Your home’s flooring is one of the bigger investments you can make to not only improve your living experience, but also increase the resale value of your home. It’s a big decision to upgrade your flooring and one that requires a good understanding of what is involved in flooring replacement.
In this month’s blog, we examine different flooring upgrades, important considerations for this larger undertaking, and ways that each of the flooring changes are prepped prior to installation.
There are a few different ways that most homeowners will commonly upgrade their flooring:
|From this flooring material…||To this flooring material…|
|Carpet||Laminate, hardwood, or tile|
|Tile||Laminate or hardwood|
|Laminate||Hardwood or tile|
|Hardwood||Laminate or tile|
|Laminate, tile, or hardwood||Carpet (not as often)|
In most of the flooring upgrades, it is important to get to the subfloor of your home. Subfloor is the original flooring on the foundation of your home – typically concrete or plywood. If you have a basement, the subfloor will be concrete and of course, any levels above the first floor are going to be plywood.
There can be instances where the subfloor is previous flooring that may have been installed by anther homeowner. In those cases, it is important to discuss the options with your contractor or installer to determine the best course of action. At Prominent Builders, our design consultants will help you plan out your flooring upgrade and make recommendations on the best approach to handling whatever material your subfloor turns out to be.
Subfloor is an important barrier between your home’s floors and the elements. The subfloor also acts as the foundation for any of your flooring options, so it must be able to effectively support the new materials.
The most important prep for a subfloor prior to laying any other flooring materials are:
- Ensuring that the subfloor is level across the entire flooring area, to 3/16 inch for every 10 feet of floor. If the subfloor has a layer of tile, then grout lines should be filled in. While laminate can be installed over tile, it is not advisable to install hardwood over previous tile flooring.
- Leveling any uneven surfaces or irregularities, possibly sanding the surfaces to ensure they are smooth and level.
- Measuring moisture levels and addressing any areas where moisture levels may be high due to underlying seepage. Moisture levels should not exceed 12%.
- Filling in cracks and rough spots. Removing protruding nails or repairing other miscellaneous problem areas that might be the result of previous moisture damage.
- Cleaning the subfloor of any dirt, dust, and debris prior to installation.
The prep work done for your subfloor plays an important role in how well your new flooring will perform and last over the test of time. Make sure to work with a professional like our experts at Prominent Builders and Design, who can walk you through the entire process and ensure that your flooring replacement exceeds your expectations.
Other Considerations for Flooring Upgrades
Before you are ready to tackle this project, make sure to adequately address any questions or concerns that you may have with your installer or contractor.
Other important things to think about include:
- Tile removal and demo is a messy and dirty task. If the tile must be removed, installers should properly “tent” the area for dust containment. This should include any ventilation or ducts that are in the exposed area.
- There are some instances where tile can remain as the subfloor under laminate flooring. If your contractor advises to keep the tile under the laminate, discuss possible pitfalls of this process. Make sure that there is some type of underlayment to cushion any noise and shock of the tile.
- If you are planning a large space of flooring replacement, you may want to make alternate living arrangements during the demo and installation process. All your furniture will need to be cleared from the floors and you may not access to parts of the home. A busy household, which includes pets, can benefit from being away from the noise, dirt, and temporary inconvenience.
Like any other home improvements, floor replacement can be a very exciting project that adds new luster and shine to your home. Take the time to thoroughly education yourself on what to expect.