The best way for a homeowner to get the most from their flooring selection process is to do some homework before shopping. Answering basic questions about how the room will be used, whether it will be a permanent floor covering or a temporary one, whether you have kids or pets and if you require particular textures or colors all can impact the type of flooring you select. When you do go floor shopping, be sure to work with a reputable retailer.
Little Things…Big Impact
Things homeowners need or want in their lives can give a flooring professional the insight they need to provide the best customer service.
- Furniture—if you have casters on chairs they can mar or dent a wood floor, ruining the elegant look of the floor.
- Big animals—pets with toenails can scratch wood flooring – different species and colors of wood will hide scratches better than others.
- Cleaning and maintenance—one of the single most important things you can do to ensure your floor will look newer longer is regular cleaning and maintenance, following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Consider how much time you want to spend cleaning and maintaining your floors.
- Carpet fibers—certain carpet fibers will show foot prints and vacuum marks, other products less so.
- Pad quality— the type of pad you select can lengthen the life of the carpet.
- Area Rugs—rugs can be effective for adding a new dimension in your home; however, you should not put rugs down for at least three months after installing a floor as a floor that needs to oxidize takes three months to do so.
- Did you know sound-deadening qualities could be added to any type of floor? This is done by adding various types of padding under the flooring.
To help your flooring professional, it’s important to have correct dimensions so planning and budgeting can be as accurate as possible. Your ultimate satisfaction starts with a reasonable idea of what you want at the end of the process.
“It’s important to remember that the flooring in a room accounts for as much as 50% of the room’s impact,” says Burkeland, “and, because it can have such a big impact, it’s important to consider these factors before making a flooring selection.”
After You Buy: Preparing Your Home
After you’ve selected your new flooring, it’s important to have a professional installation. To make this installation as smooth as possible, here are pre-installation and post-installation checklists. Below are general guidelines that should be followed prior to the installation of your new flooring.
Pre-Installation Checklist: Making It Clean & Easy
Before you install your flooring, go down the following checklist of items:
- Remove old flooring prior to the arrival of the installation crew. If you need help with removing flooring, most stores can do this for you.
- Complete any painting before your new flooring arrives.
- Empty the rooms and closets that will be resurfaced prior to the arrival of the installation crew, as not all stores will move furniture and items for you.
- Remove and box any valuable items near the area of installation.
- Baseboards and moldings usually can be left in place.
- Remove all hanging objects in the area of installation.
- Disconnect and move electronics, appliances or computers.
- Installers will need access to a location to store and cut flooring materials, so make sure there is a clear area for them to do so.
- Installers will also need access to electrical power in the installation area.
- Cover all cupboards and furniture in the area, if your installation requires sanding or removal.
Be prepared to communicate any preferences you may have in terms of direction of pattern or layout of your flooring to the installers. It’s best to have reviewed these preferences at the time of the purchase. Many of the styles require additional material to achieve the closest match possible to what you envision.
Post-Installation Checklist: Know What To Expect
After your flooring has been installed, note that:
- You should thoroughly inspect the flooring once the installation has been completed—identify any concerns immediately. It is a good idea to have your installer tell you what things to look as soon as the installation is complete.
- Hinged doors may require trimming for proper clearance once your new flooring is installed.
- Some installations may require touch-up to walls, moldings and baseboards.
- Some material waste is to be expected—leftover pieces are most common in irregular shaped rooms or when stairs and halls are recovered.
- All waste pertaining to the installation of your new flooring should be removed by the installation crew.
- Proper ventilation, using fans, should be done for 72 hours after installation of the flooring, if you and your family are sensitive to odors.
“It’s important for homeowners to realize they play a major role in whether they are satisfied with both the process and the final product. If they prepare properly before product selection and installation, there is a great opportunity for the homeowner to be completely satisfied. In addition, homeowners need to choose their store wisely,” reminds Burkeland.