DIY Flooring Options

May 26, 2014

Most of the time when you buy an older home, one of the features that really needs to be changed quickly is the flooring. This is true also if you’ve lived in a home for a few years. Floors get dirty, and over time even regular mopping or vacuuming can only do so much. The good news is that flooring doesn’t have to be professionally installed; you can opt to DIY.

Carpet Flooring

Carpets are probably the easiest flooring to remove and refinish; there are three layers of the carpet in total, and they all can be removed with relative ease. The first layer is the visible carpet, which can be taken up primarily with a razor and some elbow grease. Underneath the carpet you will find a carpet pad, and for added support you will have carpet tack strips at the bottom to hold it all to the ground.

After the carpet is up, the pads can just be pulled up with ease. The strips may cause some difficultly, but with a little leverage from the teeth of a hammer you should be able to remove them. Just be careful and keep in mind that the floor underneath could be unfinished or have another type of flooring all together.

If you are looking to install a new carpet, it is often easier compared to other options. This is because those looking to cut costs don’t necessarily need to remove the old flooring. Sure, it’s proper if you take out that old tile that was in place, but you don’t need to. To install the new carpet, simply follow these simple steps:

  • Clean the floor and clear any debris
  • Install the new strips
  • Install the carpet pads
  • Staple the pad seams and trim the pads
  • Trim the carpet as needed and glue all the seams together
  • Start by attaching the first edge of the carpet, and continue along
  • Finish trimming the carpet so it fits the room properly

Tile – Kitchen Flooring

Installing tile on a bare floor is fairly easy, but removing it can be a real pain. Some of the new tiles are self-adhesive, which is why they are so easy to work with, but older tiles relied on grout to seal them in place. With this in mind, removing the tiles is going to take some muscle.

Initially, you will need a hammer and chisel. Start hammering away at the grout so that the tiles separate, and be prepared for a lot of dust and debris. After the arduous task of lifting up the old tile, have a sander ready, because there will be left over grout and likely uneven spots on the floor. An automatic sander will make the smoothing process go quicker over manually sanding the floor.

Hardwood Floor Installation

Wood floors can be the easiest to work around. To begin with, unlike tile or carpet, you actually have the option of simply refinishing the wood floor so it matches your project. If refinishing isn’t an option you could simply add a protective coat and then install the desired flooring on top. This is not usually recommended though, because wood can be damaged over time and if it is hidden underneath another type of floor you won’t be able to see the gradual deterioration.

Still, removing and installing hardwood floors are both relatively easy, even for the novice. To remove wood, simply use a pry bar to pull up the old flooring. After the boards are removed, have some locking pliers ready to remove any leftover nails. It is really that simple.

To install new wood flooring, you probably want to purchase some contact paper and put that down over the old floor. Once this is done, new hardwood floors have been designed for ease of installation, so you are able to just snap them into place.

Get Started

Of course, as with any DIY project, the best way to get started is to make a plan. Measure out the size of the room, and get some extra materials just in case. Once you have finished putting in your new flooring, be proud that you took the step and saved yourself the cost of professional installation.