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New Floors Can Be DIY Friendly

By Michael Hilton

Upgrading your home's old floors by installing new carpets, new floor tiles, or new hardwood can be a wonderful way to make your home more comfortable and enjoyable to live in.

DIY Floors: Think It Through First

Rather than hiring a professional contractor to do the work for you, you may have already decided to tackle these types of home improvements yourself. But before you begin, you need to assess what skills are needed to complete the project, what tools are used to do the work, and how much time you have to finish the job. While successfully installing a new floor yourself can feel very rewarding, realizing too late that you bit off more than you can chew might be downright depressing!

Installing Floors: 5 Things to Consider Before You Start

  • Think Big, Start Small. Before committing yourself to a large project, practice your skills on a smaller scale first. For example, if you have never set floor tiles before, begin with a small bathroom or mud-room project before attempting to tile a large living room.
  • Rent, Don't Purchase. Many flooring installations require specialized tools like wet saws, carpet stretchers, or drum sanders, and these types of tools can be expensive, especially if you are only going to use them a few times. A better option is to visit your local tool rental store, and see what tools are available for rent.
  • Be realistic about your available time. If you are going to install your new floors yourself, make sure you have the time to complete the project. While some simple floor installations can be accomplished in a weekend, other projects can take an entire week or more.
  • Choose the right material. If you have never installed wood flooring before, you may want to choose a pre-finished hardwood flooring or a click-together laminate flooring, as opposed to a wood plank floor which needs to be pegged, sanded, and then finished.
  • Mistakes happen. When installing a new floor yourself, there is probably no harm in mistakenly cutting a single wood board too short, or possibly cracking a tile when attempting to cut it, but imagine incorrectly cutting the entire 20-yard roll of new wool carpeting! Mistakes happen; just make sure that they are not costly mistakes that derail your whole project.

It is important to consider all aspects of a flooring project before jumping in and doing the work yourself. Remember, as your skills improve, so can the difficulty of the home improvements that you choose to do yourself. If the project appears to be more than you can handle, be safe and hire a professional to do the work for you.

Sources

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

Other Helpful Links

Installing New Carpet: Seven Tips for Success
DIY vs. Pro Carpet Installation
Tips for Installing Carpet Tiles
4 Common Carpet Installation Concerns
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