7 Ways to Prep Your Home For New Wood Flooring


Planning for a new wood flooring project can be chaotic but if you prepare ahead of time, the process should go smoothly. Your wood flooring installation team will handle all the work overall, but there are some things you need to do to prep for their arrival. This will help keep dangerous conditions at bay as well as protect your furniture from dust and debris that is a natural part of flooring installation.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for the job to keep everything running seamlessly. The right preparations can make all the difference, saving time and money in the end.

1.  Keep Your Pets Safe

Plan for appropriate care for your pets while the installation job is going on. Not only can they get underfoot and cause a nuisance for the workers, they could get hurt or slip out the door when people are busy going in and out. Bring them to a kennel or hire a sitter to keep them occupied. If this isn’t an option, keep them in some kind of enclosure or cage while the work is going on. It’s best to keep this enclosure well away from the work area preferably in another room or outside, as the dust from the removal of the old floor and sub-floor can harm pets.

2.  Arrange for Childcare

In the same vein, make arrangements for childcare outside the home or hire a sitter to keep them occupied in other rooms or outside while work is ongoing. If you can, schedule the hardwood flooring installation for when they are in school to minimize disruption and the need to secure costly childcare.

3.  Remove Valuables, Delicate Items and Furniture

Remove all valuables from the room where work will be done. This includes frames from the wall, vases, artwork, electronics and more. You will also have to remove all furniture, appliances and drapes before the workers show up, leaving nothing on the floors. You may also want to cover furniture in adjacent rooms to prevent them from being coated in dust or debris.

Disconnect electric systems, water taps, and gas appliances are disconnected prior to the start of the project. If you have a wall-mounted flat screen TV and can’t reasonably take it off the wall, cover it with a blanket or drop cloth. Before the scheduled date, ask the installer what temperature your home should be at before they arrive, as wood floors are most conducive to cooler temps rather than hot and humid conditions.

4.  Inquire About Rise in Floor Height

Sometimes, the addition of a new wood floor requires readjustment of your doors, as well as removal of trim and baseboards and trim. Most times, the height of the floor will rise noticeably with the installation of hard wood. Ask your contractor if you should remove moldings, doors and baseboards or if they will take care of that.

It’s important to make way for an expansion gap, which is the space that allows the new flooring to expand when exposed to heat and moisture after the installation is done, says Bob Vila.

5.  Leave Clear Paths for Contractors

Make sure to leave a clear path to the room in question so the workers can easily navigate your home without obstacles. Paths should be clean and free of clutter, which means you should make sure there are no toys, clothing, shoes or other obstructions on the floors. Also, clear a path outdoors from the front door to the driveway or street so the workers can get in smoothly from their truck. Make sure to walk the path beforehand, and remove any obstacles or trip hazards such as area rugs, shoe mats or the like.

6.  Close Off Other Rooms

If there are other rooms that won’t be getting new flooring, close those off. Dust from the process can invade lots of spaces, even far away, so closing off rooms not in use will save you from having to dust and clean them after all is said and done. You can also use masking tape around the edges, especially at the floor, as an additional safeguard against dust. You will still want to do a full-house cleaning afterwards just in case, so each roomed is cleaned to your specifications.

It’s also a good idea to tape plastic sheeting over doorways, heating ducts, vents and other openings to avoid infiltration of airborne dust going room to room. The last thing you want is for that dust to settle on your fresh varnish coats before they have a chance to dry!

7.  Prepare for Work and Waste Disposal

If you can provide a separate, spacious area, such as in a basement or in your backyard, for your workers to cut and prep the wood and other materials, that would be very helpful. This will allow them to trim and resize the flooring materials without cramping the actual work area. However, this prep zone shouldn’t be too far away from the room being worked on.

Your contractors will also need a space where they can dispose of the waste materials when they’re done. This may entail renting a dumpster or having a few garbage bins at the ready. Many contractors bring their own trucks and Pods for disposing of used materials, but always ask beforehand. Also, your contractor will likely haul away all debris for you, but some leave it up to the homeowner to get rid of. Again, asking questions beforehand will be very helpful as you plan ahead.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring

If a new wood floor is in your future, schedule your consultation with us. We can go into detail about what you should do to prep your home for our arrival. Contact us in San Antonio or Southeast Texas today for a free quote.