Feb 19, 2019 | Flooring Canada
You’ve decided to finally take the plunge and treat yourself (and your home) to new floors. Maybe you’ve gone for the hardwood flooring you’ve always dreamed of in your dining room, or you’re refreshing the carpet in your much-loved family room. Perhaps you’re giving your home a total flooring makeover. It’s an exciting time, but how are you supposed to put new floors in without moving your whole family out of the house?
Furniture and belongings must be out of the way for your new floors to be installed. What you choose to do with your furniture will depend on several factors. You can start to formulate a plan by asking yourself a few questions:
Flooring installation can be a considerable project depending on the scale. Do you plan to get new flooring in just one room of your home or the entire house? If you need to temporarily shift from a small kitchenette table and two chairs to a balcony, that’s one thing. However, if you need to think about all the furniture in every room of your home, that’s another.
Depending on the size of your flooring renovation, you may need to consider if you can handle moving your furniture yourself or if you need to hire professional movers to help you. If you’re flooring upgrade is only in one room, moving furniture to another room by yourself should be pretty easy. Some extra assistance might be needed if you’re upgrading to new flooring in your whole house.
You’ll also need to consider the time frame for the installation. Installing flooring can be a time-consuming process depending on the flooring material and the size of the project. A few factors to consider are:
How quickly can you move your heavy valuables and furniture out of your home?
How soon before the installation do you need to have the furniture moved?
What is the availability of the flooring installers?
Was the flooring product you chose in stock, or did it need to be ordered?
Moving your furniture yourself can be the most budget-friendly option. However, it may not always be best for you as heavy furniture can be difficult to move on your own. Consider hiring professional movers if you aren’t able to move furniture by yourself.
If you have several spare rooms and a huge garage, you have more options to move your furniture than if you live in a studio apartment. Spare bedrooms and basements are perfect places to store your furniture temporarily. If you don’t have the space to store your furniture in another room of your home, you’ll have to consider renting out temporary storage spaces, a portable storage unit, a storage shed, or carrying your furniture from room to room as needed.
When it comes to moving (and storing) furniture, it’s generally a choice between money and muscle. Can you carry a couch by yourself or with a friend? Can you afford to pay someone else to do it? Or do you have the funds to temporarily move it to a storage unit?
A flooring installation company may include moving your furniture in their quote, although it’s not a standard. If you do have this option, it can save you time (and a sore back!). However, it may also increase the total cost of your installation. Even with furniture removal included, you’ll still need to take time to remove your personal items. Before moving furniture, don’t forget to empty your closets, cabinets, and drawers.
Once you have the answers to those questions, you will likely have enough information to choose between these three main strategies for dealing with your heavy furniture when getting new floors installed:
Musical Chairs: Simply, move your furniture to your spare rooms while your new flooring is being installed. If you’re having multiple rooms refloored, it may mean a lot of moving and carrying your furniture from room to room. It’s hard work, but it doesn’t cost you a dime —and your beloved armchair never has to leave the house.
Garage or Shed Storage: This option only works if you have outdoor storage space. A storage shed or garage can be a makeshift home for your furniture during the installation process. However, you must be confident that the facilities are waterproof and secure to avoid damage to your valuables. Otherwise, this is an extremely convenient option.
Short-Term Storage: Renting a storage unit or a portable storage unit for a full month may be overkill for a small flooring project, but it can make life a lot easier. This rings especially true if you live in tight quarters or if you’re installing floors in more than one space in your house. Rented storage is convenient, safe, and secure. No constant shuffling of chairs and tables or tripping over furniture awkwardly crammed into the wrong room. If you want to give yourself a break, you can even hire someone to move it for you!
Once your furniture is out of the way, there are a few steps you can take to ensure a smooth and seamless installation:
Before you get started, remove baseboards and door frames. This will make it much easier for your installation team to get a perfect fit. No matter what kind of flooring you have, a thorough vacuum will make the rest of the job even easier.
Ask your installers ahead of time whether they’ll be the ones removing your old flooring or if the job falls to you. If they don't include removing your old flooring in their quote, you may have a big job ahead. Multiple layers of carpet or vinyl flooring can be difficult to move and are generally heavier than they look!
Once the old flooring is removed, you’ll need to ensure the subfloor is level and in good condition before installation begins. Again, an experienced hardwood flooring installer can take care of this for you to ensure a perfectly smooth and level finish on your new floor.
For more handy tips, check out our hardwood flooring installation guide.
The prep work for a new carpet is similar to the process of installing hardwood. However, there are a few differences:
Once you’ve moved your furniture, you need to remove the old flooring before your beautiful new carpet can be installed. For some helpful tips on removing your existing carpet, visit our wall-to-wall carpet installation guide.
If you currently have hardwood or vinyl flooring, you may be able to lay the carpet over your existing flooring instead of tearing it out. However, it’s best to ask your installation team what options are available to you and what’s best for your upcoming carpet installation.
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind before your install your new flooring:
Finish any home remodeling tasks. One of the best things you can do before your installation is to complete any other remodeling jobs in the room first. Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint, new wallpaper, or general repairs, wrapping up these projects in advance will help protect your beautiful new flooring from damage.
Large appliance maintenance. If new flooring is going into a room with large appliances that may need to be rewired before moving, contact an electrician before your flooring installation appointment. If your appliances need to be moved, there's less worry about a heavy piece of machinery scuffing up old floors before installing your new ones.
Stock up on tarps and masking tape. If you anticipate a lot of sanding, you can minimize the spread of dust throughout your home by closing doors and covering them with sheets of plastic, tarps, and masking tape. Wood floors often require some sanding during the installation process. Similarly, if your subfloor needs a lot of work before carpet installation, your installation team may need to even out your floor so that it’s level. Having these simple items on-hand can make cleanup easier after your install.
Be mindful of your pets. The disruption of strangers carrying large objects in and out of rooms, strange smells, and loud sounds can be upsetting for your pets. Worst yet, open doors can be an invitation to go running off. Check with your vet before installation to know whether your pet could be at risk from installation-related dust or fumes. Make a plan to have a trusted friend, relative, or boarder, care for them for a few days until the (literal) dust settles.
You’ll be excited to add your furniture and decorate when your new hardwood floors are installed. It is best to wait a day or two to put furniture on newly installed wood floors. When you move furniture on your floors, you’ll want to ensure that you place protective pads on all wooden and metal furniture legs. Remember to lift furniture and place it lightly on your floors instead of dragging or pushing them into place. This helps avoid scratching your brand-new floor.
We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours before stepping on the new floors and, even then, only wearing socks on the hardwood. Wait four days before moving your furniture back to give the flooring enough time to set.
We hope these tips help make planning for installing new flooring easier. Request a free room measurement from Flooring America if you're considering sprucing up your home and adding a fresh flooring solution! Get an expert estimate by contacting your local Flooring Canada location to find just how much flooring you'll need to better pin down your project's budget.