Nothing beats the appearance of newly installed flooring in a home. It brings warmth and comfort to your space. But whether you’re hiring a professional or undertaking a DIY flooring installation project, having the right set of tools is critical to its success.
Our detailed guide explains everything you need to know about fitting different types of flooring. You’ll find info on the required tools, cost of installation, project timeline, maintenance tips for new floors, and proper disposal of old flooring.
What Is the Flooring Installation Process?
There are different types of flooring with slightly different setups. However, we’ve summarised the general steps involved.
- Prepare the Floor: You’ll remove furniture, appliances, and other items that may obstruct the process. Also, the old floor may be removed, depending on its condition and the type of floor you want to fix. Afterwards, you should ensure the subfloor is clean, level, and completely dry.
- Fit the Underlayment: Some floors already have an underlay, but you can fix one if you’re not sure. It’s a thin material that’s made of rubber, foam, or felt and helps to absorb the pressure on your flooring so it can last for a long time. Also, it reduces the noise some flooring types make when you step on them, absorbs moisture, and improves insulation.
- Plan Your Desired Layout: You may want a simple or complex design. You or the installer will plan the flooring layout to ensure it’s balanced and aesthetically appealing.
- Fix the New Flooring: Place the flooring material and secure it, following the manufacturer’s instructions and your design layout.
- Clean Up and Reset the Room: Trim any excess materials and ensure the edges are neat. Next, you should clean the room to remove dirt from the installation process and then allow some time for the new floor to settle in if it’s glued. Afterwards, bring in the pieces of furniture and fix other items like skirting boards that you may have removed.
What Preparations Need to be Made to Install a New Floor?
Below are the things you should do when preparing to fit a new floor.
- Remove Old Flooring: You’ll clear the space and then remove the existing floor. This should leave the subfloor bare so you can clean it to remove adhesive residues and dirt.
- Inspect the Subfloor: Check whether the subfloor has uneven areas, then test for moisture. If the moisture level is higher than recommended, you should consider waterproofing or installing a moisture barrier.
- Acclimate the New Flooring Material: The temperature and humidity in the room will fluctuate, which may cause the flooring material to expand and contract. You have to leave it in the room for as long as the manufacturer recommends (usually between 2 to 5 days) so it can adjust to the new environment.
Do You Need to Install Underlay?
Yes, you need to install an underlay if you’re fitting hardwood, engineered wood, or laminate flooring. It helps to add an extra layer of underfoot comfort. But if you’re fitting vinyl and luxury vinyl planks, you should check whether the manufacturer added a backing or specified the type of underlay to use.
What Are the Different Methods of Flooring Installation for the Different Types of Floors?
If you’re yet to decide which flooring material is best for your property, you may as well check out the available methods of fitting new floors. Below is a highlight of the unique steps so you can see how they differ from one material to another.
How Do You Install Laminate Flooring?
Here’s how you can fit laminate flooring:
- Install the First Row: Lay the planks facing the long side of the wall, then click them together or glue them down. Cut any excess at the extreme. Also, ensure to use a spacer to maintain an extension gap of a quarter inch.
- Install Subsequent Rows: Continue laying the planks, ensuring they lap properly. For the final row, you should also maintain the extension gap towards the wall.
- Apply Finishing Touches: Install skirting boards and trims to cover the extension gaps.
How Do You Install Wood Flooring?
Follow these steps for installing wood flooring:
- Install the Rows: Leave an extension gap from the wall before installing the first and last rows. Secure the wood planks to the subfloor with staples or nails.
- Sanding and Finishing: If the wood is unfinished, ensure to sand the surface, then apply your desired stain or finish to enhance its appearance and protect it from wear and tear.
How Do You Install Vinyl Flooring?
Fitting vinyl flooring is easy. Check out the following tips:
- Roll Out the Flooring Material: Glue down with an appropriate adhesive or peel the back and glue to the subfloor if it’s pre-glued. If you’re installing clickable vinyl planks, ensure they click and lock.
- Seal the Seams: Vinyl sheets and rolls require the application of a sealant on the seams to ensure that water doesn’t seep through to the subfloor.
How Do You Install Carpet Flooring?
Let’s walk you through the steps of installing carpet flooring.
- Install Tack Strips: Place the strips around the perimeter of the room, leaving an extension gap of half an inch from the walls. Also, ensure there are no gaps between the strips.
