The Pros & Cons of Laying Flooring Without Professional Help

Laying wooden flooring shouldn’t be too challenging for anybody who classes themselves as a semi competent DIY enthusiast. However as with any installation process you will always wonder if you are best to get the professionals in to carry out the work on your behalf.

There are a few points you should consider before deciding to do this yourself. Even if you are confident that you have the skills to get the job done you need to ask yourself a few important questions:

Do you honestly have the time to take on such an important project? The fact is if you are laying a new floor in a particular room you will not be able to complete or furnish that room until the floor is installed. Having a half-completed floor for a week or more will hold everything else up. You need to overestimate the amount of time it will take to cover any difficulties or eventualities and then ask yourself if you have this time to spare.

Will you be left alone without any distractions for the duration of the install? For example, completing such a project quickly is going to be difficult if you are going to be constantly interrupted by young children. Not being able to use certain tools at certain times due to children napping will disrupt your work flow. And what if you need to pop out to run errands, or need to take business calls and emails during the day? You’ll soon become frustrated that things aren’t coming along as quickly as you’d hoped!

Do you have the right tools and skills for the job? Having the right tools (and knowing how to use them) is very important. It’ll make your life so much easier if you’re confident in your own capabilities, plus you’ll achieve a professional-looking finish much faster. Be honest with yourself – you may have the desire to say you installed the whole floor yourself, but if you can’t deliver, will you be happy to live with the less-than-attractive (and often costly) consequences?

Have you done your research? You need to make sure you have referred to the manufacturer’s guidelines and that the flooring you have purchased is the right flooring for the environment it will be laid in. You need to make sure that the under floor has been taken into consideration and that the installation process you are going to use is the right one, ie whether you will float, nail or glue the floor in place. You also want to make sure that the direction you lay the boards in will give the best results.

If you have answered yes to all of the above questions then it’s likely you are in a position to carry out the install yourself. The advantage of dealing with your new floor yourself is that you do not have to wait for an available appointment with a professional floor fitter. You can work at a time that suits you and your family and, more importantly, you can go at your own pace. The trick really is not to rush the floor laying process, because if you perfect the technique of laying the boards down correctly, you’ll be much quicker after you’ve successfully installed a few rows.

Obviously if you had professionals install the floor for you, you have the peace of mind that they will be carrying out a job they do on a daily basis and you should expect the results to be stunning. The installation will probably be completed in a shorter timeframe, as the worker will only have a certain amount of time allocated to your project. In fact, you could probably take the family out for the day and come back to a lovely finished floor in the evening (depending on the size of the room and any unexpected difficulties that arise, of course). You will also have someone who remains answerable for any mistakes that occur during the installation.

Bear in mind, however, that having professionals in could mean you have to make access arrangements. You may also be required to take time off from work so you can be at the property while they are working on the wooden floors. The money you lose from a day in the office, and the money you need to spend to hire a professional, will push the overall cost of the floor up, so budget is one of the biggest considerations too.

Tony Charles works on behalf of leading flooring supplier and installers Green Apple, one of the UK’s engineered oak flooring specialists.