What to Expect During Flooring Installation

Knowing what to expect during flooring installation is just as important as choosing the right floor. When contractors come to your home, they expect a home ready for flooring installation and homeowners who understand what to expect.

It gets messy and noisy, but there are a few other factors to consider with flooring installation.

How to Choose Flooring

Choosing your home’s flooring is a big decision. Flooring is the focal point of a room and brings everything together. It also contributes to your home’s temperature and impacts your energy bills overall.

When choosing flooring, you have several options:

  • Carpeting – Carpeting is more common than you might think, as it’s been making a comeback in recent years. There’s nothing that compares to the coziness of carpeting, especially in bedrooms. It can also bring other colors into the room or provide more comfort than hard flooring. But, of course, carpeting is only suitable for certain rooms. So, for example, you wouldn’t carpet the kitchen.
  • Vinyl flooring – This flooring comes in sheets and is easy to install. It has a fiberglass base and PVC coating, making it one of the most affordable flooring options. In addition, it’s waterproof, making it great for kitchens and bathrooms, and it can often mimic the look of more expensive options.
  • Laminate – Laminate is another affordable option that’s scratch and water-resistant. This means they may scratch or get damaged by water, but it’s not likely. However, laminate flooring gets slippery when wet, so it’s not the best option for bathrooms.
  • Ceramic tile – This option is the most durable, especially for high-traffic areas. However, ceramic tiles get cold and aren’t a good option for bedrooms or other areas with children and bare feet, especially in the winter.
  • Hardwood floor – This is the most common type of flooring recently. Hardwood is also the most expensive option with the most extensive installation process. It is not waterproof, so it shouldn’t be used in areas with water (bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.) and requires a few extra steps during installation.

For inspiration on which flooring to choose, check out top 9 flooring trends.

How to Prepare Your House for Flooring Installation

When you’ve chosen your flooring, it’s time to prepare your house. Your contractors may do some of the work, but you’ll save the most money and headaches by doing it yourself.

First, remove everything from the kitchen that’s breakable or removable. This includes pictures from the walls, items on the countertops, and furniture, such as kitchen tables and chairs. Next, consult with the contractors to determine who will move the appliances, as they must be relocated too.

It’s also a good idea to remove all blinds or drapes. Next, you should determine who will remove the subfloor (if necessary). Some contractors will do it, but for an extra charge, and others require that you do it yourself. If you’re responsible, allow enough time to handle the process, as it’s intensive.

Acclimating Wood Flooring to Your Home

If you install wood flooring in your home, be sure to acclimate it. This means getting the wood used to your home’s temperature and humidity levels. This ensures a better installation because the wood must shrink, expand, and react to the home’s environment. You want this done before installation to avoid cupping or other problems with the flooring.

Prepare for Issues

It’s the unfortunate truth that things always happen during home construction. So as you build your budget and think about what to expect during flooring installation, have a contingency fund.

This is money set aside to handle any emergencies or issues that come up that you weren’t expecting. Rather than stopping installation, you can handle the issue and move through it to complete floor installation when you have extra money budgeted.

What to do During Flooring Installation

Knowing what to expect during flooring installation and preparing yourself is important.

First, find somewhere for the kids and pets to go. Not only is it messy, but it’s noisy, and they can’t walk where the contractors install the floor.

Next, be sure there is enough space for floor installation and that all appliances and furniture are moved to another room. Provide easy access to dispose of materials as the contractors work, and prepare yourself for the noise when installing new floors.

Steps to Take After Flooring Installation

After the floor is installed, it’s an exciting time! Before you rush out onto the floor, though, consider these steps.

Don’t rush to put everything back quite yet. Ask your contractor how long the flooring should sit to acclimate. It might be a few hours or a few days. Rushing to put everything back could damage the floor.

Before putting your furniture or appliances back, consider applying felt to the bottom. This will prevent them from scratching the floor. Again, having multiple people move everything back is best to avoid dragging items across your new floor.

Consider avoiding rugs on your new floor. While rugs might protect the floor, they can also cause discoloration. Avoid rugs with a rubber backing, and talk to your contractors about the best options if you want a rug in certain areas.


Do flooring installers remove baseboards?

Flooring installers can remove baseboards, but it will cost more. If you have the time and capability of removing them yourself, do it. Otherwise, budget for the extra cost of removing baseboards.

How long does it take to put flooring in an entire house?

The typical 2-person crew can lay 1,000 square feet of flooring per day. Depending on the size of your house and any complexities they experience, it could take a few days to install flooring in your entire home.

Should you install new flooring over the existing flooring?

You can install new flooring over existing, but there are factors to consider. First, determine if the appliances will fit. If the flooring is even ½ inch higher, the appliances may not fit under the cabinets or ceiling.

Second, consider the condition of the flooring underneath. You may consider ripping up the flooring and starting fresh if there is any damage.

Final Thoughts

Knowing what to expect during flooring installation can make the process smoother. You’ll be prepared for emergencies, have the home ready for contactors, and know how to care for your flooring when it’s done.

Take your time choosing the flooring, preparing your home, and choosing your contractor, as flooring is one of the most important components of your home.