Author Topic: Getting floors done-any tips? update pg 2  (Read 983 times)

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RegionMom

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Getting floors done-any tips? update pg 2
« on: January 22, 2013, 10:28:05 PM »
I saw the kitchen renovating thread and realized I could use some advice for my family's undertaking-
we are looking into changing the carpet in two room into wood or laminate wood flooring.  The front room is little used except for summer-I teach lessons in there, and it is mostly a library of sorts. 
the second room is the family room/den, with the sofa and coffee table and the little used TV.
Between the two rooms is the kitchen and the laundry room. 

I was told at the BigBox Store I went to today to look at samples that the actual work would be done in most likely one day, but all the furniture needed to be moved, and they will not touch the electronics or the piano or my grandmother's antique sewing machine, so we would have to move those ourselves.
but, where?!?
The kitchen is not that large, and definitely cannot handle two room\s of furniture.

So, can I ask for the two rooms to be done on two different days?
It would be cheaper if we pulled up the carpet ourselves, but how much of an undertaking is that? We have little handyman skills.
If I get in-home estimates, and it is in writing, does that really mean the price will not change?
Do you know of any websites that offer before and after photos, like you can do with hair-coloring sites to see what color you would like?

And, the reason we are doing this is mostly because of an elderly cat.  She has ruined the front room.  DH suggested the den so the floors would match.  Here is the horrible question- should we wait until she passes?  She is at least 15 years old.  She was a stray when we got her in 1999 and is a small cat, a mix, tri-colored.  No signs of anything except...not caring about her litter box about every third time. 

so, any advice from those who have had their floors done?  Things to ask the estimator, how to crowd the furniture, best time of year to do it, what about the cat, etc...

Thanks in advance!!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 11:13:48 PM by RegionMom »
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doodlemor

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 11:21:49 PM »
We haven't put down any floor coverings except tile, and I do think that such things need to be done by a pro. 

I think that you could probably find tutorials on Youtube about pulling up carpet, laminates, and so forth.  Even if you aren't doing it yourself it might be wise to learn a bit about the process.

m2kbug

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 11:52:13 PM »
I don't think it's unreasonable to ask the work be done over two days.  This may increase fees but maybe not.  You will have to mention this to them for their estimate.  I can't imagine it would be that much more expensive. 

Most estimates are only good for a certain amount of time.  Some may be 30 days, some maybe six months.  The cost of the products can change for them too, so this will be reflected in your costs.  I can't imagine the cost would change that much if your estimate expired, but you should ask the business before you have them come out, so  you can plan accordingly.

I think you could have problems with the urine and wood laminate floors.  Definitely consider what you're buying and something that is moisture proof.  If you can get to the urine right away, no big deal, but if you can't, you don't want it soaking in or getting between the joints.  While I would hate to wait, I also wouldn't want to ruin brand new floors.  If kitty prefers carpet, maybe this won't be a problem with wood flooring or you can keep a rug around her box - not sure where she chooses to go or if it's just a matter of missing the box sometimes. 

It sounds like now is a good a time as any, once you figure out the kitty situation.  If the other room used mostly in the summer, I would try to get it done before that, but two days' disruption isn't necessarily that bad.



magician5

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 12:16:02 AM »
Contracting through any/either of the big-box stores is fraught with hazards.

I'd suggest you get some quotes from independent contractors.
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joraemi

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 09:14:00 AM »
I saw the kitchen renovating thread and realized I could use some advice for my family's undertaking-
we are looking into changing the carpet in two room into wood or laminate wood flooring.  The front room is little used except for summer-I teach lessons in there, and it is mostly a library of sorts. 
the second room is the family room/den, with the sofa and coffee table and the little used TV.
Between the two rooms is the kitchen and the laundry room. 

I was told at the BigBox Store I went to today to look at samples that the actual work would be done in most likely one day, but all the furniture needed to be moved, and they will not touch the electronics or the piano or my grandmother's antique sewing machine, so we would have to move those ourselves.
but, where?!?
The kitchen is not that large, and definitely cannot handle two room\s of furniture.

