More and more people are taking the plunge and ripping up their carpets to replace them with wood flooring.  Irrespective of whether they decide to go the solid wood floor or engineered wood floor route, they’re sure to end up with a more stylish, and in many ways more hygienic and practical interior.  When it comes to the job itself, you can either decide to bring in the professionals or to do the job yourself.  Although the change from carpet to wood flooring isn’t particularly complicated, depending on your DIY skills, you mightn’t feel confident doing it yourself.  If you do, however, here are our top tips:

Clear your room of all furnishings and soft furnishings so you can work freely and without obstruction.

In order to lift the carpet, you’ll need to establish if it has been glued down or if it is nailed down or laid on fitting straps.  If the carpet has been glued down, in many ways, it’s a case of brute force to remove it, whereas if it has been nailed down or fitted to straps, it should be easy enough to lift.  It’s best to start at a corner and work along one side of the room, allowing you to roll the carpet back once you get started.

If your carpet has underlay, it’s important that you make sure that the underlay is lifted too.

If your carpet was laid on fitting straps, you’ll need to remove them by carefully easing them up off the floor and discarding them.

If your carpet was glued down, you’ll need to work across the floor scraping off any residual glue using a putty knife.

If your carpet was nailed down, you’ll need to work across the floor making sure you either tap in or remove any stray nails.

Once your floor is clear, you’ll be able to make an accurate assessment of its condition and establish any other remedial work that may be required before you lay your new wood floor.

Depending on the location of your room (eg. basement) and the make up of your sub floor, you may need to measure its moisture content, with a view to ascertaining whether or not you’ll need to include some form of damp proofing in your project.  Irrespective of which fitting method you choose for your new floor, it’s important to make sure that your subfloor is level, sufficiently dry and free of obstacles before starting to lay your new floor.

Before laying your floor, it’s a good idea to take the time to let the new boards acclimatise to the conditions of the room they’re going to be laid in.  This part of the switch from carpet to wood flooring is important, no matter whether you’re using engineered wood or solid wood flooring as it will help avoid issues caused by expansion or contraction in the future.  The main fitting methods for installing wood flooring are: nail or staple down, glue down or floating and which method is best for your transformation will depend on a number of factors, such as: which type of flooring you’ve chosen and whether or not you have under floor heating.  If you’re planning a DIY installation and are in any doubt about which fitting method will work best, you shouldn’t hesitate to consult your flooring supplier who will be able to help.

Finally, another thing to bear in mind when you make the switch from carpet to wood flooring is that your cleaning habits will need to change.  If you have a vacuum cleaner which has a switch, or setting for wood floors, there will be no need to make any changes, but if not, it’s well worth investing in a vacuum which is suitable for wood floors.  Cleaning the daily dirt and grime that’s brought on to your wooden floor from the outdoors will help keep it looking better for longer, as will investing in a good quality doormat which will help lift off the worst of the outdoor dirt which will cause your floor to scuff and dull.