Floors are a great way to add style, value, and warmth to any home. But installing new flooring is a project that requires skill and experience. Whether you’re working on a DIY project or hiring a professional, as it pays to know what goes into the process and how much it will cost.
Measure Your Space
If you’re planning to install hardwood, tile or laminate flooring in your home, you need to know the measurements for the room. This includes the length and width of the rooms, any doorways and windows that are fixed, and any other features you want to account for.
One of the most common ways to measure a space is by drawing out a floor plan and writing down the measurements on the drawing. You can also use a measuring tape or a laser distance measure to get the dimensions of your space.
For non-square or irregularly shaped rooms, you may need to use a different approach. To do this, divide the room into squares or rectangles and take measurements for each section. Once you’ve got the square footage for each section, add them up to calculate the total room area.
A good underlayment is critical for any floor installation. It provides a cushion and helps to reduce the movement of hardwood floors. It also offers superior protection against moisture, temperature fluctuations, and noise.
The right underlayment can help extend the lifespan of your flooring system, which can save you money on repairs or refinishing. It can also protect your flooring from damage caused by constant foot traffic.
Underlayment options include felt, foam, and cork. Each material has its own specific benefits for your flooring installation, so be sure to read the product description carefully.
Choosing the right underlayment depends on the type of hardwood flooring you’re installing and the needs of the room. For instance, softer wood species like black walnut or white oak benefit from cork or rubber underlayment. Harder hardwood species like hickory or maple work better with foam or rubber underlayment.
Cut Your Planks
Whether you’re installing vinyl, tile, or another hard surface flooring product, you will need to cut your planks to match the specific dimensions of your room. There are two basic ways to cut your planks: scoring and snapping or cutting lengthwise with a utility knife guided by a straightedge.
First, measure and mark your cutting line on the top of the plank you’ll be cutting. A framing square works well for this purpose, but a speed square or try square will also work.
Next, position the framing square perpendicular to the edge of the plank you’ll be cutting. Hold the square level to the floor so the horizontal side is parallel with your chalk or pencil mark.
Make sure to double check your measurements so that you don’t accidentally cut off more than necessary. If the plank you’re cutting is too short, your first row will look a little crooked and won’t run in a straight line across the room.
Install Your Transition
When installing vinyl plank flooring, it is important to install a transition strip to ensure that the two surfaces are both level. A strip can also help reduce sound transfer between the floors and protect against noise-causing expansion in the floor.
When it comes to flooring, there are several types of transition strips available. Some are designed to match the flooring material, while others are more decorative.
These types of transitions can help bring sections of your home together in an eye-catching way. For example, if you have natural wood flooring and tile in a room, installing an accent border of the same color or material helps merge the two spaces into one visually appealing area.
A transition strip can also bridge the difference between two uneven floors, which can prevent people from tripping or stumbling while walking over them. This can be particularly important for a home with children or pets, as they may not be aware of the differences in floor thickness and firmness measurements.