Are you hooked on the recent DIY home flooring installation trends? We can't blame you. They make it look so fun and easy, which is true for some. However, there's always a gap between what you see versus the reality of flooring work.
If you're a DIY novice, you are less likely to get things done without making mistakes. As much as possible, you should consider asking for professional assistance to avoid wasting your tools, time, and effort. Nevertheless, some people still make it without professional help. If you want to be like them, what should you do then?
That depends on a couple of factors, so here's what we'll do to help you. First, we’ll talk about the most common challenges or mistakes of DIY flooring installations. Then, we'll introduce you to one solution that works: peel 'n stick flooring!
The 6 Most Common Challenges of DIY Flooring Installation
Flooring installation is a big job. It can be time-consuming, challenging, and frustrating. So before finding a solution, familiarize yourself with the challenges first. What should you expect when installing flooring by yourself for the first time? How difficult will it be? What can you do to minimize the mess?
You can start with these six most common DIY flooring installation challenges.
1. Starting at the Wrong Place
Starting can cause many problems, especially flooring installations with a specific pattern like herringbone or chevron. You could mess up the design or end up with a plank or tile that doesn't fit a specific area. This challenge usually comes up when you don't plan the installation.
Knowing where to start depends on the type of flooring and intended area. For instance, you must install planks from left to right or use the floor's focal points when installing wood floors. But here's a rule of thumb: start in difficult areas for more room for flexibility and last-minute fixes.
2. Floors Not Sticking Securely
It's not always easy to keep the floors in place, even when you use adhesives, nails, glue, or staples. That’s why unstable flooring is a common problem for DIY installers. If you're not an installation expert, this will get your floors dirty, bouncy, and dangerous.
Again, the solution depends on the flooring type and area. For example, experts recommend gluing hardwood floors down instead of nailing to avoid problems between the top and subfloor. It will also give your floor a stable and solid feel; you won’t hear any squeaking.
3. Inconsistent Carpet Tack Strip Placement
If your installation involves a carpet, you need properly placed tack strips (narrow lengths of wood) placements to secure it. Otherwise, your carpet will become uneven and likely buckle over time.
But tack strip placement isn't that easy: it can be difficult to align the narrow strips, leading to more flooring problems.
That’s why you need to set a certain and consistent size for the tack strip and transition pad. Doing so ensures the carpet edges won't get loose. Also, it will prevent the tacks from piercing the carpet and turning into a flooring hazard.
4. Flooring Types That Require Advanced Installation Skills
Some flooring types are easier to install, like peel-and-stick vinyl floor tiles. But if you're using hardwood, laminate, stone, or ceramic floors, it is best to leave the work to the professionals. These are tough and heavy materials, so they require advanced installation skills. If you have zero experience, doing it yourself can be frustrating and may cost huge damage.
It's important to know the specific needs of each type to avoid damages and hazards. For example, engineered hardwood floors can produce an odd, springy feel when incorrectly installed. Laminate flooring, on the other hand, can cause slipping accidents when you don't apply proper nonslip solutions.
5. Not Knowing the Effects of Moisture on Your Flooring
Moisture influences the installation process and overall flooring quality more than you think. If you're not aware of that, your brand new and gorgeous floors can warp, buckle, or rot easily.
All types of flooring are susceptible to moisture damage, but some are more at-risk than others. For example, wood floors shrink, expand, or absorb and keep the moisture faster than the rest.
6. Incorrect Flooring Plan Measurement
A mistake in floor preparation is the root of all flooring evil. It can lead to all sorts of installation problems, from unnecessary waste to tricky gaps. The main cause: incorrect flooring measurement.
We understand it's not the most fun part of a flooring project. Unfortunately, most people feel ecstatic at the thought of their new flooring and often rush this part.
You should never rush your flooring plan. In fact, you should take multiple rounds of measurement and double-check their accuracy before you start installing. Additionally, don't just look at the area where you'll install the floors; visualize how the new floors will affect other areas of the house.
The Solution: Peel-and-Stick Flooring
Are professional flooring installation fees keeping you on the fence? Don't worry. If you still want to push the DIY agenda, we can recommend a type of flooring installation more feasible than the rest: peel-and-stick floors.
Peel-and-stick or self-stick flooring is a DIY-friendly installation method. It comes with a pre-attached adhesive backing for quick application.
Here's how it works: after preparing your subfloor layout, you only have to remove the backing and press the floors down. That’s it!
Below are the benefits and limitations of the peel-and-stick method.
|Peel-and-stick floor installation doesn't require special tools (even for emergency fixes) unless the damage needs major repair.||It's short-lived compared to other flooring options.|
|This flooring solution is easy to remove or replace.||The peel-and-stick flooring adhesive might wear out fast if you can't install the floors in one go.|
|You can install this flooring in low-moisture and low-traffic areas like guest rooms and walk-in closets. That said, depending on your skills and the flooring quality, you can install them in bathrooms or entryways without a problem.||Peel-and-stick isn't ideal for high-moisture and high-traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways due to their adhesive strength. You may need to add flooring glue to support the self-adhesive.|
DIY Flooring Like a Breeze
It's good to feel confident about your DIY skills. Still, it helps to acknowledge your limitations and consider professional help. After all, DIY flooring also has its limitations. Installing on your own can be a huge headache, from floors that won't stay in place to starting in the wrong space.
If you decide to go for the DIY method, try peel-and-stick flooring’s durability. With this flooring type, there's little chance of making costly mistakes that can delay or ruin your home improvement project. You can get your installation done in no time!
Need more information? Then explore our other posts for more buying guides and product reviews on residential, outdoor, and recreational flooring products!