31 December 2016

Could You Lay Your Own Flooring? Three Things You Need to Know

Laying a floor is a job for professionals, surely?
This is what many homeowners, fearful of DIY, tend to think. The floor is the foundation, so why mess around with it?
The problem that you face with this kind of thinking is a financial one. The materials needed for a new floor are expensive, to begin with. You can think double (or even triple) the price for someone else to install it - which is a shame, as it's entirely possible to DIY. All you need is some confidence, a willingness to learn and the three valuable things to remember...
1. It's Not as Difficult as You Might Think--
The flooring is literally the base for your home, so it's obvious that you want it to be in good condition. Given the heavy usage, it's natural that you want the flooring to look good and to last - so you turn to the professionals (http://porch.com/advice/diy-hire-pro-flooring-project/).
Laying a floor, no matter what the material, is not a particularly complex process. You certainly don't need a qualification to be able to do it, or even that much experience. The majority of it is a matter of common sense, being able to measure precisely and cut cleanly. If you can master that, then you should be able to do it with relative ease. Don't just assume offhand that the task is more difficult than it is.
2. The Complexity Depends on the Flooring--
Although it depends somewhat on your previous experience laying floors, there is a general scale for types of flooring.
At the easiest end of the scale is vinyl, either sheet or tile. You don't need a pristine surface to lay it on, and any cutting you need to do can be done with a pair of scissors.
The next step up is laminate flooring. It's designed for the amateur, but is a little more difficult to cut if you've never used power tools before. You can cut it with a hand saw if you don't mind cramp and slow progress. Learning to master a tool from www.straightkerfs.com or similar will make it fly by much quicker.
Carpet is the next step up, as it tends to need more prep and a more precise hand - when you've cut it, it stays cut. Your measurements need to be precise as it tends to be laid in a sheet.
Finally, tiling is the most complex and should not be attempted unless you are 100% confident. Not only is it difficult to cut, but it's even harder to get a flat surface.
3. Start with Cheaper Options--
Learning to lay a floor will save you money throughout your life and many renovations, so don't be afraid to make mistakes as part of the learning process. If you can, start with a small area and use cheaper materials as a practice session. If you start with expensive materials from the off, you could quickly become annoyed at the money you are wasting through inexperience and wastage. So start simple until you feel your confidence grow.

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