So, can I ask for the two rooms to be done on two different days?
It would be cheaper if we pulled up the carpet ourselves, but how much of an undertaking is that? We have little handyman skills.
If I get in-home estimates, and it is in writing, does that really mean the price will not change?
Do you know of any websites that offer before and after photos, like you can do with hair-coloring sites to see what color you would like?

And, the reason we are doing this is mostly because of an elderly cat.  She has ruined the front room.  DH suggested the den so the floors would match.  Here is the horrible question- should we wait until she passes?  She is at least 15 years old.  She was a stray when we got her in 1999 and is a small cat, a mix, tri-colored.  No signs of anything except...not caring about her litter box about every third time. 

so, any advice from those who have had their floors done?  Things to ask the estimator, how to crowd the furniture, best time of year to do it, what about the cat, etc...

Thanks in advance!!

I am in the same situation with an elderly dog.  I am not replaceing anything until he has passed on - then I have 4 rooms to be done.  It seems self-defeating to put in new flooring when you know she is having litterbox problems and will just soil your new flooring, which is why you need to replace it to being with, imho. I would wait. (I am!  lol)

  I'll be interested to hear others' comments about the actual installation - we are going from carpet to hardwood as well.

Good luck!  Give kitty a chin scratch from me. ;)




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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 09:22:32 AM »
As long as the underpad wasn't glued down, ripping up the carpeting isn't a big deal to do yourself.  You'll need some sort of pry bar to lift the tack strips all along the edge of the room and then you'll need to thoroughly vacuum up all the little bits of underpad and dust and pet hair that manages to make its way under the carpet!

For Miss Kitty - is it liquid or solid when she decides not to use the box?  If it is solid, I would go ahead and replace the flooring.  Cleaning that off of a wood floor, as long as you get to it relatively quickly, wouldn't be a problem at all.  If the deposits are liquid in nature, I'd hold off, unless you are going to finish the floor after it is installed.  By doing the finishing afterwards, the varnish/urethane/polymer coating they use will seal all the cracks in the wood.  So as long as you get to the mess quickly, it should be fine.

And I agree with the previous poster who suggested finding an independent contractor, rather than using one from the Big Box store.  If you think about it, Big Box is competitive with other stores who have their own installation staff.  But Big Box sub contracts out the work, keeping a portion of the profit for themselves.  So the people actually doing the installation are paid considerably less than the going rate.  You get what you pay for.  (I have a fence that was installed by a Big Box store contractor by the previous owners.  In less than 10 years, it is completely falling apart, not to mention the fact that they didn't even nail down all the boards to begin with!)
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Ontario

RegionMom

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 10:14:09 AM »
OP here-
I called an independent place, claiming they have deep discounts, and they were going to send someone over today for a free estimate.  The BigBox Store was going to charge $35 for an estimate, and then would not be able to schedule until three weeks out or so.  but they did have on-site samples, and I got a better idea of styles and colors and pricing and edging and cost breakdowns.

But the Independent Place called this morn to cancel--not enough people to send out in my area, so rescheduled, with hesitation, for tomorrow evening. 

This morn I had to really look before finding the kitty.  does she know something is up? 
as for messes, it is a bit of both, just a few feet, even inches, from her box.  her box is in the quiet front room and nothing in her life has changed (litter, diet, houseguests) so I assume it is just age.  since she does use the box occasionally, I doubt a bladder issue. 

as for moving furniture, my son declared that it would be too much work and that we should wait until summer.  I could choose a three-day weekend, but that might cost more.  And we are still puzzled as to how we can move everything into the kitchen and then back, one room at a time, or together. 

                  front door
FrontRoom     Entry
                    Way             kid bedrooms
Kitchen          Hall
Eating Area     Way
                     Den
                     Den
       master bedroom
                       
Ack!
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joraemi

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2013, 10:43:14 AM »
Can you shove things into the bedrooms?  I always figure the house, for all intents and purposes, becomes a fire hazard in it's own right during carpet/flooring installation because there isn't a clear walkway to be had due to the displacement of items.

