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Last modified: 2023-03-07 | Approximate reading time 14 mins
The floor is one of the basic surfaces to be considered when designing the layout of a room. You have to think about practicality, the resistance of the material you've chosen and the aesthetic aspect of the surface.
In most rooms, the floor is subject to a lot of wear and tear as we walk on it, move furniture, drop objects on its surface and so on. Therefore, whenever possible, it is best to choose a flooring material that is tough and will not show signs of wear too quickly.
We have designed this checklist to help you get through the different stages.
Whether your project is to restore an old floor, install new flooring, add underlayments and so on, this article and the accompanying checklist will certainly be very useful! This is an essential tool that can help you from start to finish, whether you are working with a contractor or doing the work yourself.
We will also present you with the different materials for all the floor layers as well as the finishing products.
Would you like to jump straight to the checklist? Click here!
Before getting to work, it's important to ask yourself a few questions about your budget, the materials you are going to choose and the result you are looking for. In the next few paragraphs, we'll introduce you to concepts and questions that can help you make decisions.
Unless the space where you are going to install the floor is low-traffic, you should choose a material that will be able to withstand everyday wear and tear without needing to be replaced in a few months. Therefore, the floor must be strong and this will affect both the choice of material and the installation techniques.
Some flooring materials are relatively easy to install and you might be tempted to do it yourself to save a certain amount of money. However, if you do it wrong or make mistakes, the result will not look as good and the durability of the floor could be affected.
Does your project involve installing new flooring in a bathroom? Be sure to choose a type of coating and underlayments that are suitable for this type of environment. Otherwise, you might face issues quite quickly.
We've talked about the bathroom, but this advice applies to most rooms in the house, including the kitchen, hallway, bedroom, and any area in a basement. In fact, it also depends on how you use the rooms. We will cover this topic in more depth in another section of this article.
The first question to ask yourself and which you may not have thought of: why not just restore the current floor? Of course, this is not always possible, but people tend to want to cover the old floor with new material, instead of carrying out restoration work. For example, if you have a badly damaged hardwood floor, maybe it can be repaired by a contractor who knows it well.
One of the first questions that can help you make decisions for your project is to have a more or less precise idea of the amount you are willing to spend. This will let you know which materials are accessible and how much area can be covered. To help you determine your budget as well as the amounts to plan, head to the section of this article where we discuss this topic.
There is an endless variety of colours, finishes and textures for flooring materials. You may be overwhelmed by the number of choices that lie before you. To simplify the process, we recommend that you do your research upfront.
You can check out our reno inspiration articles on floors and create a Pinterest account where you can save your favourite floor images. Then you can go to the store to consult with experts and finally talk to your contractor.
As mentioned before, the type of floor you are going to choose must be well suited for the room where it will be installed. For a kitchen, the material should be highly resistant and easy to maintain. This material needs to be water repellent and able to withstand shocks.
For the living room, you will have more flexibility, but you still have to think about what type of use you make of the room. For example, if you have children, you might want to avoid surfaces that are too slippery or too messy.
Some projects can be done by everyone without too many problems. However, it can take time and in the end, it is sometimes less economical than working with experts.
For a resistant floor that is well installed and often offered with warranties, it is always preferable to call on specialized contractors.
Have you fallen head over heels for a material that is on sale? If you know the dimensions you will need, this may be a good idea. On the other hand, if you decide to consult your contractor beforehand, you will be able to reduce the chances of making mistakes, for example, regarding the sub-floor, the quantities, the finishing products and so on. Also, specialized contractors sometimes have access to better prices because of the volume of materials they purchase.
If the floor you are going to renovate covers a large surface area, you may have to leave the house for a few days. In general, renovations are not very long, depending on the stages that will be part of the project. For example, you may need to reinforce the subfloor structure or apply a finishing product that takes a few days before you can return to occupy the room. Check with the contractor to find out how many days they plan to work. This can help you decide if you should move elsewhere.
In the previous section, we already touched on working with a floor renovation expert. It should be noted that these experts are often specialized in the installation of certain types of floors.
And so on. Many flooring contractors will be able to offer services for all types of materials, but you may benefit from signing a contract with professionals who have developed specific expertise for the material you have chosen.
The final amount associated with this type of project can vary dramatically, depending on the type of material, the size of the room, the complexity of the installation and the contractor's rates.
Therefore, it is rather difficult to present you with exact figures so that you know in advance how much you are going to pay. However, we do have articles and tools that show average prices for materials and installation techniques. This information can help you get a general idea of how much to set aside for your project.
Here are the articles to consult:
To give you a very general idea of the amounts to be expected, test our price calculator:
In the vast majority of cases, interior floors don't require obtaining a permit. However, you should never take anything for granted and you should still check your municipality's website or contact them by phone to verify that this statement is still valid in your case.
