The best way for a homeowner to get the most from their flooring selection process is to prepare before shopping and to be sure to work with a reputable retailer. Simple 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, how well it performs, and cost.
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. For example:
- Furniture—if you have casters on chairs they can mar or dent a wood floor, ruining the elegant look of the floor.
- Big animals—larger pets may scratch wood flooring – different species and colors of wood will hide scratches better.
- Cleaning & maintenance—one of the single most important things you can do to ensure your floor will look newer longer; select flooring that is easy to clean and maintain.
- Fibers—certain carpet fibers will show footprints and vacuum marks.
- Pad quality— the type of pad you choose may 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 install, as you need to allow the floor to oxidize.
- Sound quality: Did you know sound-deadening qualities can be added to any type of floor?
To help your flooring professional, it’s important to have correct dimensions of the room(s) 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 a pre-installation and a post-installation checklist. Following are general guidelines that should be followed prior to the installation of your new flooring.
Pre-Installation Checklist: Making It Clean & Easy
- Remove old flooring prior to the arrival of the installation crew (most stores can do this for you).
- Complete painting before your new flooring arrives.
- Empty rooms and closets that will be resurfaced prior to the arrival of the installation crew (most stores will move furniture 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 (most stores will move for you).
- Installers will need access to a location to store and cut flooring materials (most often this is the area of your new flooring).
- Installers will 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. 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.
Post-Installation Checklist: Know What To Expect
- Homeowners should thoroughly inspect the flooring once the installation has been completed—identify concerns immediately— be sure to have your installer tell you what things to look for.
- 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 re-covered.
- 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 if you or 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,” says Burkeland.