Also - if you have odor related to kitty's messes, consider the possibility of needing to polyurethane the floor underneath the carpeting before new flooring goes in.  IN that case, it would definitey be better to pull the carpeting yourself. Maybe a local handyman would do that for you, if you feel you aren't able, for less cost than the flooring place?




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magicdomino

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2013, 10:54:27 AM »
There's a wood floor refinishing in my house's future, so I'll be watching this thread.  I've been particularly concerned about moving the furniture.  I do have a carport for the big stuff, although I'll need to cover the stuff with tarps or plastic.  Small stuff will have to clutter the bedrooms.  Would one of those PODS portable storage units work for you?  You will have to rent for the whole month, rather than the few days that you actually need it.

I ripped up the old carpeting myself, cutting it into managable 3 ft. strips, and doing it over a couple of weeks.  It may have helped that the carpeting was so old that the foam cushioning underneath had disintegrated.

If your cat is going close to the box, would it be practical to cover the area with plastic?  Home Depot (and I presume Lowes) sells a heavy vinyl flooring that doesn't need to be glued or stapled down.  They used to sell small rolls -- say, 6' by 6' -- as well.  Otherwise, it might be better to hold off.  My couch desperately needs reupholstering, but I'm waiting until Domino the Neurotic is gone.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 10:58:42 AM »
I had an elderly cat that would get in the litter box but was swiftered up with arthritis and so couldn't squat properly.  She'd invariably pee over the edge.  So I ended up putting the box on top of a large boot tray and then would empty and rinse the tray once every couple of days or so.  But then, my box was in the laundry room, right beside the laundry sink.

When I did my entire basement - spare bedroom, entrance way, rec room - we moved all the furniture into the bedroom, did the rec room and entrance way, then moved all the furniture from the bedroom to the rec room and did the bedroom.  I had a buddy who is quite handy doing the actual laying of the floor but I helped with the furniture moving.  I don't know if this is a possibility for you, to do it this way?

Also, you are talking about having the work done on a weekend.  If it can be done that way, you'll probably be paying a premium.  Contractors usually work M-F, sometimes Saturday, at least in my area.  I think you might have to be prepared to take a couple of days off work.
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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2013, 11:11:36 AM »
If Kitty just misses the box by a few inches/feet, putting down one of the clear hard plastic chair mats under her litter box might work.  Your new floor would still show through and it would be easy clean up.

Pulling carpet out isn't rocket science, but it can be heavy.  Grab some pliers and start in a corner and grab the carpet with the pliers and pull it off the tack strip.  Once you get a bit off, the rest should pull up fairly easily.  I usually fold it back and take a utility knife and slice it into about 3-4 foot wide strips and roll it up.  I tie it up with old baling twine, but that's because I have access to tons of it.  You can also tape or just roll & toss.  Where carpet meets another type of surface it is fairly common for the edge to get stapled to keep it down.  If you can, pull the carpet off the staples, then you can get the staples out of the floor with pliers.  Pad is easy to remove, just tear it up.  Some recycling places will take old pad and the one near me paid 10 cents a pound the last time I was there. Some may even take old carpet.  It can be worth calling around.

A claw hammer and a pry bar with a flat tip will help you get the tack strip off, then a long handled floor scraper will be your friend to remove the staples that held the pad down.  My personal experience is that installers tend to go crazy with the staple gun when installing pad and it won't be fun to pull the staples one at a time.  A floor scraper will pull 95% of them out and you only have to manicure the really stubborn ones.  Sweep all the big stuff up and give the floor a good vacuuming and you are good to go.  My BFF & I can strip the carpet out of a 1200 SF house in a long afternoon.

If there are any stains on the floor, I suggest Kilz or some type of sealer type paint before you put in your new floor.

Nope, I'm not a professional floor installer, I've just had a few rental houses & have had to rip out a LOT of carpet.