- Roll Out the Underlay: Cover the subfloor with a padded underlay, then secure it with staples or carpet adhesive.
- Lay the Carpet: Place the carpet on the underlay with extra six inches to cover the walls. If the room is too large, you’ll have to place another strip of carpet and then seal the seams with seam tape or seaming iron.
- Stretch the Carpet: Starting from the centre of the room, use a power stretcher or knee kicker to stretch the carpet. It’ll catch on the tack strips automatically.
- Add Finishes: Trim off the excess carpet using a utility knife, then reinstall skirting boards and trims to cover the edges. Ensure to vacuum the carpet to remove debris.
What Tools Do You Need for Flooring Installation?
You’ll need different sets of tools depending on the type of floor you want to install. Here’s a list of the necessary tools:
- Measuring tape
- Utility knife
- Table saw
- Marking tool
Why Is It Important to Have the Right Tools for Flooring Installation?
Having the right tools for floor fitting is crucial as it makes the work easier, reduces imperfections, and saves time. Also, some manufacturers specify the tools to use to validate the warranty in case anything goes wrong during installation.
What Are the Essential Tools Needed for Flooring Installation?
The essential tools needed for fitting a new floor vary depending on the type of floor. Below are some common tools.
- Tape measure
- Pry bar
- Knee kicker
- Floor roller
- Nailer or stapler
- Safety gear
Are There Any Specialised Tools Required for Specific Aspects of Flooring Installation?
Yes, flooring types like tile, hardwood, and vinyl need special tools.
- Tile cutter and nipper
- Steel square and combination square
- Rubber mallet
- Glass cutter
- Speed drill
- Mitre saw
- Pry bar
- Notched trowel
- Carpenter’s square
- Roller (100 lb)
How Much Does Flooring Installation Cost?
On average, flooring installation will cost between £300 and £1,000. However, it depends on the flooring type, room size, brand, location, and condition of the subfloor.
How Is Flooring Installation Cost Calculated?
The cost of flooring installation is calculated per square metre of the floor. Also, labour rates and the number of days involved are factored into the total cost.
How Do Different Types of Flooring Affect the Installation Price?
Each floor type has its method of installation, which affects the installation price. Also, some designs are complex and require precision and more time to complete.
How Does the Size of the Area to be Floored Affect the Installation Cost?
The size of the area affects the new floor installation because it’ll determine how much flooring materials you’ll purchase. Also, a large room means the installer will work around a lot of obstacles like fixtures and furniture.
Are There Any Additional Costs Involved in Flooring Installation?
Yes, additional costs may apply if you need to:
- Repair or level the subfloor
- Damp proof the subfloor
- Install new underlay
- Fix new skirting boards
- Dispose of old flooring
Do You Need the Old Flooring Removed?
Yes, you should remove the old flooring. It allows you to inspect the subfloor and correct problems, such as moisture penetration, unevenness, and accumulated debris, that may reduce the lifespan of the new flooring in the long run.
How Do You Know How Much Flooring You Need for Installation?
Several factors are considered when determining the amount of supplies for a flooring project. They include the room dimension and the type of setup you choose.
How Do You Accurately Measure the Dimensions of the Room for Installation?
You should use a measuring tape to get the length and width of the room. But if the shape is irregular, divide it into smaller sections and measure separately.
How Do You Account for Doorways, Closets, and Other Obstacles When Determining the Quantity of Flooring?
To account for obstacles when determining the quantity of flooring, you should measure the length and width of doorways and closets separately, then subtract it from the main area measurement. Also, you should include some allowance for wastage.
What Are the Different Methods for Calculating the Amount of Flooring Needed?
There are several methods for calculating the amount of flooring you need, depending on the type of flooring and the room layout. The common methods include:
- Professional estimate
- Square metre method
- Box coverage area
- Pattern layout on graph paper or floor planning tool
What Is the Recommended Amount of Extra Flooring to Allow for Cutting and Fitting?
It’s advisable to include between 5 to 10% of the total square metres. It makes provision for cutting, mistakes, and adjustments when fitting the flooring material.
How Long Does the Flooring Installation Process Typically Take?
Fitting a new floor takes between one to four days. For instance, fitting tiles in a small room can take between 4 to 24 hours, while a big room may take up to 3 days. So, the duration depends on the size of the room and other factors mentioned below.
What Are the Factors That Can Affect the Duration of the Flooring Installation Process?
