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To Self-Install or not to Self-Install?

March 1st, 2011 · 1 Comment

The old saying “money is no object” is not used as freely as is used to be these days.  The economy is down and for most people, money is tight.

While money may not be flowing in right now, some consumers see this downward economy as an opportunity to make a purchase when other consumers aren’t.  This tactic could give you a bit of wiggle room and act as a pretty good bargaining tool when shopping for products.

Consumers who are taking advantage of the dip in the economic climate and are looking to purchase new flooring materials may also be toying with the notion of installing the new floors on their own.  While many consumers are fully capable of installing new floors and have done it many times throughout their lives, some homeowners may be in over their heads if they try to tackle this job alone.

Installing new flooring, weather it’s carpet, tile, wood or laminate is something that you want to make sure you do right the first time.  Improperly installing floors is only going to make the process more difficult and cost you more money in the long run.

Anytime you purchase new floors, talk to the sales associate and see what specials they are offering.  Oftentimes sales people will throw in installation for free if you meet the minimum purchase price for the materials.  Some stores run specials on installation, and it is always a good idea to ask.  Don’t be afraid to use your bargaining and negotiating skills.  Sales associates and managers have more wiggle room than they lead on.

If you can’t seem to find a cheap installation price, or you’re determined to install the floor yourself, there are a few things you will need to do before you begin. Before you get started, running out to the book store and buying a book on floor installation (aimed at the material you are installing) can be a life saver.  Installation books will tell you what tools you need, how long the process will take, and give you a step-by-step guide to properly installing floors.  Laying carpet and tile will most likely require tools you may not own, such as a knee kicker or a tile cutter or tile saw, which you can rent or purchase from local hardware and home improvement stores.

Different flooring materials will obviously require different installation techniques.  Tile will need to be cut and installed on a clean surface.  While it is usually laid on subflooring – otherwise known as plywood – there is mortar available at your local hardware store that allows you to install tile on top of tile which can save you the hassle of ripping up the existing tile before installing the new material.

Always remember to take your time and use your best discretion.  If you just are not a handyman or handywoman, you may want to seek out some help from a friend or family member who has experience with installing new floors.  You’ll be much happier with a clean, properly installed finished product than a new floor that doesn’t look professionally installed.


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