Logistics of Replacing Floors in Your Home?
August 24, 2021 4:12 PM   Subscribe

We would like to replace all of the floors in our home and we'd like to do it with the least amount of hassle. Help!

We'll be working with professionals, not DIYing it. What are the logistics--should we/can we do it a room at a time? Will a contractor work with us in short chunks like that? Or do we have to move everything into storage and get it all done at once (ugh this reminds me of moving, which I hate)? We've never taken on a house project like this, so I appreciate any tips n tricks you can provide here!
posted by too bad you're not me to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: We did ours in chunks for budget reasons: first hardwoods in the dining room and tile in the kitchen first as part of a big renovation; tile in bathrooms and basement when we redid one of the bathrooms; hardwoods in the living room, hallways, and primary bedroom; hardwoods in the office; and finally carpet in the kids rooms.

Our flooring guy didn't mind at all - most of our jobs were two or three days and he could squeeze us in around bigger jobs. It was great because we could just move furniture into other rooms for a couple of days at a time. (We also used that as an opportunity to declutter and rethink furniture placement.)

The one tricky bit is that if you don't buy all your hardwood stock at once, you may end up with slightly different finishes. We ended up having to use a different brand of hardwoods for our last room due to a supply issue, but I don't think anyone would notice unless I pointed it out.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:34 PM on August 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

For hardwood, all the rooms you want to match should be done at the same time to maximize consistency both of wood grain and stain / polish.

For tile you want to buy it all at once from the same dye lot but not as important for it to be installed at the same time.
posted by MattD at 4:40 PM on August 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Sweetie Darling has excellent tips. If you go room to room a big conversation to have is at the doorways/thresholds between the spaces. How will that get finished off? This is a great question for when you are shopping around flooring installers. If you want to go room to room, ideally you have the same installer and develop a relationship with them. So, I'd avoid a Lowes/HD kind of route where they send who they send. I'm not sure you can request a particular installer (or tell them not to send one). A good local company who can give you a quote for your spaces and talk through all the issues in going by phases (like finish and grain) as well as transitions and how they can handle that would probably be the best.

Two recent clients had their entire main floors done including kitchen in the same flooring. This was part of larger remodel projects and for one, they are moving everything out of the main floor and also moving out of the house while this is done. The other ones stayed in their home but still had to move every bit of furniture out of the main floor in order to do it. They used a storage pod as well as their garage.
posted by amanda at 4:55 PM on August 24, 2021

We didn't replace all of the floors, but we did everything we were replacing at the same time (and it was all the same flooring, engineered hardwood). We actually did not have to totally empty out the main floor - other than electronics/fragile items we moved and stored away ourselves, the company moved the furniture around each day of work. We could probably have done it ourselves but did not find the cost savings to be worth it.

We were working from home during the install. IT IS LOUD. TERRIBLY LOUD. Also be prepared for the possibility that there are issues underneath your existing flooring that have to be rectified before the new install.

One tip is to make sure you know/understand all the services they provide, including whether they are going to provide a dumpster -- one of the companies we got a quote from didn't, and having to arrange that step of the process was not something we wanted to do. Our company was also willing (and licensed) to do plumbing and other non-floor related work and so we were able to get some additional work done at lower rate than if we'd hired separate contractors.
posted by sm1tten at 5:05 PM on August 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

We had all of our carpet replaced a few years ago and with a split level, it was easy to divide the house in half. Everything gets cleared out of one area and the floors can be done, then reverse it for the next install. We were lucky to be able to keep the largest pieces in place and the installers moved them as needed, but try to limit it to 2-3 pieces. We also had a porch to be able to store items in and we hung tarps inside to protect the items that were there for a few days. I'd say to schedule the installs at least a week apart if you do this. The initial measuring covered everything and then we just placed each order based on that.
posted by soelo at 7:58 PM on August 24, 2021

Response by poster: All helpful answers--thank you! Good to know that this project can be done in chunks/phases and we won't have to clear out the whole space at once!
posted by too bad you're not me at 3:55 PM on August 26, 2021

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