Why it’s important to plan your flooring
Building or renovating your home yourself? Here’s why your floor should be part of your self-build project plan right from the start.
Building your own home — Planning your flooring
Why your floor is a crucial part of your self-build project plan
If you’re building or renovating a house, you know that laying your floor is the icing on the cake. To make your self-build project a success, however, it’s important to start planning your flooring from the very start.
The question ‘to DIY or not?’ isn’t always easy to answer, though. Feel like you’re not cut out for the job? Then ask a professional to plan, prep and install your floor. But if you’re up for a self-build challenge, then take a look at how to plan your floor-laying step by step.
The self-builder’s checklist for a successful renovation
Not building your house from scratch? Take a good look around before choosing your flooring material. Three essential quality checks for any renovation project:
- What kind of flooring is already there? Can I install a new floor on top of it?
- How’s the sub-floor doing? Is it porous or not? Some loose planks, maybe?
- Any exterior signs you need to take a close look at? A cellar might cause moisture problems, for instance, while black spots and a mouldy smell are signs of humidity.
A different room, a different floor
Choosing the right floor material comes down to one key question: where will you be installing your floor? High-traffic home areas — living rooms, kitchens, hallways — need floorings than can deal with the wear and tear of busy family life. In your home office, you’ll want a scratch-resistant floor that can handle castor chairs, whereas your bedroom or dressing room doesn’t require such highly resilient floors.
You’ll need to consider even the smallest details. Some more questions that come to mind:
- Do you have underfloor heating or cooling? Pick a floor with the right thermal properties, thus keeping the planks together and preventing condensation problems.
- Laying a floor in a veranda or a room with French windows? Make sure the flooring material you choose is resilient to UV light exposure and other outdoor agents.
- Do you have pets? Then go for a scratch-resistant flooring material.
Preparation is half the battle
‘If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, as the saying goes. For flooring, too, there’s a lot to consider before installation. Vinyl flooring and radiant heat, for instance, aren’t the best of friends, while laminate and hardwood floors are hygroscopic — meaning they’re sensitive to humidity.
To make sure you’re laying the right floor in the right place, always check the sub-floor’s moisture levels first. If done accurately, this helps you determine moisture problems even before you can spot them! Worrying about the final patches of rising damp from your sub-floor? Install a damp screen underlay. Note, however, that this is not a solution to structural damp problems.
Swift and practical methods
Choosing the right laying method is crucial for every DIYer. Besides installation advice and guidelines, flooring suppliers can also offer you the right tools. Take a look at Quick-Step’s Uniclic and Uniclic Multifit technology, for instance. These patented click systems enable you to lay your floor by three simple methods: by rotating and clicking the planks together, sliding and clicking them, or inserting them horizontally. Easy to dismantle, the systems also allow you to reinstall your floor when the next renovation project comes along!
Think you’re set to lay your floor? Hold your horses; one question is still left unanswered in your project plan. Which maintenance method is right for you and your floor? Keep in mind that most suppliers offer specialised products to ensure your floor lasts a lifetime!