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Flooring Installation: 9 Questions You Should Ask First

Your floors are so much more than just a place to stand. Because they cover such a large surface area, they make a huge impact on the look and style of your home—not to mention, serve an important protective function in preventing moisture damage to the interior structure of the building.

If you're thinking about a new flooring installation, this is a perfect opportunity to leave your style signature on your home and really infuse it with your own personality. Planning an installation can be a challenge, so you may be wondering where to start.

This guide lists nine questions you should ask yourself before you begin, so you can ensure a smooth, pain-free installation experience.

Want to skip straight to the part where you find a skilled handyman service to put in your new, gorgeous floor? No problem—the experienced flooring installers at Mr. Handyman of E. Nashville and Hendersonville have the skill and know-how to provide quality craftsmanship and customer service that goes above and beyond.

Does My Floor Need Repair or Replacement?

Before you commit to an entirely new floor, consider whether some basic repairs to your existing surface can accomplish what you're looking for. If you love the look of your current floor, but it's showing signs of wear such as scratches and scuffs on hardwood, stained carpet, or chips and hairline cracks in tile, hiring a talented handyman for repair work may be more cost-effective than a full replacement.

What Type Should I Choose?

This is a big question! There are hundreds of quality, long-lasting and low maintenance flooring materials you can choose from, so where do you turn first?

If possible, it can really help to see and touch various materials in person before you make your final decision. Online shopping may be the “new normal,” but it can be hard to gather all the information you need about quality flooring materials from just a photo or two.

Here are some options that may work well for your home:

  • Tiles: Ceramic, porcelain, slate, marble, granite, travertine, quarry, mosaic, etc.

  • Hardwood: Oak, cherry, walnut, hickory, or maple

  • Engineered hardwood

  • Laminate

  • Vinyl

  • Linoleum

What is the Difference Between Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood?

Traditional, solid wood floor boards are milled from a single piece of lumber, while engineered hardwood is made up of multiple thin layers of compressed wood, resin, and polymers topped with a veneer of real hardwood. They both have their pros and cons, but engineered hardwood may be preferable if you're installing over a non-timber subfloor.

How Much Maintenance Am I Willing to Do?

Some materials require more maintenance than others. For example, slate looks incredible but it needs to be resealed regularly to keep it in good condition, while carpets can become stained easily and require more vacuuming than a hard surface. You may be fine with a little extra work in exchange for the benefits of a higher maintenance material. But it's good to be honest with yourself about how far you're willing to go to keep your home looking great.

Do I Want to Install an In-Floor Heating System?

If you cringe when you put your feet on a chilly surface, an in-floor heating system could be just the thing to increase your comfort. Tile or engineered hardwood will be your best flooring options for covering underfloor heating.

Can New Tile Be Installed Over Top of Old Tile?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is yes—if the existing tile is completely level and in decent condition, with no dips, cracks, or textures that will interfere with the new layer. It's also not a good idea to install heavy tile on top of already heavy tile, unless there's a concrete foundation underneath to support the weight.

Will the New Material Match the Existing One?

When you're replacing surfaces in some rooms but not all of them, you want to make sure your new floors will look good next to the existing ones. It doesn't have to be an exact match, but it should be complementary. Taking a sample of the old material with you when you choose a new one can help a lot.

There are, of course, some steps you'll need to take in preparation for your new installation. Your flooring professionals may or may not include furniture moving and old surface removal as part of their services, so it's important to clarify who will be handling those details.

Here are some steps to take care of before the installer arrives:

  • Remove anything breakable, such as glass photo frames, paintings, or glass-fronted cabinet doors

  • Remove drapes that are low-hanging and may get in the way

  • Clear out closets and storage areas

  • Confirm who will be moving furniture and appliances

  • Confirm who will be removing the old surface and subfloor

  • Make sure the new surface height will allow doors to open and close freely

  • Set your thermostat to the recommended temperature for installing your chosen material

  • Clean floors or subfloors

Can I Do the Installation Myself?

If you're asking this question, the answer is probably not. We've all seen floors that have not been installed correctly. From wonky grout lines to flooring that doesn't quite reach the wall, installation errors are noticeable and can leave your subfloor unprotected from damage. It's also likely you don't have the correct equipment and would need to spend a lot to rent or buy it. An experienced installer will be able to work efficiently and accurately with the right tools, saving you time and money by avoiding errors.

Flooring installation can also be dangerous. Tools are often hazardous to use, especially in the hands of an amateur, and the process creates dust that can be dangerous to inhale. Your handyman is trained on how to keep themselves, and you, safe from harm.

Mr. Handyman is Your Local Flooring Installation Expert!

When you're ready to get started on transforming your home, trust the flooring experts at Mr. Handyman of E. Nashville and Hendersonville to get the job done efficiently and skillfully.

Call us today at 615-551-4653, or request service online, and we'll show you why we're East Nashville's top choice for handyman projects!