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    The steps to take when renovating floors

    Transform the look of your home with these simple steps to renovating your floors.

    Alex | Oneflare

    There are a lot of big and small housing projects that can make a significant impact on how a home feels. One of those projects that are commonly tackled is getting new floors. When you start thinking about getting new floors for your house, there are a lot of decisions to make. Do you want tile or hardwood? Should you pick Berber or plush carpeting?

    Once you’ve figured out what kind of floor you want there are more decisions to be made like, who is going to install the floor and how long will it take? If you need a guide for some of the steps to take when you’re planning to remodel your floors keep reading.

    Don’t be overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. Taking each step at a time is all you need to do to prepare yourself and your home for the new flooring that is going to take your house to a new level.

    1. Get prepared

    When you’re ready to jump into getting a new floor, the first thing you will need to do is have your floored measured. You can do this yourself for a rough estimate while you shop for the floor treatments you prefer, but it is important to have a professional come out to your home and measure before an order is placed. You don’t want to be stuck without enough carpet or tile!

    Once all your supplies are in stock, go ahead and schedule an installation date. Before your installers come, have a plan to move furniture out of the way so they can quickly get your new floor put in. If you are having multiple rooms of flooring put in, you may have to move your furniture in stages.

    It may seem like a lot of work to move all your furniture but rearranging it around your home is easier than renting a storage unit. You can check if your installers are able to move your furniture but be aware that may be an extra fee if you opt not to do it yourself.

    You will also want to make sure you have a clear path ready for the installers to bring in all the materials. If you’ve blocked off your entryway with your couch and coffee table, they won’t be able to easily maneuver their way in with a huge roll of carpet. You may also need to take fragile items off your walls since the hammering may disrupt them or cause them to fall.

    Another thing to plan before your installation process begins is, having a waste removal plan. It may be that your installers will take your old carpeting and carpet pad, but it is certainly good to have an expectation of what will happen. If you are responsible for hiring a skip bin, be sure to schedule it’s delivery early, so you don’t stall the installation timeline.

    2. Seal off and protect

    If you are having a hardwood floor installed, sealing off rooms that aren’t getting flooring is especially important. Any flooring project is going to kick up some dust and debris, but the process for hardwood flooring can be very messy, especially when sanding is necessary which it often is.

    You will want to try to keep the dust in your home to a minimum if possible, and the best ways to do that are to seal rooms off completely. If you will need to access rooms during the flooring process, then the next best thing is to use zippered plastic seals, so that rooms can be closed off as much as possible.

    It is important to remove doors that go between areas where new flooring will go. Keep track of all the hinge pieces in labelled bags so the doors will reinstall easily and you won’t find a hinge pin has gone missing. Storing the doors out of the way will help prevent them from being damaged.

    Don’t forget to seal air vents as well, especially since the dust can damage your HVAC system. Dust also be transported around your home and cause respiratory issues. If you need to run the air conditioning or heat during your installation, use fibreglass sheets to help keep the dust at bay while still allowing airflow.

    You may want to get an air purifier to help cut down on the dust in the air and help you breathe better while you get a new floor. Be sure to protect the floors that will not be remodelled, so they aren’t damaged by heavy equipment and your installer’s boots. Old carpeting, thick towels or plastic pads are great options to keep your other floors looking great.

    3. Check your subfloor

    You may not give much thought to your subfloor, the plywood surface that your new floor will rest on, but you should. If your subfloor is rotten or has cracks or dips, it should be replaced or fixed so that your floor looks it’s very best. The subfloor can also be the cause for those squeaks you hear, so this is a great time to update it if needed!

    Since your subfloor is the foundation of your new floor, you want it to be at it’s best. Have your flooring experts include a new subfloor in your estimate so all the work can be done at once. Another option involves replacing them yourselves before the installation. You want your subfloor to be stable and even for the best installation possible.

    If when your old flooring is removed there are excess nails or staples in the subfloor a professional installer will have a plan in place and know what to do to remove them so that your new floor will look great on even, and good quality subfloor.

    Room undergoing renovation with dusty wooden floors and guttered walls.
    Create a flat and even subfloor for your new flooring. / Source: The Trady Lady

    4. Get the floor installed

    Laying carpet is an entirely different process than installing a hardwood floor. The next step is to make sure the floor installation is correct. Hiring a professional to put your new floor in place is the best indicator that you’re on the right track to a great new floor. Still, even professionals can make mistakes, so be sure to look over their work before they leave.

    Installing carpeting can go quickly; in many cases, it will be a one day process that is completed in a matter of hours. Hardwood floors can take up to a week to be completed depending on the size of the area you are putting the wooden floor in. Hardwood floors have specific aftercare instructions that should be followed.

    Once your hardwood floors are in place, you can walk on them in about 6 hours with socks on. It is best to wait at least 24 hours before walking on new hardwood floors with shoes on and waiting a minimum of 48 hours before you move your furniture back into place. These rules may seem inconvenient but follow them if you want your investment to last without damage.

    With proper care and maintenance, a good hardwood floor’s finish should last a minimum of 10 years. They can last potentially longer by giving the floor time before you begin walking through consistently.

    Large kitchen with timber floors, timber cabinetry, and white benchtops.
    A hardwood timber floor can transform the look of your home / Source: Absolute

    5. Finishing touches


    If you were going to get new baseboards or paint to follow up on your new floor, now is the time to do it. It is always better to put baseboards on after the flooring so the baseboards won’t suffer any damage from flooring installation.

    Mouldings and floor trims:

    Mouldings and trims have the ability to give your flooring materials an ideal fit around the edges. They’re available in various kinds. 

    If you’re planning to cover a gap between your walls and skirting board, you can use quarter-round moulding. End-cap moulding or square-nose moulding is a decorative edging strip used around your metal door tracking and around your walls. It connects two flooring materials that are not of the same type. It’s also used as alternate option to quarter-round moulding.

    If any trim or threshold pieces need to be placed, this is when that will happen as well. There may be some cleanup to do, but once you’ve waited the allotted time, you can move your furniture back into place and enjoy your new floor.

    Coatings (sealants, oils and lacquers):

    To prevent dirt and spills from ruining your wooden floor, you may want to apply a coat of lacquer or oil. With so many choices, choosing the right floor coating can be overwhelming unless you know a bit about its chemical makeup. 

    For example, solvent-borne, polyurethane-based coatings are great for resisting scratches and wear and tear, but these finishes will yellow with time. Oil-modified urethane coatings have a mineral base and will make your floor look beautiful, but they have to be reapplied every few years. Water-borne polyurethanes have an advantage because they’re non-toxic, and they never yellow. They’re also durable and fast-drying, which makes them a superb option for your floor. Epoxy-based coatings have strong chemical compounds that bond together to create an extremely hard, durable finish. If you live with children or elderly family members and you’re worried about safety, you can also opt for an anti-slip coating, which improves floor traction and makes falls less likely to occur. Acrylic and coloured sealant work best on laminate or timber flooring.


    Getting a new floor can be easy when you follow these five steps. Work with your professional flooring experts to get the best possible experience and the floor you’ve always wanted. Whether you pick tile, carpet or another flooring option your experience may vary but these steps are necessary to work for anyone and any flooring project.

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