Floor Installation Professional To Do's
When it comes to doing the job in a professional manner, all flooring installs have factors in common that
make all the difference. Some are necessary for completion and some not. This holds for solid
wood flooring, engineered floors and surfaces to be tiled. These factors will help get high-end results, and
with minimal inconvenience - since the flooring most always has to be available for traffic.
Caulking is a detail which is an easy oversight. In the bath, areas like at the tub floor juncture
get caulked for moisture control. Failing to put a bead here could be letting in moisture and water and this
is a common point of entry - the spillover and moisture weaken the bond between the floor material and the
substrate, possibly causing the floor material itself to deform. If this goes uncorrected it can enter the subfloor
and joists and trap moisture.
Where the toilet joins the floor should also be caulked to create a seal. Note that when many flooring materials
such as wood or vinyl are given a chance to deform, they almost always do not return to their original level
state, seeming to act with a 'memory'. Although some engineered flooring surfaces show better performance against moisture
over the hardwood slats. Likewise, tiles can lift and, these need to be reset, but here the replaced grout will rarely serve
as a decent match even when the same original grout is tooled on at a later date.
Anything that is routed through the floor and on to another room should be considered, all lines and plumbing.
Even phone chords can be routed though the floor from one room to the next, particularly on older structures having plastered walls.
Toilets should be pulled in baths in order that the slats, tiles or other layer be run continuously for a neat clean appearance.
A new wax ring installed, and for this, make certain that it is of right thickness and dimension - too thin of a ring,
and unwanted seepage will result, possibly even to a ceiling area below.
Baseboard & Trim
Plan ahead for the finishing of areas after the floor is put in. Like corner-round molding to bridge the gap between
the new flooring material and the baseboard. If the baseboard is installed before the flooring, these may need to be touched up afterward.
If they are a natural stained finished, attempt to use the same wood as for the floor such as oak, maple, pine or whichever,
and with a similar match for staining (along with any shoe mould or quarter round that should preferably match other woodwork).
About the only disadvantage of quarter round is that it has a tendency to barely close-in on the usable floor-space,
though it can appear out of place on some of the taller bases. The entire room square footage should be taken into account
when considering the round, along with how level or uneven the floor actually rests, since the primary purpose of the mould
is to close the unsightly gap to form a 'solid appearance' while also helping by design to keep the base configuration clean.
The upper base crack is typically caulked before repainting though this can involve the wall finish too.
Consider if the total floor height is being raised, or possibly even lowered.
Usually it will be raised, if at all. If the door casings cannot be sawed beforehand,
to meet the new level, they will have to be pulled, and re-installed. If the floor
is being lowered, reconsider if you are willing to live with the resulting gap left
between the jambs and the new floor surface. Caulking this is not always the
answer, since caulking does not settle flat but rather concavely.
Also, if the floor height is being lifted, there might be a call for door cuts
so that the doors can swing over the newly established level.
All furniture and other obstructions will have to go. There should be a place reserved for them, not too far away,
until completion and dry times are over. Never
attempt to move objects for which you are unsure about their
weight or stability or if there is any doubt. A number of easy lifting devices on the market advertise ease of
transport, but these don't always work - so if you have decided on using one it might be wise to first test it out
before any scheduling of flooring. Another promoted technique to help moving efforts is the suggestion of merely
cleaning the floor with window cleaner (laminates) which is usually nothing more than a credibility gaining tactic
claimed by service personnel, with little or no difference in the transferability of heavy objects such as the washing
machine, kitchen fridge, or other heavy piece of furniture. Again, if interested it might be best to do a test trial.
: Generally a fact unknown to most homeowners, is that some underwriters DO NOT include moving as part
of their contractors liability policies now. Therefore it might be prudent to verify coverage if someone else is
doing the work. While of course checking your own policy regardless.
While all points above are not always clear prior to starting, by addressing them, the new floor should be more
readily available and with a better finished, serviceable result.