Pre and Post Wood Flooring Installation Tasks

How to Save a Bundle on Installing a Wood Floor

By Mark J. Donovan

Recently my wife and I decided it was time to replace the fading, worn out carpet in our family room. We decided that instead of just replacing it with new carpet that we would instead replace it with an Oak hardwood floor. Though we had a professional actually perform the wood floor installation, there was still a significant amount of pre and post wood floor installation work that we chose to do. Of course we could have paid the wood floor installation company to do the work, however it would have nearly doubled the cost of installing the wood floor.

Pre Wood Floor Installation Tasks

Prior to installing a wood floor, there is always the task of searching out and finding the type of wood floor you are looking for.

In our case we visited three different home improvement stores, with one catering specifically to installing wood floors. We received quotes from all three wood floor stores and compared prices and tasks performed. In particular we paid attention to the costs that went above the basic wood floor material costs and installation costs. For example, we looked to understand the costs for just measuring the room for flooring, and if this cost was deductible. We also looked carefully at the costs for installing quarter-round moulding around the baseboard.

We also looked to see what the charges were for moving furniture, and subfloor preparation that they felt would be required. Finally we looked at costs, or support, for taking away wood scraps. Some wood floor installers charge a fee for rubbish removal.

After deciding on the type of wood flooring and who would actually install it, we got down to work doing a number of pre wood floor installation tasks. To save costs we decided upon having only the wood floor installed, period. We would do everything else, which quite frankly represented a great deal of the work.

Because we decided that the old baseboard trim was in rough shape and did not want to see the baseboard trim buried by 5/8 thick of wood floor we chose to remove the old baseboard prior to the wood floor installation.

Next we removed all of the old carpet and padding. We cut the carpet into 4 foot width sections using a utility knife and simply rolled it up and loaded it up into our van.

After discarding the old carpet we then removed a small 3’ x 5’ section of ceramic floor tile and subfloor. This required some significant work. See my article on removing ceramic floor tile.

Next, we disconnected and removed our wood stove from the family room. This required disassembling the stove pipe and moving the very heavy stove from the room.

We then tiled a small 3’x4’ area where the stove sat. Due to fire code reasons a hearth of some sort is required and we elected to go with ceramic floor tile.

After sweeping up and the subfloor and checking for any damage we returned the furniture until the wood floor installer showed up a couple of days later. Just before his arrival we then removed all the furniture from the room.

Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet

Post Wood Floor Installation Tasks

After the wood floor installation was complete we started by installing new baseboard trim.

Instead of staining the baseboard trim the same color as the window and door trim, we chose to paint it the same color as the walls, but using a semi-gloss paint. This decision was a great choice as the finished baseboard trim really looks sharp up against the new oak wood floor. If we had decided to stain the baseboard trim it would have clashed with the oak wood floor color.

After installing the baseboard trim, we reconnected up the wood stove and moved the furniture back into the room. With the furniture relocated our wood floor installation project was complete. The wood floor looks impressive and we saved a small bundle performing all of the pre and post wood floor installation tasks.

So the next time you are considering replacing your old carpet, consider installing a new wood floor instead and doing the pre and post work yourself. The pre and post work is not that hard to do and you will save yourself a small fortune. In the end our wood floor costs were not much higher than the price of installing new carpet.

For help on finding a wood flooring installation contractor, see’s Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet. It will help ensure that you find and hire the right flooring installation contractor for your wood flooring project. In addition, it will help to ensure that your wood floor installation is completed on time and on budget.

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