Jim Kups, North America Technical Manager for Novalis, shares his thoughts and advice on who should install your new flooring.
(Editor’s note: This is a continuation of Jim’s conversation with his friends introduced in his previous blog post “I want a new floor … where do I go?”)
After the discussion on where to buy, I was led to some thoughts on what is the right way to steer a person who’s buying flooring, and may or may not consider themselves a competent enough DIYer (Do-It-Yourselfer) to install their own beautiful, new replacement floor. Now, it’s really not unusual for a flooring manufacturer to have products sold in the specialty retail segment and the DIY segment of our industry; and most of my tech colleagues would advise that a professional installation be done for their flooring. I also agree with this assessment in most cases, and I think it depends on the product involved and actual skill level of the person, too.
There are products in our industry which are just better left to a professional to install for a number of reasons: complexity of the installation method, subfloor preparation, sensitivity to environmental conditions like moisture and temperature, warranty limitations, and size of the installation, just to mention a few reasons.
Note: NovaFloor has lots of technical installation guides, advice, tips and videos for the pro or the DIYer. Just go to http://novafloor.us/tech-info/
But other products like say, peel-n-stick planks and tiles or mosaic tiles for a backsplash are common DIY items and can be successfully installed by most consumers. Add to that the availability of all types of flooring in home centers and DIY retail outlets … so what’s a consumer like my friend to do? The conversation might go like this:
“First, let’s talk about your willingness to follow the directions. Are you the type of person that will investigate the product online and find the installation and warranty guide and read it first? Will you look for YouTube videos from the manufacturer on how to install it correctly? If you don’t understand the instructions, will you call the 800-number for help?”
My advice: If not a “no-brainer” project, hire a professional flooring installer. But if this person is you, then there are products on the market that you should be able to successfully install.
Keep in mind that if you are going the route of using a professional installer, whether through a retail store or someone you hire on your own, find out what their experience is for the type of flooring you’re putting in, and ask for references. Flooring is a huge investment and once it’s installed, you’ll be living on it for a long time!