Whether you’re looking at one room or the entire house, replacing your flooring will be one of the most significant and longest lasting decisions you make for your home—if you make it correctly. Unfortunately, many homeowners fall victim to rookie mistakes, which can turn their dream project into a total nightmare.
Here’s a list of the four most common flooring mistakes we’ve seen and how to avoid them (before we have to come in and fix them):
A Material World
Choosing the wrong materials for the project is the number-one blunder homeowners make when deciding to replace their current floors. For example, picking too soft of wood for a home with lots of children and animals (who will inevitably push your floor’s durability to the limit) may mean replacing or refinishing the floors in a matter of years instead of decades.
Another big no-no is choosing a material or color that doesn’t mesh with the home’s other design elements, such as cabinets, fixtures or wall colors. For example, laying solid-color tile in a home with more of a “farmhouse” style. Many a whole-house remodel has begun as the result of a mismatched flooring choice.
Also, although the flooring industry is constantly innovating, sometimes it can be a mistake to go too trendy too soon. Yes, poured concrete is “in” right now, but how will it look to prospective buyers when you go to sell your home in ten years?
Remember, once upon a time paisley wallpaper and shag carpet was all the rage. Today’s fashion may be tomorrow’s faux pas. When dealing with an element as ubiquitous as flooring, it’s always best to stick with timelessness over trendiness.
Penny Wise, Dollar Foolish
Unless you plan to update your floors every few years, looking for the cheapest option on the market is usually not a very good idea either. Yes, your local big-box store sells peel-and-stick vinyl tiles for less than a buck apiece. No, no one will ever mistake it for real marble.
Speaking of updating, all the time you’ll spend chipping the cheap stuff up one square inch at a time after you decide to replace it will more than make up for any initial savings.
The first step in any flooring project is to establish a realistic budget. Cheap supplies—and even worse, “discount” installers—can leave you with more of a mess than you started with. Figure out what’s the most you can afford (and take into consideration how it’ll increase the value of your home), then find materials, supplies and a reputable installer that can all fit within your budget.
Beware of anyone who tells you to skimp on supplies, such as the proper underlay or membrane. Not only will the floor feel chintzy, underlayments dampen noise and insulate temperatures between floors.
Also, you wouldn’t hire an amateur electrician to rewire your home, or an unlicensed plumber to reroute a sewage drain. Be sure to choose a certified flooring professional to ensure your floors are installed up to code, using the latest technologies for maximum longevity.
All Good Things for Those Who Wait
If there’s one virtue absolutely necessary for remodeling projects, it’s patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your kitchen, living room, bedroom or bathroom floor won’t be either.
Once a floor is demoed (contractor-speak for “demolished,” meaning the old floor is completely removed and all debris cleared away), it still may take anywhere from two to four workdays to lay a wood panel floor and even more for a tile floor.
Even once the floor appears finished, it still takes time to let glue dry, grout to set, and the overall floor to settle into place before it’s safe to walk on without risk of damage.
You should expect to allow at least one workweek to completely refloor a medium- to large-sized room, and that’s assuming everything goes right. If your installer discovers hidden problems, such as a rotted subfloor, uneven joists, or any number of other issues you can’t see until work gets started, you can be sure to expect delays.
Keep this in mind as well when you’re drafting your budget. The last thing you want is to have to stop construction in the middle of a project so you can save up for unexpected repair work.
D-I-You’re Kidding, Right?
Unless you’ve installed floors professionally before, the “D” in “DIY” might end up standing for “damage.” Flooring is an art as well as a craft, and it takes years of experience to do it right.
The Internet is full of DIY disaster stories, where homeowners’ attempts to save a few bucks resulted in sometimes thousands of dollars’ worth of destruction to their homes.
Before you make the same mistake, call or email Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers today for a free consultation. We know you only want the best in flooring. That’s why it’s important to hire the best in the business, and at Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, we can guarantee you that’s us.
Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers have been flooring and remodeling Kentuckiana for over 30 years. Our certified installers have the ingenuity and know-how to assist you in choosing the perfect floors for your home. Don’t take matters into your own hands—let us guide your next project.