There’s no single home renovation project that will transform the look and feel of your living space like new floors. In addition to greatly improving the aesthetics, new flooring can also make your home quieter and more comfortable. Like any home improvement project, there are multiple large decisions to make. First is choosing what type of flooring is best for your needs. With so many options—including hardwood, vinyl, tile, carpet, and more—there’s no one right answer. But once you’ve selected a product, you’ll have to make the major decision: should you go with a professional contractor or give DIY flooring installation a shot?
The web is filled with blogs and videos of seemingly easy flooring ideas. But while many DIY home improvement jobs are relatively easy to take on and can save you money, doing flooring yourself requires specialized knowledge and tools, can be very labor intensive, and will likely take much longer than you expect. Plus, an incorrectly installed floor can actually decrease your home’s value. Here are a few reasons to consider hiring a professional contractor instead of attempting a DIY flooring project.
Despite all the resources available on installing floors yourself, it’s easy to make mistakes—especially if you aren’t familiar with proper flooring techniques. For example, did you know that you’re supposed to start in the middle of the room and then work outward when laying tile? Finding this starting point can be a dark art for the beginner—and if you get the first piece wrong, you’ll end up adversely affecting the entire project, leaving you with floors that appear crooked in relation to the room’s walls.
If you make a mistake with your DIY flooring job, you’ll be forced to either live with an unsightly floor or spend extra money fixing it. Flooring mistakes that go unfixed can also decrease the value of your home. Do you know how to transition between rooms and flooring types? Are you aware of the proper underlayment or padding for each flooring type? A professional flooring installer knows how to avoid common flooring mistakes, ensuring your new floor looks great from the start and is built to last.
It can be difficult for DIYers to decide exactly how much flooring to purchase. Measuring multiple rooms may seem simple enough, but professional installers will know to consider the “waste factor,” which accounts for seams, transitions, and cuts in corners and along walls. These are things that can be difficult to calculate if you’ve never installed flooring before and they increase the likelihood that you’ll order the wrong amount of flooring. If you end up with too much flooring, you may not be able to return the excess, which would be a waste of money. And if you order too little upfront, you run the risk of not being able to find more when you need it, or end up with products from a different batch that doesn’t quite match the flooring you’ve installed.
A professional has the knowledge, experience, and even specialized software to accurately calculate the correct amount of flooring to buy before the job ever begins. Trusting a professional from the beginning means avoiding the extra costs, delays, and stresses of figuring out how much flooring you’ll need.
The home improvement jobs best suited to doing it yourself are those that require a minimal amount of specialized equipment. Want to give your walls a refresh? You can get that done with little more than a paint roller and a drop cloth. But many of the tools needed for installing floors are highly specialized and require time to learn. Some, like carpet stretchers, can only be found at specialty stores. Others, like tile wet saws, will be expensive to purchase or even rent. Planning on installing multiple types of flooring yourself? You’ll need a different set of tools for each of them. And unlike buying a new drill or saw for a small home improvement project, you’re unlikely to ever use these flooring tools again. Rather than spending a chunk of your budget on tools you’ll only use once, and may not even know how to use properly, let a professional who’s equipped and experienced with all the right tools do the work for you.
One aspect of flooring installation many DIYers don’t consider is the removal and disposal of the old flooring. Removing old flooring is a labor-intensive task, sometimes requiring its own special tools. It’s also easy to accidentally damage your walls or subfloor while doing so. And most flooring materials can’t just be thrown out with your curbside trash, and will instead require a rental dumpster or junk removal service—which are additional costs you’ll have to factor in.
When you hire professional flooring installers, they’ll have the tools and know-how to tear up old flooring efficiently and safely, without damaging your home. And when you hire a professional flooring company like Empire Today®, removal and disposal of old flooring materials is included in the comprehensive price quote. Plus, Empire® has also implemented a robust carpet recycling program, which ensures that much of the carpet and padding we remove from customers’ homes and businesses gets recycled—keeping millions of pounds of these materials out of landfills every year.
Like any home improvement job, a DIY flooring installation is bound to be plagued by a variety of unpredictable hiccups. Lots of these issues will be things that DIYers aren’t prepared to handle and won’t be able to find a simple solution for by searching online. For example, if you find out that your subflooring is damaged, you may not know how to repair it—and there likely won’t be a one-size-fits-all fix for it anyway. If you attempt to repair subflooring damage, it’s essential to know that any subflooring installation mistakes may make installing new flooring on top more difficult.
Similarly, using the right underlayment, floor leveling compounds, and padding is crucial, and can make or break the aesthetics and quality of your flooring job. If you don’t properly install the correct underlayment, or you spread your mortar too thick, your DIY tile job can crack after installing flooring—even with normal use. If your floors are not perfectly level or properly connected to the surface below, you could end up with wood floors that are plagued by squeaks and visual flaws.
Avoiding these problems, or knowing how to work around them when they arise, is something that comes with the depth of experience that a professional installer has. They’re the things you only learn with lots of time, often by making mistakes in the first place—and they’re usually not easy to fix with just an internet search.
One of the biggest benefits of having a professional install your flooring is simply how worry-free it will be, because major DIY tasks like installing new flooring can be infinitely more stressful than most weekend warriors expect. Trying to juggle a DIY flooring project with your day job, taking care of family, and regular day-to-day tasks can be truly overwhelming. Letting the pros handle the work means you can focus on all the rest of the important things happening in life, instead of stressing about a messy house and whether you’ve installed things properly. Trusting the pros means you’ll get peace of mind knowing a quality job was performed by a company that stands behind its work.
All these potential pitfalls mean that a DIY flooring project will likely take significantly longer than when left to the professionals, keeping parts of your home in a messy state of semi-installation for an extended period of time. How many nights and weekends do you want to have to devote to your flooring project? A professional crew can install flooring in an entire home in as little as a single day, freeing up your time for everything else in life. Of course, there are some who revel in the challenge and look forward to spending their free time with hands-on tasks. But if you’re not up for spending countless hours on your hands and knees, or running to the hardware store, a DIY flooring job might not be your best option.
Overall, when it comes to something as important as flooring, it’s best to leave the installation to the pros. Not only will you save time, energy, and possibly money, but you’re more likely to end up with floors that look as good as you hoped, and that will last for many years to come. You can get your flooring quickly and conveniently when you Schedule a FREE In-Home Estimate with Empire Today.
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