Redoing parts of your home can be an exciting thing for many homeowners. The sustained popularity of home renovation and decorating television channels & shows points to how much people love the idea of rolling up their sleeves and jumping in on a reno.

However, a good bit of preplanning is necessary before you pick up a hammer.

A significant number of homeowners begin renovating their homes by changing the flooring. However, this is no small task. Once you have planned and budgeted, you are now ready to start renovating your floors. You can rest assured that you are not alone. Roughly 30 per cent of homeowners reported that the floors were at the top of the list of things they wanted to change about their home.

Your flooring project does not have to be a nightmare scenario. While many problems can occur, knowing what could happen and understanding how to prevent issues are keys to making your flooring project a success that you are proud to share with others.

Considering a few of the most common problems seen with flooring renovations will help you avoid falling victim to these same issues.

Here are our top flooring renovation mistakes: 

1. Setting an Unrealistic Budget for the Flooring Renovation

While it is true that everyone loves a good bargain, there is a massive difference between getting a reasonable price for quality materials and being cheap.
Even though it sounds trite, you do get what you pay for when it comes to flooring. To make sure you are getting top-notch flooring, start out working with a flooring company with hands-on experience. Do a bit of research before deciding where you will get your flooring.

  • Read customer reviews – You will want to look out for mean-spirited or nitpicky reviews. Do not hang your decision on a single bad review; look for patterns and commonalities. Historical poor customer service trends need to be avoided at all costs.
  • Transparency about pricing and policies – When a company has nothing to hide, you can relax a bit. If you cannot get a straight answer or you get several different answers to your questions, you may want to re-think your choices. Note that many flooring companies may not display prices in their website. This is due mainly to variation in freight costs as package location and the weight of flooring products fluctuate massively.
  • Wide selection – When a company has many flooring choices, it is a signal that they have the experience to help you find the best product for your home.
  • Fully insured – Even the most careful business owners experience the occasional unforeseen event. Knowing that you are working with a company that is smart enough to be prepared for accidents can give you peace of mind. You also gain a sense of trust because you know the company you are working with has already taken precautions to make sure your property is safe and protected.
  • A solid warranty – When a company will not stand behind their products, it is a good indication that they have no confidence in what they are selling.

In general, remember that you are not saving money if you have to replace your floor in just a few years.

Man choosing flooring samples.


2. Avoid Following Trends at the Cost of Quality

It is easy to fall in love with a particular style or colour palette. However, before you invest large amounts of time and money on a trendy floor, take a few minutes to consider your likes, your lifestyle, and your long-term goals. If you can see yourself in the same home in 20 years still loving a checkerboard print laminate, then it might be worth your time.

Remember that a trendy floor can significantly limit your decorating choices. Even if you are willing to base your décor on a modern floor right now, will you be happy with a floor that drives your options for the next 15 years?

If moving to a different home is in your future, remember that a potential owner may neither appreciate the floor nor be willing to pay for a new floor.


3. An Installation Time Frame That is Unrealistic

Of course, you want your project finished as soon as possible. Unfortunately, trying to rush through such a detail-oriented project will most likely result in costly mistakes. Being patient can be especially difficult for some people in this situation. However, adding stress and possibly cost are the only things gained when you try to push for an unrealistic time for your project to be complete.

Laminate flooring installation


4. Poor Installation Choices

Making your flooring renovation a do-it-yourself project is an excellent idea if you are handy and aware of what you need to do and when. Unfortunately, many DIYers believe that somehow a flooring project will not be too complex. Here are several examples of incorrect installation.

  • Applying Tile Directly Onto Concrete – This idea may seem like a great corner to cut in the interest of time. However, whatever you believe that you may have saved, will likely cost you.
    During the curing process, shifting sub-layers can lead to cracks in the concrete. In turn, this stress can crack the new tiles.
  • Single-layer Subfloors – In some situations, a single layer of plywood will serve as a sufficient subfloor. However, if your new floor is a natural stone, you will need to have two layers of plywood under the stone. Otherwise, you run the risk of layers cracking.
  • Not Leaving Enough Curing Time – It is tempting to want to trim a little (or a lot) of curing time when you are trying to complete a flooring project. However, manufacturers understand their products and how to get the best performance from them. By skimping on curing time, you run the risk of damaging the floor.
  • Choosing the Wrong Starting Point – Looking for the path of least resistance is human nature. So, starting a flooring project in an area that requires the least maneuvering is common. However, leaving the trickier areas of installation for last usually means that there will be less room to work and a tighter margin for errors. Experts recommend starting at the focal point of the room and not the longest wall.
  • Not Using Glue – While glue helps the whole process, experts suggest making the time to glue three or four start rows of flooring as well as three or four finishing rows. This will prevent shifting and moving, especially during sanding.
  • Using Only Skirting Boards to Trim Floating Floors – Often, homeowners decide that they do not want to add extra trim to the skirting board. Unfortunately, the trim leaves necessary space to deal with the floor’s natural expansion and contraction. The product warranty will be voided when the required trim is not added.
  • Incorrectly Placing the Tack Strip With Carpeting – Tack strips must be 9.5 mm or less from the edge of a wall. Placing them farther away from the wall creates the possibility of the carpet pulling loose. Additionally, this can lead to tacks poking through the carpet.
Raquel Billett

Expert Insights From Raquel Billett

Interior Décor Expert

On rare occasions, the customer will breach product warranty guidelines when floating a floor using silicone to cover expansion gaps instead of scotia and skirting. Not only does this look messy right away, but the floor can buckle in the future becuase the intended expansion gap the flooring needs to move is filled in.

Dean Billett

Expert Insights From Dean Billett

28+ Years of flooring industry experience

I cannot stress how important it is the square the job right from the start. Squaring from an internal wall as opposed to squaring from an external wall is the most critical mistake you can make.

Also, going in the wrong direction with male and female joins is another critical mistake. Be sure always to have the tongue (male end) facing out, which means the female end touches the wall you square the job off with.

Subfloor preparation is also so necessary to get right. An uneven subfloor will cause massive issues if you lay flooring over it.

5. Not Asking for Help

Even though you may be a skilled DIYer, even the best need help or advice. While struggling your way through a challenging project may give you a sense of pride or accomplishment, you have not gained much if your flooring is a mess. And if your handy work needs to be repaired or replaced in short order, you have gained an expensive sense of accomplishment. The Online Flooring Store is happy to offer advice and instruction. Do it yourself does not mean you must do it all alone.

Planning with interior designer.

Regardless of your taste and preferred style, you can be sure that you can find flooring that is just right with guidance from the pros at the Online Flooring Store.

Years of experience and a concern for meeting the customers’ needs set these experts apart from many so-called professionals.


Dean Billett

Dean Billett is our resident flooring expert. He has an impressive 28 years of experience working in the flooring industry. While working in various areas of the industry, he has accumulated a wealth of knowledge related to all aspects of flooring.