Installation Flooring Basics

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Proper floor installation prevents new flooring from developing costly problems in the future. If you're installing flooring yourself, be sure to read all of the manufacturer's installation instructions carefully.

Hiring Floor Installation Professionals

If you're even slightly unsure about your ability to install a new floor, hire a professional. Professional floor installation companies offer several advantages:

  • Floor installation goes faster with less material waste.
  • Installation will be completed by an agreed upon deadline.
  • Installers understand the unique properties of flooring materials.
  • Many floor installation companies offer guarantees.
  • Professionals move furniture and dispose of old flooring materials.
  • You're protected by a contract.

The more expensive your flooring, the more you should consider hiring a professional. If you've spent a small fortune on exotic hardwoods or marble tiles, you want to ensure your investment is installed correctly and with a minimum of waste.

General Floor Installation Tips

Some floor installation tips are universal, whether you're planning a hardwood, tile, vinyl or laminate floor.

Calculate how much flooring you need for your project, and then add ten percent. The extra flooring is available if you make any mistakes during floor installation. If you don't use the extra flooring, put it in storage in case you need to make future repairs.

Some flooring needs to be glued down. Only use adhesives recommended by the flooring manufacturer. Use of non-recommended adhesives could void the manufacturer's warranty.

Tile Floor Installation

Tile floor installation requires a clean floor. Before laying tile, remove all debris, including lumps of flooring glue or pieces of previous flooring still attached to the floor.

Any tile floor installation sees some tiles discarded because they break or chip during handling. Ceramic tiles are especially fragile, and expensive to boot, so handle tiles as carefully as possible.

The nature of tiles allows you to do a mock run before actual installation. Lay out the tiles carefully to make sure that all edges are straight and the tiles fit together accurately. Fix any potential problems and then proceed with installation.

Installing Hardwood Floor

Unpack hardwood floor materials in the room where they will be installed. Let the flooring stand for 24 to 72 hours to allow the temperature and moisture of the hardwood floor to match the room. Doing so lowers the risk of hardwood floors warping or rising after installation.

Hardwood floor expands over time. To accommodate this expansion, leave a 1/2-inch gap between the walls and the flooring materials during hardwood floor installation.

Laminate Floor Installation

Like hardwood floor, laminate floor materials need to sit for one to three days to adjust to the room's humidity and temperature. Also like hardwood floor, laminate floor expands over time. Read the manufacturer's floor installation instructions to determine how much space should be left between the flooring and wall edges.

When reapplying kickboards, trim and edging, nail to the wall. Do not nail edging to hardwood or laminate floors.

Need More Help?

If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help.

The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!

Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!

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