Laying the flooring – the most common mistakes
Mistakes when laying the flooring can happen to anyone. As is the case of any home renovation or redesign activities, proper installation requires knowledge and a bit of experience. If you prepare yourself properly, you will avoid the most common mistakes that are often made by beginners. Mistakes can sometimes be corrected, but quite often a seemingly minor oversight can ruin an entire renovation.
Laying the flooring without following the instructions can lead to unsightly results that are completely different to those expected. In some cases it may be necessary to carry out the installation of the flooring again. Mistakes also shorten a lifespan of the flooring, its swelling, cracking, crumbling or detachment from the substrate. So, before you start installing the flooring yourself, deepen your knowledge on the subject.
Many people who try to install the flooring themselves for the first time repeat the same mistakes. If you want to avoid them, it’s worth taking advantage of the experience of others and using tried and tested advice. Below you will find the most common mistakes when laying the flooring and tips to help you avoid them.
Mistakes when laying the flooring often occur already at the purchasing stage. Individual types of flooring differ not only in terms of appearance, which is sometimes the main selection criterion besides price, but also in terms of technical parameters. For rooms that are frequently used and where the floor is exposed to damage, choose flooring with a high abrasion and usage class. Also pay attention to whether they are adequately protected against the negative effects of prolonged contact with water. This will help you to avoid the disappointment resulting from your beautiful floor deteriorating too quickly.
It is often the case that flooring is ordered at the last minute. Many people start work as soon as they receive them so as not to waste any more time. This is one of the most common mistakes that are made during renovations. Once the flooring has been purchased, it should be unpacked and left in the room where it will be installed. Why is it so important? Most often, the conditions in shops and warehouses are completely different than the conditions in living spaces. This applies primarily to temperature and air humidity. For this reason, acclimatisation of the floor in the new location is essential. Ideally, this should last a minimum of 24 hours. In this way, you will make sure that the flooring has adapted to the specifics of the target location. This will allow you to avoid problems and flooring deteriorating after a short period of time.
Whether the flooring will be well attached to the substrate also depends on the preparation of the substrate which you will lay it on. It should be dry, even and clean. Unevenness of the substrate cannot be compensated for using thick flooring – this problem is best solved before proceeding with the installation of the floor. Otherwise, even the slightest weight will cause the flooring to bend on an uneven floor, making it very uncomfortable to use.
The easiest way to level the substrate is to make a levelling screed. This will help you to get rid of any slopes, bulges or holes. When levelling the floor using this method, make sure the concrete is completely dry before you start work. This will help you to avoid warping and deformation of the flooring.
People installing the flooring for the first time very often underestimate the role of flooring underlays. However, they are extremely useful – they extend the life of the flooring, protect it from damage and emphasize the advantages of individual types of flooring.
Vapor barrier foil will be useful in every room, as thanks to it, the floor will be protected against moisture. Thermal and acoustic insulation can be provided by properly matched cork mats or foam underlays. Lay them in stages and secure the individual zones with adhesive tape. This ensures that the underlay will not be damaged during the installation and will not be moving.
When starting to lay the flooring, take your time. Carelessness is one of the most serious mistakes. Carefully measure the room and plan the layout of the flooring on the floor before starting the installation. If necessary, cut the planks that are too long. Also remember to keep expansion gaps to allow the flooring to adapt to changing conditions. They should be about 1 cm wide. Remember to protect them with skirting boards. Use special wedges to help you maintain them.
Before starting the installation, also read the manufacturer’s instructions attached to specific flooring and follow them during the entire renovation. Lay the first row of flooring with the planks’ groove facing you, so that it is possible to attach the next strips of the floor. If there are gaps between the rows, use a tapping block.
If you notice any mistakes during your work, immediately dismantle the section of the floor where they occur. Don’t be afraid to make corrections, even professionals sometimes have to do it. When correcting poorly installed flooring, don’t get carried away by and calmly correct the mistake. This is very important, because you can easily damage the delicate tongues and grooves of the flooring. When this happens, the plank will not be suitable anymore and you will have to throw it away.
If you don’t feel up to doing it yourself, you can use professional renovation teams to take care of your floor. However, if you want to try your hand at your first renovation, be open to good advice and suggestions from more experienced people. Don’t be afraid of making corrections and improving your skills. Instead, try to make the most of your newly acquired knowledge and be open to advice and help from others. As a result, every subsequent renovation will be much easier!
Anything you do for the first time can seem very complicated. If you are planning to lay the flooring yourself, do your best to find out a bit more about it. Our overview of the most common mistakes made when laying the flooring will certainly make your renovation easier. By knowing what to pay attention to when laying the flooring, you will be able to avoid the most common mistakes and get satisfactory results the first time around.