As couple who have overseen a few big house renovations over the past 6 years or so, you’d think we’d be pros at all things flooring, but I hold my hands up and say that laying a wooden floor in our home is something we’ve never tackled ourselves. I must admit that if all goes well with our house move (more on that in another blog post this week!), we’ll be looking to save some pennies and possibly consider having a go at laying some smart new flooring DIY-style.
I’ve definitely been inspired by best friends of ours who laid their own parquet flooring and it looks great, as well as heavyweight DIY bloggers such as Alice from Simply the Nest, who has 3 kids, a full time job and is renovating a whopping Victorian house in Manchester- she makes DIY look doable!
After much research, here are the 5 tips/considerations we’ve picked up when it comes to laying your own wood flooring…
Choose your floor carefully
This alone can be a minefield! There are so many different types of wood flooring so make sure you choose the correct one for you. Hardwood flooring comes in a variety of different grain patterns, species of wood, plank sizes and surface finishes. Another thing to think about when installing wood flooring is whether or not it’s in a ‘heavy traffic’ area of the house, as some types of wood flooring are more hardwearing than others. I know our kitchen is pretty hectic and therefore has needed durable flooring, where as our living room is a bit more sedate and the majority covered with a rug. Oak is pretty hardy, where as something more delicate, like walnut, is better for a low-traffic area. Select the wrong flooring at your peril!
Acclimatise your wood flooring
As soon as your hardwood flooring has been delivered to your home, you must let it acclimatise sufficiently. Acclimatising allows the flooring to adapt to its new surroundings. Wood is obviously a natural product and will inevitably expand and contract with changes in heat and humidity. By letting your new flooring acclimatising to your home, you’re reducing the risk of damage to the wood once installed.
Make sure you have the right gear
Having the right equipment is vital for making your flooring fitting run smoothly. Have a think about what you, or your fitter, may need to help you to install your floor. Do you require underlay? If you have tongue and groove flooring then it is likely that you will need special WPVA glue for the joints. If the floor is being fixed down you may need glue or nails. Make sure you’re prepared!
Lay the wood flooring in the correct direction
You may be thinking “duh!” here, but after much googling this is apparently a big problem for many novice flooring fitters (and supposed pros)! During our first house renovation we had flooring laid in the kitchen by our builders, and because we weren’t living there whilst all the work was being done, we didn’t keep a close enough eye on everything going on. Instead of laying the floor lengthways according to the path of light coming from the French doors, the laid it the other way, going across the room so it didn’t ‘flow’ as well. It wasn’t the end of the world, and many people wouldn’t have noticed, but it bugged me no end and would’ve been a colossal pain and expense to fix. Lesson learned! (see the photo of our old kitchen, below)
Clean and love your new floor
Cleaning and looking after your new floor is something that you will need to do to keep it looking its best. Cleaning any type of wooden floor is simple. Sweeping removes any dust and dirt, and a good old weekly mop with a wooden floor cleaning spray will keep it shiny and new. It’s also sensible to apply felt protector pads to the bottom of furniture or heavy items that will be placed on your new flooring (seriously, Adam is obsessed with this!).
If you have any flooring tips or tricks when it comes to laying it yourself that I can add to these, then do let me know- I have a feeling we might need them later this year!
See some of my other DIY posts