prep work that has to be done before the wood can go up on the wall. You have to get nails out of the wood, sand the wood, and then polyurethane the wood and when I read all of that I knew that wood pallets would take too much time for our project.

Then a serendipitous event occurred- I saw a post on Facebook from the builder of my house (Jamestown Builders) that their other company (Everitt and Schilling tile) had a new barnwood tile that they were starting to produce. I immediately contacted E and S tile to find out how much this barnwood tile would cost to see if that might be an option for my wall. And they asked if I wanted to be the first one to have this tile in their house and they could take pictures of the installed wall for their portfolio. Didn’t take me long to answer that one- yes, yes, yes!!! To sell Mr. Suburban Bitch on the idea I really played up that we were going to be the FIRST ONES to have it in our house. And the tiles were super cool. And the tiles were eco-friendly using reclaimed barn wood. And he wouldn’t have to lift a finger to get this project completed. SOLD!

photo (47)Here is a picture of the actual wood tile. When people hear wood tile they have a hard time imagining what I mean. What Everitt and Schillling does to make these tiles (to my knowledge) is they tear down some old barns which are on the verge of falling down. They then take the barn wood and cut it down to size for the tiles, attach the wood to a backing to make the actual tile, and then coat the wood in a protectant coating to seal it. When it comes to installing the tiles, you just have to use a tile adhesive on the wall to attach the tile. No grouting needed, the tiles fit seamlessly together.



The most time consuming part of installing these tiles is making the cuts around windows and walls. A circular saw can do the job of cutting the tiles. And really, after watching the person install the tiles, it looks pretty darn easy. If you’ve got the saw then I think anyone could do the job themselves. In total it took the installer about 5 hours to get the wall finished. As for cost, we spent $1500 on this wall. So when we compare the DIY to HIO, DIY definitely wins in terms of costs. We did get a quote from a trim carpenter on how much it would be to hire him to install reclaimed wood (not tiles, just planks of reclaimed wood). He found reclaimed wood for $5 linear foot (we would have needed 150 linear feet) and labor would have been around $800. So his cost was pretty much the same as what we payed going the wood tile route. But as is always the real trade-off when you consider DIY vs. HIO, your time is money. We got this project knocked out in one day, didn’t have to live with a room being torn apart for long, and best of all, we just watched the experts do their job.


I absolutely love this wall! It is such a unique feature in our house, which is nice because there are at least 4 other houses with the same floor plan in our neighborhood. It brings in a warmth to a room that we spend a lot of time together as a family in. The possibilities for ways to use these tiles are great. Tricia actually has plans to use the tiles as a headboard. Another one of our neighbors put a different style of these tiles up in her dining room after loving the look of them in my house. And another neighbor is using the same tiles as these for a backsplash in a built-in entertainment shelving unit. And yep, we’ll be sharing these projects with you too in the future. What other ideas do you guys have for using these tiles?

*Update- the subscribe functions should now be working. There are two ways to subscribe, 1) Under the subscribe tab at the top of the page, you can click and will be prompted to enter email address to subscribe to Suburban Bitches emails or, 2) if you click on the RSS feed button on the top right of the page then you will be given options for subscribing using your blog reader (note: this function does not seem to be working when using Google Chrome but should work with Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer). Thanks for your patience as Tricia and I discover that technology is far surpassing us!*

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6 Responses to DIY or HIO {wood wall}

  1. Diana Morrow says:

    Great post today! And really lovely wall.

  2. Ali says:

    Hi! I’m new to your blog (love it!) and I’m wondering where your couch is from?!

    • Erin says:

      Hi Ali! Glad to have you here!! The couch is a Sam Moore couch, the M series. I ordered it from a local furniture store and totally got to customize the pieces. Sam Moore is a moderately priced furniture company that most stores carry.

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