A flooring project can leave you feeling flustered. That is because installing flooring is not a job for the uninitiated Do It Yourself warrior. Regardless of what type of flooring you want to install yourself, you shouldn’t do any unless you have the aptitude and skills. Yet, by doing some research online, watching videos, and hopefully getting a helping hand, a self-installed floor can look good enough to eat off and save you money too.
What Flooring Can I Do Myself?
Research is absolutely non-negotiable when installing flooring for the first time. This is true even if you consider yourself quite handy. Research can teach you how to use tools and how to install different surfaces. The trick with research is not just to watch the professionals do a fantastic job, but also to look out for the jobs that didn’t go well. Therein is real knowledge of flooring installation. Learn from other people’s DIY flooring mistakes, and find out how they were able to fix their mistakes.
The professional videos will never reveal what went wrong behind the scenes. Another benefit of finding DIY flooring project videos is that you keep them on your phone or tablet. While working you can refer back to the video again and again, and again. It’s the same theory as the carpenter’s principle of measure twice, cut once.
Having the right tools helps the job move quicker. Not to mention, they can also save you money. Using the wrong tool or a makeshift tool could lead to flooring breakages in the hands of an inexperienced floorer. Although tile cutting and carpet cutting look simple, they can be challenging without the right equipment. Remember to include any tools you may need to buy in the flooring budget. Just as important as having the right tool at hand, so are the cleaning materials.
Laying tongue and groove (click) laminated flooring is one thing. However, cutting tiles and then laying them with spacers in between, is another. Understand what you know you can do and what you can’t. Always remember that the professionals make it look easier than it is. There are definite skills and tricks to learn when using different types of saws and cutters. Buying a little extra flooring to practice on first could save you from making costly mistakes down the line.
Tolerance and Error Margins
Some materials by their very nature, like wood, will forgive slight mismeasurement and can be persuaded to come together with skill and force. This forgiveness is called tolerance. Some materials can be out of square by one or two millimeters and it won’t really matter if you know how to compensate for it. The big issue to understand is the margin for error. When it comes to flooring, there is typically no room for error. Particularly when it needs to be laid in straight lines. Bigger projects face the threat of potential problems such as humidity and heat. Humidity and heat can warp materials waiting to be installed near the end of a big flooring project. Therefore, you will want to practice first and then assess your skillset.
Flooring Project 101
It is a good idea for inexperienced flooring installers to start with a smaller room. Start with the bathroom or kitchen, and a less expensive material such as vinyl. Laying carpet tiles will also give you a sense of what to do with ceramic tiles, although this doesn’t involve using spacers. The next step up would then be to try installing click-together (tongue and groove) laminated flooring. Parquet and hardwood flooring might be better left to the professionals. If you feel bold enough to lay tiles, start with plain tiles and an easier section like a passage or bathroom.
Risk and Reward
This article alludes to just the tip of the flooring-laying iceberg. If you have any doubts, spend the money only once and call the professionals. Then, watch and learn. When you let professionals take care of the flooring installation, you can rest easy knowing your new flooring will be installed to meet the highest standards in the industry.
The Omaha flooring installation experts at Carpet Land can help. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!
Additional Reading: Flooring Trends (HGTV)
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