If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me.

joraemi

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2013, 11:12:23 AM »
I just had a thought - I wonder if you replace the flooring now, thus changing the place where she is choosing to do her business, if she would move to a different room and start having accidents there because the flooring is soft vs. hard.




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magicdomino

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2013, 11:13:53 AM »
I had an elderly cat that would get in the litter box but was swiftered up with arthritis and so couldn't squat properly.  She'd invariably pee over the edge.  So I ended up putting the box on top of a large boot tray and then would empty and rinse the tray once every couple of days or so.  But then, my box was in the laundry room, right beside the laundry sink.

When I did my entire basement - spare bedroom, entrance way, rec room - we moved all the furniture into the bedroom, did the rec room and entrance way, then moved all the furniture from the bedroom to the rec room and did the bedroom.  I had a buddy who is quite handy doing the actual laying of the floor but I helped with the furniture moving.  I don't know if this is a possibility for you, to do it this way?

Also, you are talking about having the work done on a weekend.  If it can be done that way, you'll probably be paying a premium.  Contractors usually work M-F, sometimes Saturday, at least in my area.  I think you might have to be prepared to take a couple of days off work.

I had an arthritic cat too.  Jessica was willing to use a covered litter box, so all I had to do was place a plastic tray lined with newspaper outside the opening.

Good point about weekdays versus weekends.  I've had workmen come in on Saturdays, and occasionally even Sundays, but it was part of much larger jobs, and they were making up for a delay during the week.

m2kbug

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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2013, 12:10:22 PM »
OP here-
This morn I had to really look before finding the kitty.  does she know something is up? 
as for messes, it is a bit of both, just a few feet, even inches, from her box.  her box is in the quiet front room and nothing in her life has changed (litter, diet, houseguests) so I assume it is just age.  since she does use the box occasionally, I doubt a bladder issue. 

This is why I'm thinking a large rug would be good around the box.  If she has issues with the hard floor, you don't want her soiling carpets in other rooms.  They can be sensitive about their feet and digging.  But of course you would need to make sure the rug had water proof backing or use other suggestions of flooring or mats underneath.  This could be a touchy subject for her.  It's a tough choice since you don't want to ruin new floors.


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Re: Getting floors done-any tips?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2013, 12:18:48 PM »
Depending on your choice of laminate flooring versus hardwood flooring, the timing can be more important (or not). I've installed (with helpers or not) laminate flooring on approximately 1400 sq.ft of space (four bedrooms), after I had pulled up the existing carpeting. I will try to remember the 'helpful' things that I wish I knew at the beginning of my DIY adventures. :)

Carpeting - if you can (or are intending to install baseboard molding), try to remove the existing baseboard molding, or be prepared to try to 'reach' underneath to grasp the edge of the carpet. PPs have already mentioned about the carpet tacks, but also important to remember is to remove any staples that installers may have used to hold the foam/underlayer to the base floor. There tend to be lots of staples, and it's a labour-intensive effort to remove the staples with pliers. Without removing everything from the base/underfloor, you may have an uneven surface to install your flooring and that is never a fun situation.

Whatever the flooring selection you choose, I would suggest waiting for spring and/or warmer temperatures. Flooring (whether it's coming from the local BigBoxplace, or a supplier/warehouse) needs to 'warm up'/adjust to your room temperature before installation starts. That means, being prepared to have even more space taken up by the materials.

I am/was/still-am a fan of doing installations (and other home-installation projects) on a one-room-at-a-time basis. I did the four rooms over four weekends, moving from smallest to biggest room, each taking one weekend as I understood/learned more of the 'little' tricks that made things easier (such as a good laminate saw is an invaluable tool).

You may want to structure your quotations in the same fashion - separate pricing for room A and room B so that you can request whichever room to be done first and explain that the other room would be later (a week, or a few days, or however it suits your schedule). If you have space for storage (of materials), you could even go with ordering all of the necessary materials but separate the installation dates.