Common Flooring Installation Mistakes to Avoid

March 10, 2016
Categories: Blog


When renovating the interior of your home, cost savings and new style are often priorities for families and first time homeowners. Renovation can be very rewarding, but if proper thought and care are not taken before the beginning of a flooring renovation, costly and time-consuming mistakes can occur. Renovate your home like a professional by avoiding these common DIY flooring mistakes and completing your project successfully and within budget!

Improper Sub-flooring Prep

New flooring is only as good as its sub-floor. Installing new flooring on sub-floors that have signs of water damage and disrepair can lead to flooring issues soon after installation, especially in laminate flooring and vinyl flooring. If there any signs of water issues, discuss the best steps to repairing your sub-floor depending on your specific type of sub-floor.

Sub-floors are often either slabs or a wooden material. Determine what preparation is needed for your sub-floor for the type of finished flooring you wish to install.  Tile requires different preparation and sometimes leveling compared to a floating laminate floor.  Contact Xpert Home Services for advice or assistance.   

Choose the Correct Flooring

This may seem straightforward, but choosing the correct flooring for each room can help your floors last through use and style changes. For example, hardwood flooring in a bathroom can be slippery and be prone to accidents. Wood may not be the best choice for the bathroom due to excessive moisture fluctuations. Consider other options such as ceramic tile for better durability and safety. Being happy with your choice years down the road is as important as finishing the install.

Consider how the room is used and the amount of traffic to decide the best flooring alternative to provide comfort and durability.  Personally, I made the mistake of installing cork floors in my living room, dining room and hall.  While I like the color and soundproofing quality; they did not hold up with 3 dogs in the household!  The dog’s nails have marked the softer cork material. Conversely, the tile I installed in the kitchen still looks great, is easy to clean and is nearly indestructible.

Lay Flooring in the Correct Direction

Double check and plan ahead to lay your flooring in the correct direction of your home. Starting your install in the living room horizontally and having to change to vertical installation in the hallway can make the flooring look unprofessional and not flow in the home. Map out your plan for success ahead of time and lay in the same direction throughout the house when possible.

Plan for Baseboard and Thresholds

In order for the finished project to look professional, all the details must be in place.   Before you start your project, examine the baseboard currently in the room.  Will they need to be removed and replaced to complete the job?  Butting the flooring to the existing baseboard is easier but will not give you a professional look.  Wood flooring, for example, also needs room for expansion.  Leaving a gap will not provide a finished look.  Typically, the gap is hidden under the baseboard.

The thresholds are the transitions from room to room.  If your finished flooring is different heights you will need a specialized threshold to make the transition appear seamless.  You will also need a threshold when transitioning from one flooring material to another.  It is best to decide on your baseboard and threshold before you begin the project to get the best results.

Have the Correct Tools

Having the proper tools to get the job completed in a timely manner is essential. Review what tools you will need throughout the entire process and have these on hand. Different installs require different tools. Hardwood flooring depends upon saws, while tile flooring cannot be completed without mortar. Specialized tile saws can be rented and makes a big difference for both time and the results.  Check with our team to ensure you have all the essentials. 

Ready to start your DIY flooring project today? Contact Xpert Home Services if you want assistance with your Outer Banks flooring project.  No job is too big or too small. 

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