Flooring That Fits
By: Danny Lipford
The type and style of flooring in your house has a big impact on the look and feel of your home. We’re exploring some innovative, DIY friendly flooring options that make installing a new floor in your home a whole lot easier.
Pros and Cons of Different Types of Flooring
- Installation is not DIY friendly.
- Can be hard to keep clean.
- Fibers hold dust and allergens.
- Pet can cause damage and odor.
Vinyl Sheet Flooring
- Glued installation isn’t very DIY friendly.
- Fairly durable and easy to clean.
- Glued down, some can be taped in place.
- Installation of many types is not DIY friendly.
- Prefinished engineered wood flooring is easier to install.
- Durable and easy to clean.
- Can be nailed or glued down.
- Installation is very DIY friendly.
- Floating floor that requires no adhesive.
- Fairly durable and easy to clean.
- Easy to remove and replace.
Ceramic Tile Flooring
- Installation can be a DIY project but requires some expertise.
- Very durable and easy to clean.
- Provides big improvement for small investment.
- Most types are glued down but locking tile is available.
Subfloor Requirements for Flooring
- Concrete: Tile can be glued directly to concrete with thin-set adhesive if the slab is clean and defects are filled with floor patch compound.
- Vinyl: Tile can be glued directly to vinyl with thin-set adhesive if the vinyl is glued securely to the subfloor.
- Plywood: Tile should not be glued directly to a plywood subfloor. Instead, glue and screw ½” cement backer board to the plywood, then tape and fill seams before applying tile.
- Underlayment: Lay a thick sheet of underlayment material on the subfloor.
- Expansion Gap: Leave a gap for expansion where laminate flooring meets walls.
Installing Vinyl Flooring Without Adhesive
Congoleum AirStep Evolution ($2.75/sq. ft.) is a flexible vinyl sheet flooring with a fiberglass backing that’s thicker than traditional vinyl flooring. This allows it to be installed either with or without adhesive.
To install vinyl flooring without adhesive:
- Remove any loose or damaged flooring, fill holes with floor patch, and allow to dry.
- Remove shoe molding around the perimeter of the room.
- Cut vinyl flooring several inches oversize with a utility knife.
- Apply double stick tape around the perimeter of the room, without removing the backing.
- Align the vinyl flooring along two adjoining walls. If needed, trim the flooring to fit.
- Peel backing off tape on the aligned walls, and stick flooring to it.
- Cut the flooring to fit the other two walls with a utility knife.
- Remove the tape backing, and stick the flooring down.
- Reinstall shoe molding around the perimeter of the room.
- Attach thresholds in the doorways of the room.
Installing Floating Tile Floor
For a more DIY friendly approach to tile flooring, consider Cliks floating tile floor from the Daltile Campisi collection. The porcelain tile has a polyurethane backing that locks together without the need for adhesive or grout.
To install a floating tile floor:
- Remove shoe mold or quarter round around the perimeter of the room.
- Remove toilet (LiquiLock powder can be added to the toilet bowl to gel the water for easy removal) and/or appliances.
- Use spacers to leave a 5/16” to 3/8” expansion gap between the tile and walls.
- Click and tap each tile in place to lock together.
- Cut tile to fit around walls, corners, and toilets with a wet saw.
- Cover expansion gap with shoe mold or self-adhesive vinyl baseboard.
- Reinstall toilet and/or appliances.
Cliks locking tile and are available at The Home Depot.
You can find more on this subject in our Flooring Category.
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Trimming Door Bottom
To trim the bottom of a door after a new floor has been installed, put a ½” block of plywood on the floor and measure up to the bottom of hinge on the door casing. Measure the same distance from the bottom of the hinge on the door.
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Ryobi Portable Flooring Saw
The Ryobi Portable Flooring Saw with 5” diameter blade is perfect for ripping and crosscutting laminate flooring. The lightweight aluminum construction makes the saw easy to carry, and the dust collection system keeps dust to a minimum. The Ryobi Portable Flooring Saw is available at The Home Depot.
Ask Danny Lipford:
Removing Stains from Wood Floors
Stains that penetrate beneath the finish in wood floors can be difficult to remove and may require sanding and refinishing. Before going to that extreme, try applying hydrogen peroxide to the stain or using a rejuvenator floor cleaner to see if the stain can be removed.