fitting wood flooring


If you’re in the throws of planning a home renovation or you’re building a new home, one of the questions that’s likely to raise it’s head at one point or another is “at what point should you fit new wood flooring?”.  While in most instances, you’ll have an advisor or two who will assist you with your planning and scheduling process, we’d like to provide you with some guidance here to help you make the right decisions for your project. Here are some of the questions you need to be asking yourself:

Is your renovation or construction weather-proof?

If your home is in any way exposed to the elements, whether it be because it’s being re-roofed or having new windows or doors fitted, or it is mid-construction, then best advice is to wait until it’s completely weather-proof to fit your new flooring.  There’s no point in investing in quality wood flooring only to leave it open to the possibility of being damaged by the likes of rain water because your property isn’t protected from the weather.

Will you be re-plastering walls?

If part of your plan is to re-plaster walls, not only is it sensible to wait until this has been done to lay your new floor, it’s also best practice to wait until the plaster has thoroughly dried out.  Not only is plastering a messy job that risks spoiling your floor before you even start, there is the moisture factor to consider.  Wet plaster, not surprisingly contains a huge amount of moisture, which as it dries out goes into the air and will cause your floor to expand.  This isn’t good news for a wood floor that’s just been laid.

What about kitchen units/cabinets?

Whether you choose to install your fitted kitchen units before or after you fit your new flooring is a point of much debate.  However, the consensus seems to be that it’s best to fit fitted kitchen cabinets before your floor.  This is because if there is an issue with water leaks, for example, then you don’t need to remove the cabinets to repair or replace the floor beneath them.

Are you planning structural work that could damage the floor?

Any work that is planned that could potentially damage your floor should be carried out well before the floor is fitted.  Things like cutting of channels for electrics or plumbing are not only messy and dusty, but are high-risk activities in terms of the potential for scratches and dents in new flooring.  It’s for this reason that they’re best done well in advance.

What about wall coverings?

If you’re planning on painting your walls and you’re prepared to wait until after that’s been done to fit your wood flooring, all well and good.  However, if your timescales are such that you need to fit your floor beforehand, or indeed you need a stable surface on which to put the wall coverings in place, you should fit your floor then do your very best to protect it.  If you have to work this way, then you should protect your floor using a natural product if possible (like an old cotton sheet) as well as some plastic sheeting over the top.  It’s important to mop up any paint spills immediately to avoid staining or discolouration of your floor.

Top tips for minimising damage to your floor during renovation or construction:

  1. Do all you can to make sure your home is weather proof before fitting your floor, even if this causes delays.
  2. Make sure you have acclimatized your floor to its new environment before fitting it.  You can find out more about acclimatising wood flooring here.
  3. If you have to fit your floor before renovation or construction work is finished, do all you can to protect it.
  4. When you’re putting your furnishings back in place, make sure you lift and don’t drag them because dragging them could cause lots of damage to your nice new floor.

If you’d like to discuss your flooring project in more detail with us, why not get in touch?  At Wood and Beyond, we’re always happy to offer impartial advice to help you get the very best from your wood flooring.