If you've never redone your flooring (or if it's been a while since the last time you did), you might feel a bit lost about where to start. ReStore Manager Jill Carmody has helped countless homeowners with flooring renovations, from how to pick the right flooring to expert tips for first-timers. Here's an easy guide for how to do your flooring remodeling project right.
How to pick the right flooring
Jill says that picking the right flooring material is about "what look you're going for" as well as the purpose of the room it's being installed in. "People typically put carpet in their bedroom or living room," Jill says, where comfort is the goal. For your kitchen DIY project or mudroom remodeling, however, you'll want to go with something more waterproof. That could include tile, vinyl, or newer, cost-effective flooring materials like luxury vinyl plank.
How much flooring to buy
Flooring typically comes in packages that tell you how much square footage it'll cover, but Jill says you should always plan to buy 10 percent more than the square footage of the room you're reflooring. "You need to take into account closets, hallways, and extra areas," Jill says. The pattern of your flooring will make a difference, too – if it's an offset or angled pattern, for example, you'll probably need to cut extra pieces to fill the shape at the edges of the room.
Tools for installing new flooring
Most boxes of flooring materials will come with instructions on what you need to lay it down properly. You should still make sure you have the basics – adhesive, an adhesive applicator, a cutting device, and underlayment are used in most flooring projects, and they'll look different depending on the type of flooring you're putting down.
Tips for starting a flooring renovation project
With as many remodeling projects as she's helped with through ReStore, she has learned a thing or two about what can go wrong. Here's a checklist to get ready to install new flooring.
- Plan how much you can do in a day. "A flooring project can take two to three days if you're going slow and doing it right," Jill says. Take your time and don't rush!
- Invest in a mask and kneepads. Flooring adhesive can create harmful fumes and being on your hands and knees for hours will leave you sore.
- Put essentials in another room. You won't be able to use the room you're reflooring until everything's set and solid. Move everything you'll need for those two or three days to another room.
- Pick the right starting point. Depending on the room, there might not be an obvious spot to start laying down new flooring. Maybe the room's not perfectly square, like an L-shaped kitchen. Plan your starting point with the endpoint in mind – so if you screw up, you can cover it up with cupboards or appliances.
- Do a practice run. Still not sure about your remodeling skills? Pick up a small box of flooring materials and get used to cutting, placing, and shaping them before starting your project in earnest. "Measure twice, cut once," Jill adds.
Find what you need for your floor remodeling project at ReStore
Because ReStore stocks donated materials, the store is able to offer a variety of flooring types at an affordable price. Jill says to "be patient" if the flooring you want isn't in stock, as there's a chance more will become available before your next visit.