Installing new flooring is an exciting experience for most people. Thus, it is not surprising that hardwood floor refinishing scored a 10 joy score in the National Association of Realtors survey.
Still, most homeowners are not aware of the work that goes into flooring installation.
Starting a flooring installation project is not as simple as handing over all the work to the contractor. You need to make many preparations to ensure your flooring installation goes according to plan. The more prepared you are, the easier it s for installers to do their work.
Preparation also minimizes delays during the project. But what do you need to do to get your home ready for flooring installation?
Below are eight handy flooring tips we believe will help your installation project go smoothly.
1. Consult Your Flooring Installation Contractor
When you work with a professional flooring installation contractor, they know what you need to get your home ready for a new floor. So, do not be afraid to ask your contractor for guidance.
Design consultation is also an important part of pre-installation preparation. Schedule a meeting with your contractor to get their opinion on the color and style of flooring to choose. Your contractor advises you on the best flooring based on your home’s color palette and décor.
Your flooring contractor also considers your budget, lifestyle, and local climate.
After you purchase flooring, ask your installer how best to store it. That way, you avoid damaging your flooring before the installers arrive. Your installer discusses storage options with you. They may also visit your home and give you a comprehensive checklist of what to do before the installation.
Remember to ask your contractor about the project date. Ensure you know the start date for the project and the completion date. With this information, you can plan when to start moving the furniture. You also have time to find alternative accommodation if necessary.
Consult your contractor on any structural changes they may need to make for the installation. It is also good to ask them about their work process. Know your contractor’s working hours. Also, ask them if they have a plan for waste disposal.
It is also important to ask if there are any safety measures you need to put in place before the contractors arrive.
2. Schedule a Site Evaluation
Assess the rooms where you want to install the flooring to determine the best way to do the work. First, you must inspect the subfloor. The condition of the subfloor determines the quality of the flooring installation.
Thus, checking the state of the subfloor is very important
If you install your new floor on an uneven or loose subfloor, the floorboards will be loose and will tend to move when you walk on them. Thus, have your contractor inspect your subfloor and resolve any structural issues it may have.
If you have an uneven subfloor, your installer has to grind down all the high points on the floor. Some installers may suggest increasing the subfloor’s height to match uneven points.
Doing that is not a good idea as you risk creating a more uneven subfloor, and it increases your costs.
If you plan on installing your new flooring on old flooring, secure loose floorboards to avoid a squeaky floor. Subfloor adhesive is also a good solution for securing a loose subfloor.
You need to know how much flooring material you need beforehand.
Thus, you must measure the space to determine the square footage to be covered by the floor. Ensure you measure the floor at least twice to avoid errors.
Sometimes, the flooring type you want may be available in large quantities, or your supplier may no longer sell it.
Thus, if the flooring is not enough, you may be forced to fill any gaps with a different material. You can avoid running out of flooring before finishing the job when you have the right measurements.
3. Make Adjustments for a Change in Floor Height
Your new home flooring may be thicker than your old floor. In that case, the height of your floor increases.
Ensure you make adjustments for the increase in floor height before installation. Otherwise, you may have to make costly structural changes later.
Flooring material like hardwood increases the height of your floors. You may install laminate flooring and vinyl flooring over your old floors.
However, this also means an increase in the thickness of your floors. Thus, you need to adjust the height of your doors so that they open without scraping the floor.
Besides adjusting your floors, you may have to remove your baseboards and trims. You can remove your baseboard yourself using a pry bar. A 5-in-1 utility knife also comes in handy for DIY baseboard removal.
If your baseboards have a round shoe molding at the base, removing it could leave adequate space to accommodate the extra floor height. You also need to remove all molding around the doorways as these are more problematic than baseboards.
Sometimes, it is not necessary to remove the molding. Instead, installers cut the bottom part, leaving enough space to slip flooring material underneath.
If your baseboard or molding is in good condition, you may trim and reinstall it after the installers lay the flooring. Alternatively, add new molding to your doors to give your house a new look.
Carpeting does not change the floor height. Hence you need not make any adjustments for carpet installation.
4. Create a Workspace and Waste Disposal System
Things get messy during construction work. Without proper organization, you will have construction supplies and work tools all over your house. A disorganized work site will also make it difficult for the construction crew to do their job.
Wood planks expand or contract due to temperature and humidity changes. Thus, if you install them on a floor before giving them time to acclimate, you have gaps or warped floorboards.
So you must have a space inside your home to store the wood planks to allow them to acclimate to your home.
