Don’t just sit back and wait for the wood floor installers to get there and wreak havoc in your house. Some very simple planning on your part can help avoid the dust, fuss, muss, and damage that wood floor installation can unavoidably cause in your home. Even though your flooring company may assure to take certain safety measures, the more you can do in advance, the better.
The mess linked with wood floor installation can be directly connected to how long the contractor is in your home, and good preparation will make sure that the flooring company is in and out as swiftly as possible. You may even be able to discuss the issue in advance with the contractor, who may have the same opinion to lower the price if you are handling the preparation and possibly even the cleanup. Don’t be afraid to recommend this at the time you are negotiating bids for the job.
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Here are five things you can do to help shorten the wood floor installation process and lessen the mess:
Provide Dust Control
Dust is the main problem in flooring installation, and it is mostly troublesome if the wood flooring will be stained and polished in place. Most floor installers will take minimum arrangements to hold the dust, but their efforts are hardly ever perfect. You can do better: block rooms that will not be sanded, not just by closing the doors but by covering them with plastic sheets held with some masking tape. “Ad hoc” plastic curtains rally round only a little bit, while somewhat like a ZipWall barrier system helps a lot more. But sheets of firmly taped plastic sheeting over heating ducts, doorways, and other openings will avoid airborne dust from going inside the room and settling on fresh varnish coats till they dry.
Remove the Doors
Any floor installer company worth its salt will get rid of the doors from the hinges before they start flooring setup, but they will not necessarily handle the doors well.
Get rid of all doors from their hinges and pile them in a different room, with each door split by a blanket to avoid scratching. Ensure to keep hinge pins in a plastic bag. When the wood floor installation is finished, you may want to do the returning of the doors yourself, so as to steer clear of any possible scratches.
Remove the Baseboards
Depending on the kind of the baseboards in the room, it is typically best to get rid of either the whole baseboard or the shoe moldings that line the bottom of the baseboards. Colonial-style or small ranch baseboards that contain no base shoe moldings more often than not can be removed completely, using a thin pry bars. This will let the installers room to setup the flooring planks as close to the walls as fitted as possible. Some homeowners like to grab this opportunity to setup new baseboards after the flooring has been completed.
If your home has tall, built-up baseboards, its general practice to get rid of the small base shoe moldings that cover the seams stuck between the flooring and baseboard around the perimeter of the room. The shoe moldings can be reprocessed if they are in good shape, although a lot of homeowners basically setup new shoe molding at this time.
Remove the Door Trim
The case moldings and stop moldings on doorways are slightly more problematic than the baseboards. Roughly no flooring installers will get rid of these moldings—instead, they usually cut the bottoms of the moldings to slip the new flooring underneath them. But a better look can be achieved if you get rid of the moldings completely, which let the installers to fit the flooring boards securely around the door frame. The look will be a lot more standardized and polished. Subsequent to the flooring is laid; you can tidy and reinstall the old case moldings, or re-trim the door with brand new moldings. This is serious finish carpentry work, nevertheless.
Prepare the Subfloor
Most flooring installers waste little or no time working on the subfloor unless this was discussed in advance and negotiated as part of the price of setup. If your subfloor is less than ideal—if there are dips or other blemish—you can do some prior work to protect the subfloor and fix any blemishes in it. Your goal should be a subfloor that is entirely flat and even and tightly secured to the floor joints. If the installers arrive at a well-prepared subfloor, the new wood flooring will go in flawless, smooth, and tight.
A number of homeowners may prefer to go so far as to remove the old flooring themselves and lay a completely new subfloor—or at least setup a thin plywood underlayment to smooth over the subfloor. This might be a good thing to discuss with your wood floor installation contractor, since doing this work yourself should earn you a discount.