A properly installed floor can bring value to a property for decades. However, unless the flooring is installed properly, many problems can occur that can be costly to repair. For these reasons, it is important to recognize the importance of taking care when installing new flooring or when hiring contractors.
Laminate needs to float so there must be expansion gaps around the perimeter of the floor to allow the laminate to adjust. Without the expansion gap, the flooring can buckle from being compressed together and being pushed against the surrounding walls. In addition
Floor flatness is crucial so that movement is minimized and pressure is across the entire area. This is especially true to laminate applications because excessive movement can cause weakness and ultimately breakages which will be costly to repair.
Subfloor moisture can be constrained by installing a 6 millimeter polyethylene film so moisture is not absorbed by flooring that is added on top of concrete. When installing vinyl flooring directly to concrete you must ensure that flooring is fully glued down so the flooring does not curl or peel. In addition, the underlay material used under the flooring should be thick enough to provide good insulation and dense enough to dull the sounds of people walking on the floor. It is extremely noticeable when walking on new flooring that has insufficient underlay.
Selecting the appropriate flooring material for specific usage is essential. Generally, using wood flooring in areas of the home that see water usage including kitchens and bathrooms is not recommended. The humidity from a bathroom shower can quickly cause warping and potentially destructive mold. Instead, installing ceramic tiles will yield a more reliable and long-lasting floor with less maintenance involved. Ceramic tiles are also much easier to clean and are less sensitive to cleaning products relative to hardwood.
If you’ve selected a hardwood flooring material, take care to carefully nail each board when installing. If too many nails are used the planks can split and if too few are used the planks can squeak or loosen when weight is applied.
Whether you choose to install the new flooring yourself or hire a contractor to complete the work for you, being aware of the results from errors and mistakes could save you from potential catastrophe. It’s highly recommended that before beginning any flooring project, no matter what the size, that the optimal materials are researched and selected carefully so that once the project has been completed it will last for many years.
Brian Grayson writes about flooring, home remodels, and more.