Installing new floors is an exciting home project because it can drastically change the vibe of your house. If you want to take on the labor yourself, you need to make sure you have all the right stuff and the skills required to complete the project correctly. Some floor installations are more straightforward than others. Before you begin the process, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Make sure you read the instructions before a hammer hits a single nail. If the flooring product did not come with a guide, go to the manufacturer’s website and get it from there. You can check YouTube videos as well to familiarize yourself with the product.
Buy the right tools
There should be a tool list with the instructions, and you should get all of them. Since you are saving money by doing the floor installation yourself, do not short-change yourself on the tools. You could always rent pricier tools and ask the renter how to operate them properly.
Know the subfloor
Yours will likely be concrete or wood, and there are different methods for installing new floors depending on the type of subfloor you have.
Some floor installation kits are made for DIYers, while others are trickier than they seem. Here is a short guide to the skills needed for each type of flooring project:
Laminate floors can be installed in almost any room over a clean subfloor. These plastic-coated boards can get quite slippery when wet, so it is not ideal to use laminate for laundry rooms or bathrooms. You can install a floating floor system on floors that are flat and in excellent condition. Laminate floor installation with a floating floor system can be DIY-friendly, but doorways can be tricky.
Solid hardwood floor installation must be done over a clean, dry wood subfloor. It should not be placed in laundry rooms, bathrooms, or a below-grade basement. Nailing hardwood floorboards is relatively simple with a nail gun, once you get the hang of it. The hardest part about installing this type of flooring is keeping the rows straight. You can check with the manufacturer and watch online tutorials for tricks to deal with warped boards.
Engineered wood flooring has the same construction as laminate flooring, which means it will not be affected by humidity. You can put it in any room – even below-grade basements. It should not be used in laundry rooms and bathrooms in case of spills or minor flooding. This floor type comes as a nail-down, glue-down, or floating floor system with snap-together edges. A floating floor would be the easiest type of this floor to install.
Ceramic tile can be installed in any room and is a practical choice because it is waterproof. It can feel cold on and hard on the feet though, so it is not the best for kids’ playrooms or bedrooms. Ceramic tile should be installed on a subfloor that is covered with a cement-based tile backer board. Setting ceramic floor flawlessly requires the skill set of an experienced DIYer. Notching tile around obstacles is challenging and laying out the design can be difficult. Planning and following instructions exactly are needed to ensure this installation is done correctly.