Designate a room or hallway in the house as a workspace. Installers can store their tools and supplies in that area. The workspace should also be a place they can cut wood trimmings. Ensure the workspace is near the room the installers will work on.
During installation, the installers need to remove the old flooring material. While installing new floors, installers need to trim the boards and sand them. Thus, there will be a lot of debris created during the installation.
A lot of waste can accumulate on the site if you have not set up a waste disposal system. Some of the waste from flooring installation is recyclable. So, you might want to talk to a waste disposal company near you about sustainable waste disposal options.
Ensure you have garbage bins that can accommodate all the waste produced. If your garbage bins are insufficient, consider renting a dumpster during the project period.
5. Clear The Job Site
When installing new floors, you need to clear the room to give installers an easy time during installation. Clearing the room also protects your property from damage and dust. Remove every piece of furniture from the room.
If you have electric appliances plugged into outlets, take them to another room. Remove all decorations on the walls and your curtains to protect them from dust.
You may need to take apart some furniture pieces to move them outside the room. So it is best to start clearing the room early.
Besides flooring services, some floor installation companies may offer to clear out the room. But, if a contractor charges a per hour rate, such work increases your charges. Therefore, clear out everything you can by yourself to avoid extra costs.
Do not leave anything blocking doorways or pathways when you clear the job site. Also, clean up the space after removing everything to leave the installers a sanitary work area.
6. Protect Your Property
When moving furniture and appliance from one room to another, you risk damaging them if you are not careful. So plan who will move your furniture and appliances, and have a place where you can safely store them.
If you are installing unfinished hardwood floors, the installers must sand them. Sanding produces a lot of dust, and some may become airborne.
Dust may find its way into other rooms in the house through the HVAC. To avoid this, cover your HVAC vents and ceiling fans.
Cover your electrical outlets, light fixtures, and wallpaper with a plastic sheet and seal them with tape to protect them from dust.
Seal all other rooms near the job site to keep the mess from installation contained. Hang plastic coverings on doorways to keep dust from spreading, and seal the windows.
As the installers move around, they may spread dust all over the house with their shoes. Heavy foot traffic may also damage your floors. Cover pathways that the crew frequents with heavy-duty plastic to protect your floors from damage and the rest of the home from dust.
Consider containing the installation area under a wall dust barrier. This barrier contains all the dust and debris from installation in one area. Therefore, you do not need to clean the entire home after flooring installation.
7. Keep Pets and Children Away
Floor installation sites are a safety hazard. That is why installers wear protective gear while working. A bit of flying wood could hit your child or pet in the eye and have you rushing to the emergency room. Inhaling the dust and fumes from chemicals used in the installation is harmful.
You can forbid your children from going near the job site. But, you need to take more stringent measures when it comes to your pets.
Installers will move in and out of the house a lot during the project. If someone leaves the door to the job site open, your pet may wander into the room and make a mess of things. One of the people working in your home could also leave the gate open, and your pet may wander off.
One way to keep your pets from wandering places they shouldn’t is by sealing entry areas into the job site. Leave signs on doors and the gate reminding someone to close the entryway when they pass. You may also seek alternative accommodation for your family during the project.
8. Consider Other Home Improvements
Perhaps your floor installation project is part of a remodeling project for your entire home. In that case, you need to decide whether to do other remodeling tasks during, before, or after the flooring installation.
For instance, if you need to fix your plumbing, it is ideal to do it during a kitchen flooring installation project. The job site will be clear and sealed off from outsiders. Therefore, your plumber can do the work with minimal interference.
It is best to do any interior renovation projects that require the use of a ladder before the flooring installers arrive. After all, you don’t want to scratch your new floors with a ladder. If your house needs a paint job, do it right after installation.
If you paint your house before installation, there is a chance that the dust produced when installing the floor will stain your house. There is also a risk of nicks on the fresh paint as installers move around with tools and supplies.
If you plan on having your house cleaned by a professional cleaning service, do it after flooring installation. Also, ensure that you have a plumber, electrician, and any other technician on standby as the installation work begins. That way, you can do repairs if anything goes wrong during the project.
Start Your Flooring Installation Project Now
Flooring installation is a significant investment. Thus, it is best to partner with a contractor who understands your vision and can meet your expectations.
At Eco Flooring USA, we walk with you to ensure your flooring installation project goes as planned. We offer you handy tips on preparing and ensuring we leave your home in top shape after the project.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help you get the floor of your dreams.