To learn more about work that requires a building permit, see these articles:
When we talk about flooring renovations, the first thing we tend to think about is the material on the surface. However, do not neglect the underlayment layers! Indeed, the sub-floor has several roles:
If you hire a contractor, they will be able to advise you on the best subfloor choices for you. However, you should still know about the different materials and types of installations possible.
Check out this article to learn more:
In this section, we will give a general presentation of the main flooring materials available on the market and most often used in Canada.
Slatestone floors are very durable and their aesthetic appearance adapts well to many types of decor, from more modern styles to classic environments. Easy to maintain, they are more expensive than some other materials, but their durability means that the price/quality ratio is quite good.
To know more about slatestone floors and their advantages and disadvantages, read our article on the subject:
Photo: wikimedia Commons Pazzo4562
Bamboo is not one of the most common flooring materials in Canada, but it is still an interesting option to consider.
If you would like to know more, we have an article about it:
Waxed concrete is a floor covering that is more often found in spaces such as the kitchen, garage or entryway. However, if you love the look of concrete that suits a contemporary or industrial style wonderfully, you don't need to limit yourself to these rooms!
What could be more classic and timeless than a hardwood floor? This type of floor can be made from several types of wood, which means that the cost of hardwood floor materials can vary by a lot.
Hardwood can be installed in most rooms of the house, although it is less recommended in humid spaces like the bathroom or basement.
Here are 3 articles to read about hardwood floors:
Ceramic tile is a versatile material, mainly used in rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom or hallway. In Europe, ceramic floors are often seen in other rooms of the house but are less common in Canada. It is probably a question of climate because ceramics tend to create a cold surface.
Of course, it is possible to install a heating system under the ceramic surface. It is still a material that is found more often in rooms that are highly exposed to water and dirt.
There are different grades of ceramic and a virtually endless variety of textures, colours, patterns and shapes for tiles.
Here is a useful article to consult to choose the right type of ceramic for your project:
Do you have a penchant for noble materials and luxurious decorations? Consider installing a marble floor!
It should of course be noted that the cost of a marble floor will be rather high and that you will have to treat it very well to keep it in good condition. Marble is a tough material, but it can also be finicky when it comes to cleaning products.
Make sure you are well-informed before making this choice! And be aware that if you love the look of marble, but don't have the budget to buy it, you will find ceramic or vinyl reproductions.
We have an article on marble floors:
Floating floors are an attractive, often economical, option that can suit many types of decors and environments. Oftentimes, this type of flooring takes on the appearance of wood, but this is not always the case.
Its installation process is relatively simple and therefore accessible to neophytes, although it is always better to call in experts.
To learn more, here are 2 articles to check out:
Source: wikimedia commons Andrealopezb
Here are three materials that have already had a bad reputation, but which have been rising in popularity in recent years! Indeed, the manufacturing process has been improved in all three cases and the materials are now more resistant.
In addition, the "look" of these materials, once considered old-fashioned, has undergone a major metamorphosis. There are now hundreds of models on the market in all colours, with a great variety of finishes and patterns. You can even opt for vinyl or linoleum siding that recreates the look of wood, stone or ceramic.
To help you choose, here is an article to consult:
There are of course other flooring materials, but we haven't had time to devote any in-depth articles to them yet. On the other hand, we have other articles which mention them and which present some of their characteristics:
We also have several articles that introduce you to the best types of floor coverings for certain rooms:
Unfortunately, floors can be affected by various problems, including situations that do not necessarily have to do with the floor itself.
Here is a very common example of a flooring problem:
We cannot approach this type of work without talking about the finishes that will be applied to the surface of these materials.
With finishes, we must also talk about sanding and repairs. Indeed, to restore a floor in good condition or to create a finish that is resistant in the long term, it is important to employ the right techniques and use the right products.
Here's an article about floor sanding:
And our articles on varnishes:
Finally, we also have a few articles that share some useful tips for refinishing floors:
Do you need to remove a floor before installing a new one? This is a process that may turn out to be more complicated than it might seem at first.
Make sure you check out this article before going ahead with this project:
Once you have completed the work, you will need to think about the regular and semi-regular maintenance to be done to keep it in good condition. Here is an article that specifically addresses floor maintenance for certain types of materials:
Finally, we must also address the subject of heated floors! This type of system works either with tubes transporting liquid (heat transfer or hydroponics) or with an electrical system operated with infrared heat.
To learn more about the different models and the advantages and disadvantages of these types of systems, see this article:
The stages to follow will vary depending on the types of work you are going to perform. Of course, for a restoration project, the steps will not be the same as if you are installing new flooring from A to Z.
However, we can still determine a few crucial steps to take to make things go smoothly.
Here are the steps:
If you want to do some renovation or floor installation work yourself, you should have a few tools at your disposal:
If your project takes place in one room, you will probably be able to stay put for the duration of the work. However, if you plan to repair and/or change your floor in multiple rooms, you may need to move around for a few days.
To ensure that the work takes place in the best conditions, here are 2 articles to consult:
Click here to download the PDF version of this checklist.
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