How to replace flooring in your home

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

Can I replace flooring myself?

It depends on the floor type and your floor laying experience. Some floor types are easier to install than others, and some are even designed to be suited for DIY projects. Choosing a floor that you can install yourself is a good way to keep changing flooring cost to a minimum.

Difficult floor types that require experienced installers include;

  1. Wood Flooring – Often involves using adhesives and leaving vital expansion gaps. Installations can easily go wrong due to the highly reactive properties of natural wood.
  2. Stone Flooring – Involves stone cutting which can be dangerous and damage the stone floor.
  3. Safety Vinyl Flooring – Involves difficult cap and cove welding.

To find a local installer you can simply google phrases such as floor installer near me or replace flooring near me.

Easier to install floor types for less experienced installers include;

  1. Click LVT Flooring – Usually has underlay built into the planks and the planks click together. No glue needed. Resistant to moisture and temperature changes.
  2. Laminate Flooring – Still required separate underlay to be fitted but the planks click together easily.

3. Sheet Vinyl Flooring – Requires cutting and silicone to be applied to the edges.

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These DIY friendly floor types also make it easier to replace floors without moving out of your home.

Is it OK to lay new flooring over old flooring?

It is not advisable to lay new flooring over old flooring. The best practice is to completely remove the old flooring at least down to the screed / latex subfloor. If the screed is cracked you will need to remove it and re do it to create a smooth, level and solid subfloor. The condition of the layers underneath the new flooring will be the base of the new flooring, any issues will eventually rise to the surface.

People will often say it is OK to lay new flooring over old flooring simply to save time and money. This however is false economy as the flooring won’t last as anywhere near as long as if it was done correctly, and will likely cost more in the long run.

What is the easiest flooring to install for beginners?

The easiest flooring to install for beginners is sheet vinyl and Click LVT flooring.

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1. Sheet Vinyl – needs to be cut and silicone applied correctly to fit against walls and furniture. It is cheap to buy so if a mistake is made it isn’t a financial disaster to buy more and try again. It is also waterproof and resistant to temperature change.

2. Click LVT Flooring – designed to be suited to DIY projects with planks that click together and underlay built into the planks. It is also waterproof and resistant to temperature change.

When wondering how hard is it to replace flooring, first think about how you are going to remove the old floor. Is it glued down? Are the planks glued together? Is the subfloor going to be damaged when you remove the old floor? How well the old floor is removed will have an effect on how easy the new floor will be to install.

Our Storm Oak Plank Vinyl Flooring comes with a Lifetime Residential Warranty

What is the cheapest flooring I can install myself?

The cheapest flooring to buy and install is sheet vinyl. It is low cost and the only difficulty with installation is cutting it to fit the area correctly and applying the silicone to create the seal.

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One of the things to consider when replacing flooring yourself is the cost of the flooring itself, because if the flooring is expensive to buy and the installation goes wrong, you might need to buy the flooring again. If you are not confident that you can successfully install the floor first time round, it may be better and even cheaper to pay a professional installer.

If you are keen to install the floor yourself but aren’t completely confidant, opting for a low cost sheet vinyl or laminate can be a good idea as it won’t be too distressing if you do need to buy the floor again.

What goes down before flooring?

The base layer is the subfloor, which is usually wood or concrete. A concrete subfloor is usually covered with a self levelling compound, also known as screed, to create a smooth and level surface for the floor covering to be fitted to. A wood subfloor is usually covered with plywood. You can then lay the underlay if it is being used. If underlay is not being used the floor covering can be installed.

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Does flooring go down before skirting?

All floor types look better when the skirting goes on last and it creates a cleaner finish. The skirting has to go on last for carpet and carpet tiles. Other floor types such as wood flooring, LVT and laminate are able to be installed after the skirting providing scotia/beading is used to hide the expansion gap between the flooring and the wall.

Is vinyl or laminate better?

Sheet Vinyl vs Laminate – Laminate wins overall due to its higher end appearance. The only benefit for vinyl over laminate is the fact that it is cheaper to buy and waterproof. However laminate can be used in more areas.

LVT Vinyl vs Laminate – LVT vinyl wins overall due to its easier installation, higher quality appearance and feel, and waterproof design. There is a slight benefit to laminate with regards to cost, however this reduces when you consider you need to buy separate underlay for laminate, and it is built into LVT planks.

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