Flooring Installation Guide

Flooring installation requires detailed planning and preparation. And then there is the decision as to who will do the installation, you or a hired professional fitter.

Some types of flooring materials are relatively easy to install and only require some basic tools to get the job done, others are quite difficult and require expertise and costly, "special" flooring tools.

Choosing to do your own flooring installation is a great way to save money...

However, don't take-on a difficult install unless you have the needed expertise to handle it, otherwise the money you save by not hiring a professional may be spent on a ruined floor...

Choosing The Right Floor

Unless you have definite ideas about the flooring you want, making a selection from all that is available today may be harder than you think!

Keep in mind that your flooring is one of the most important features in your home. It pretty much dictates the style and atmosphere you want to project.

When choosing, be sure to consider how it will hold up under the use of the room, the cost to maintain, and the expense of having it installed if you do not have the needed expertise to lay it yourself.

Helpful Flooring Installation Tips

  • ALWAYS choose your flooring material first, including color and style!! This will point you in the right direction of what comes next... 
  • Tile size should be kept in scale: small room, small tiles, large room, large tiles. However, some interesting results have happened when this rule was broken... 
  • Don't make the room too busy.. For instance, patterned flooring material and intricate wall paper would probably not be a good mix! 
  • Patterns and wood boards laid width-wise will make an area look shorter, but wider; laid length-wise it will look longer! 
  • Small rooms will seem smaller and more formal with a bold, geometric design flooring. 
  • Dark, rich tones produce an intimate atmosphere in small rooms, while lighter shades will help it appear larger. 
  • Texture: Glossy surfaces look more sophisticated, while rough surfaces have a more casual, rustic feel.

Do It Yourself

An amateur should have no problems installing any one of the resilient flooring materials. Tile is the most popular form and easiest to install, but sheeting is also available.

Cork, rubber, vinyl, linoleum and leather are resilient floor coverings. All are fairly easy to install except vinyl sheeting. Vinyl is stiff and hard to handle, so you'll probably need a little help with the install.

YOUR assistant, and trusted friend is a detailed flooring installation manual. Your flooring distributorship, book store or library will have the one you need available.

Hiring A Professional

A reputable, skilled installer/fitter will have the expertise to lay a perfect floor. They will have all the "right" tools and will guarantee their work.

Following the guideline below will get you off to a great start with your flooring installation project...

Guide-line

Choose a reputable, professional fitter.

DO NOT hire any company that will NOT guarantee their work in writing!

Obtain three writing bids from three different companies.

Ask each company for customer reference & recommendations. When possible, personally check out the site.

For any kind of heavy flooring material (stone/wood etc) get confirmation that your sub-floor will tolerate the weight, or will it need reinforcement.

With stone, check the material and have your supplier verify that it all came from the same batch.

Self-inspect stone slabs to determine if grain, veining and color will match.

Verify with your distributor that your flooring material is already sealed or if it will need to be before installation.

Be prepared with your specific design or layout, and make sure the installer is willing to work with your ideas.

Expense & Knowledge

Hiring professionals to install your flooring can be expensive. Some charge by the hour, others a flat fee for the project. But there are ways to reduce those costs...

A key factor to a smooth flooring installation is a well-prepared site. Removing old floor covering and/or molding yourself is one way to save on costs. Ask your installer, I know they'll have a list of things you can do yourself to get the site ready that will save you money!

Another thing is to familiarize yourself with what preparation of the site and flooring installation entails for your particular flooring material. It will payoff in the long run... and be helpful when communicating with your installer.

Always remember...knowledge is powerful!

As always, we hope this information proves helpful for you and your flooring project...


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