The following factors can affect the duration of your flooring project:
- The type of flooring
- Size of the room
- Complexity of the work
- The installer’s level of expertise
Can You Fit Flooring Yourself, or Should You Hire a Professional?
Yes, you can fit flooring yourself if you’ve got the time, skills, and equipment. Otherwise, it’s best to hire a professional that has a track record of delivering excellent services.
What Are the Benefits of Fitting Flooring Yourself?
Want to fit your flooring yourself? Check out the benefits of doing so:
- It’s cost-effective
- Provides an opportunity to learn new skills
- Brings a sense of achievement
- Can be customised based on your preferences
What Are the Benefits of Getting a Professional to Install Your Flooring?
Here’s why you may need to opt for professional installation:
- Guaranteed workmanship and warranty coverage
- Professional advice on customisation and design
- Efficient installation using professional tools and equipment
- Knowledge of local building codes
How to Maintain Your Newly Installed Flooring
Each flooring type has unique maintenance techniques. Here are some general maintenance tips:
- Sweep or Vacuum Regularly: Doing this will remove dust, dirt, and debris that can cause scratches and dents.
- Wipe Spills Immediately: This is important because allowing water to settle down on the flooring makes it prone to moisture damage.
- Use the Recommended Cleaning Products: You should use a mild floor cleaner or one recommended by the flooring manufacturer because harsh chemicals can damage the flooring.
- Use Furniture Protectors and Area Rugs: You should keep your furniture on furniture pads, not directly on the flooring, and area rugs on spaces with high foot traffic.
- Groom Pets: Your pets should be well-groomed to prevent scratches from paws.
How Do You Clean Your New Flooring?
There are different ways of cleaning new flooring, depending on the material. But we’ve listed the general cleaning steps below.
- Sweep or Vacuum: After fitting the new flooring, use a soft brush to remove dirt and debris.
- Damp Mop: Mix the recommended floor cleaner in a bucket, then mop the floor; ensure to wring out the mop so it’s damp, not wet.
- Dry Promptly: Use a dry microfibre mop or cloth to dry the floor after mopping.
How Frequently Should You Clean Your New Flooring?
You should clean your newly fitted flooring at least once or twice each week or as needed. Houses with children and pets, including areas that welcome guests more often, will require frequent cleaning.
How Should You Address Spills and Stains on Your Flooring to Prevent Permanent Damage?
To address spills and stains on flooring, you should act fast instead of allowing them to settle and cause damage. Ensure to blot stains with a paper towel, as rubbing will spread them to other areas. For solid spills, carefully use a wooden or plastic spatula to scrape them without scratching the floor.
What Are the Best Practices for Removing Dirt, Debris, and Pet Hair from Your Flooring?
To remove dirt, debris, and pet hair from your flooring, you should consider getting a vacuum cleaner that has the right attachment for your type of flooring. Also, you have to groom your pet and keep their paws and bedding clean to avoid transferring dirt to the floor. Areas that receive more foot traffic, like entryways, should have rugs to trap dirt from spreading to other rooms.
How Do You Dispose of Your Old Flooring?
The appropriate way to dispose of old flooring depends on the type of flooring. Some products are recyclable, while others can be disposed of as regular construction waste. Ensure to check with your local waste management agency to know your options.
Are There Any Regulations or Guidelines in Your Area Regarding the Disposal of Old Flooring?
Every area has its regulations or guidelines for disposing of old flooring. The UK prioritises recycling and recovery before moving waste to landfills. However, whether the old flooring is from a residence or a commercial building, you should ensure it’s properly handled and transferred to the authorised persons.
What Are the Environmentally Friendly Options for Disposing of Old Flooring?
Various environmentally friendly options are available for disposing of old flooring. They include the following:
Are There Any Local Recycling Centres or Facilities That Accept Old Flooring?
Yes, there are local recycling centres in the UK that accept old flooring. You should note that they don’t accept all kinds of flooring. For instance, local facilities may not be able to handle laminate flooring. So, you should check whether the manufacturer offers a recycling program.
Will the Flooring Installers Dispose of Your Old Flooring for You?
Yes, flooring installers can dispose of your old flooring for you. But you have to hire them for that purpose because it’s not a standard service.
While we’ve provided in-depth information on flooring installation, it’s important to contact a professional who’ll assist you in getting it right. Although you may be worried about the cost, we offer expert guidance that works perfectly with your budget.