Whether you are just looking to update your home, or you are a new homeowner, you may be looking at new flooring options. Most flooring installation projects can be done as a DIY project, but some may require a professional, and making the right choice can save you a lot of time and money. First determining how the flooring will be installed depends on several factors. Type of material, size of space, the primary use of space, are some determining factors. You will also make to make sure the type of flooring you are installing will match your furniture, walls, and décor, and that you will not change your mind later. Whether you are interested in hardwood flooring, laminate flooring, vinyl flooring, tile flooring, or carpet flooring, you’ll need to take your time to explore product catalogs of different manufacturers and talk to a Flooring Professional near you to help you narrow down your options, but we have got you covered!
Now that you have decided what flooring material you are planning to install, you will need to decide whether you are going to do the work yourself or hire a pro. Generally, this is a 10 step overview of what the job will look like, whether or not you do it yourself:
- You will need to have an exact measure of the space, using either a tape measure or laser measuring device.
- Regarding square footage needed, you will need to add a percentage to accommodate for any mistakes, broken planks, or loss.
- The existing flooring will need to be removed, which can be quite difficult if you do not have the correct tools.
- You will likely need the special tools to cut down the tiles to the appropriate size and prepare for installation.
- If you are not floating your floors, some form of padding or underlayment will be required for soundproof cushioning and protection.
- Spacers between the floor and planks will help keep the first row away from the walls to accommodate for any expansion that occurs when the flooring settles.
- Stapling the boards with a nail gun is required for some projects.
- Tapping planks for tiles into place ensures that there are no gaps in the flooring and that it is aligned properly.
- The perimeter will need to be sealed using sealant around the room the make sure everything is in place and secure.
- Finally, baseboards will need to be installed to hide the gap between the floor and wall, and also seal the flooring.
Now that you have a good idea of what the flooring installation process entails, you can decide whether it is something you want to do for yourself or if you want to hire a professional. To help you with your decision-making process, we have outlined the pros and cons of hiring a professional vs doing it yourself.
Hiring a Flooring Professional
Because flooring contractors do this type of work nearly every day, they can complete the job within a day or two. You can schedule the installation process around a timeframe that works for you, and count on it being completed within a specific timeframe. Also, the cost of the flooring, the design process, installation, removing of the old floor, and clean-up will all be wrapped up into one, exact price. If you are unsure of what type of flooring you want, or what would be suitable for the space you are renovating, a flooring professional will be able to make recommendations for you. Most contractors will also be able to provide a guarantee of their work, meaning that if the job doesn’t meet your expectations or was installed incorrectly, they will come back and repair the issue at no additional charge. The best part is this means no effort on your part, and they will check for issues that a “DIYer” may not know to check for, such as subfloor issues. One of the main drawbacks of hiring a professional is the total cost of the project. A professional contractor can charge up to three times the cost of materials. The cost of the flooring itself is only a portion of the total cost of the project, so consider who you are working with. Another drawback is the need to be flexible to the contractor’s schedule. If you want to work with a particular contractor, there may be a waiting list or may require you to put your weekend plans on hold.
Doing It Yourself
For most “DIYers”, choosing to do it yourself often comes down to cost. Since a large portion of the total cost of hiring a flooring professional comes down to labor, doing the job yourself will save you money if done correctly. Also, you are not working around any else’s schedule. You can schedule to work on the project on your own time and take your time doing it. If need be, you can always hire help towards the end of the project if you run into small issues. However, this is one of the largest drawbacks. If for some reason you do the job incorrectly or make a mistake, you will need to hire a professional to come in and fix it. Also, doing the job yourself will potentially take longer than expected. Especially if this is your first time doing a flooring project or your first time working with a particular material, it could take you three to four times as long. With a “DIY” project, there is very little room for error. Tile flooring and certain types of wood flooring can be more difficult to install than others. When installing flooring yourself, you will also need to be prepared to remove the old flooring and everything that comes with it. Flooring contractors will remove any old flooring material and underlayment and dispose of it properly. You should be prepared to haul the material you have removed on a truck and take it to a nearby dump or dumpster, and take care of all of the cleanup duties associated. Most types of flooring require reshaping and cutting some pieces of flooring to fit. If you do not already own these tools and specialty saws, you will need to rent or buy them.
Installing new flooring can totally transform a living space, however, its beauty and functionality depend on whether or not the installation was done properly. Whether it is a major renovation or a smaller project to update a hallway or room, it is important to always consider the pros and cons of starting a DIY project. Be sure to give yourself time, do your research, be prepared, and start small. Remember, Flooring Professionals is always here to help!