There’s no question that your floors see more use than any other surface in your home. Given this, the materials and installation quality of your floor unquestionably matter as well. There’s more to installing new flooring than just picking a material that suits your tastes though—just what else does it entail? Let’s take a look at what you can expect before, during, and after your new floor installation.
Before a New Floor Installation
The first step in a flooring installation is to hire a contractor. When potential contractors visit to take measurements and provide a quote, it’s essential to ask questions such as how long the repairs will take, whether they have worked with your desired material and if they have any references or certifications relevant to the job.
Be realistic when accepting the estimated installation time. Consider any delays that might occur and remember that rooms that are to be floored will be completely off-limits until the project is finished. There may also be a period of waiting after the floor has been laid for the adhesive elements to dry.
Every article of furniture and all appliances must be moved out of the room and stored for the duration of the floor installation. If any appliances have been professionally installed, for example, a gas stove in the kitchen, they must be removed and reinstalled with the same level of expertise.
Some floor installers offer the service of moving furniture and appliances for you. This is indeed another good question to ask during your quote.
If your new floor is natural wood, it must also spend time in your home to acclimate before installation. This is an important process as the conditions in a warehouse are different to the temperatures and humidity levels in your home. During this resting time, the wood can adapt to its new environment and will, therefore, fit better and last longer.
During a New Floor Installation
This part of the floor installation process is noisy, dusty, and disruptive. The installer has to cut the materials to fit the layout of the floor, and dust often does no stay in the construction area. Most contractors will have coverings to contain the dust, but they are not 100 percent effective.
If your contractor encounters a problem with the subfloor, the issue will have to be resolved before the floor installation can continue. This is often the case when carpets are being ripped out, and neither the installer or the homeowner has an idea of what subfloor is beneath, or it’s condition.
After a New Floor Installation
When the contractor has finished laying the materials on the floor, they may ask for the room to remain vacant for a short time for the adhesives to dry. This helps to avoid any slippage or displacement. It is also a good idea to find out when it is possible to start cleaning the floor again.
Once the drying process is complete, you will be able to start moving furniture and appliances back into the room. This should be done as lightly as possible to avoid scratches and stains. It is also a good idea to consider the application of rubber or felt pads to the sections of the furniture that come into contact with your newly resurfaced floor. Remember to ensure that all appliances have been refitted correctly so that they are working properly and not a danger.
Maintaining Your New Floors
There will be instructions on the correct maintenance procedures for your new floor included with the materials’ warranty. Here is a brief list of the best ways to prolong the life and beauty of your new floor.
- Carpet: Vacuum regularly with a good quality vacuum cleaner to prevent the build-up of dirt particles. Try to get a professional service in for a thorough cleaning every 12 to 18 months. Never pull at snags; clip them down to the correct height with scissors.
- Laminates: This flooring material is extremely popular because of its easy maintenance and modern beauty. It can fade from sun exposure though, so use blinds to minimize this effect and move carpeting around to help the laminate age evenly. Never apply wax or varnish to laminates and avoid excessive water use while cleaning. Laminate floor cleaners leave a matte finish but cleaning with water is also an option. Harden wax and gum spills with ice and then scrape off with a credit card.
- Vinyl tiles, sheeting, and planks: Never drag heavy furniture across the surface. It is best to slide them around using a canvas sheet or lifting to carry them. Check that the vacuum cleaner you use is appropriate for vinyl flooring. Remove dirt with a soft sponge and warm soapy water.
- Ceramics: Damp-mop a tile floor at least once a week to remove dirt and grit. Use a cleaning product compatible with your tile floor products, whether glazed or unglazed.
- Bamboo: A recent addition to the flooring material market for the eco-conscious, bamboo flooring is easily scratched by grit and sand, so daily vacuuming and sweeping are advised. Choose cleaning products that are non-alkaline and non-wax.
- Rubber: Do not clean for up to 72 hours after installation. This material is very resilient and long-lasting. Regular sweeping and mopping with warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice will maintain its durability.
- Wood: Large quantities of water should never be applied to wood floors. Use a mud-room for wet shoes and boots or leave them outside. Mop up any liquid spills quickly.
After reading this information, you may decide to have the floors redone in your home one at a time to minimize disruptions. Your new floors, once installed, will benefit from having doormats placed at every entrance point and regular TLC cleaning sessions. This will ensure their beauty and your investment last for a very long time.