What to expect when installing new floors and what you need to do to prevent disasters.

What happens when you have an already furnished home and need to have your floor replaced? What are the responsibilities of the contractor and what aspects is the homeowner liable for? In projects that involve already furnished homes, you should know what to expect when installing new floors.

Everything will need to be moved if possible

You are usually responsible for ensuring that the room is ready for the installation, so you will need to have your furniture removed from whatever room is receiving the new floor. For larger multi-room projects, many contractors will recommend that their clients rent a storage space temporarily, rather just moving the furniture into another part of the home (unless of course you have a spare room) to reduce the risk of damage.

What if the furniture cannot be moved from the room?

In some cases furniture cannot be removed from the room.  This is often seen in situations where the furniture was actually assembled in the room, because it would never have fit through the room’s doors. A similar challenge involves fixtures that are permanently fixed the room (such as a kitchen island). In these cases, you will need move any movable furniture to the wall closest to the exiting door. In the absence of any special circumstances, flooring contractors most often work from the furthest point in the room towards the exiting door. You will have to move the furniture again once the contractor is ready to floor that section of the room.

Note: Most flooring contractors will tell you that It is not advised to use carpet in rooms where furniture cannot be completely removed.  This is great advice, because these immovable objects will require you to make additional seams or may cause other problems, such as rippling in the wall-to-wall carpeting. Hard flooring is advised.

Cutting edges

For fixtures that are permanently fixed to the room, the contractor will have to cut the flooring so that it fits tightly around the object. It is important that the contractor explains the intended direction of the tile or flooring so that you can visualize how the cuts will correspond to the furnishings. Homeowners and contractors should also discuss the use of clear weatherproof sealant around the edges of the furnishings in order to prevent damage to the subflooring.

Cover it up and have them clean as they go

With any floor project, you will want to ensure that the least amount of damage occurs to the homeowner’s property (including your newly installed floors). Cover all objects in the room with a sheet or similar measure to keep particles from settling upon them. Glass structures (such as windows on a fixed China Hutch) should be covered with bubble wrap as a preventive measure.

Since you have furnishings in the room, it is best that the area be cleaned daily to prevent buildup of potentially damaging debris. This will also reduce the amount of sawdust and such, which can become an airborne nuisance.

Check the contractor’s insurance and liability options

Finally, when you are having a new floor installed in an already furnished room, you need to check the contractor’s insurance and liability options. Many contractors have a level of liability which will be covered should your furnishings be damaged during the installation. Other companies offer a level of insurance for your furnishings and fixtures. However, most of these companies do not cover replacement costs for “preventable” damages. Be sure that all parties have a thorough understanding of who is responsible for what property and which aspects of the project.

Featured Photo Credit: David Goshorn via Compfight cc


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