Installing a wood floor in a home is a great way to improve upon the value and look of a home, old or new. But not only can wood flooring installation be somewhat costly and a little time consuming, it can also be a messy process if not prepared for properly.
When considering what kind of mess a homeowner can expect during wood flooring installation, it’s best to first consider all the steps involved in the process.
First of all, preparing for a wood flooring installation often includes tearing up the old floor (carpeting, linoleum, etc.). All of these processes can be messy, but carpeting is often thought of to be the worst due to the dust and containments that build up underneath.
Either way, along with tearing up the old floor, there’s the task of disposing of the old, waste materials properly. Once that is done, the old floor needs to be cleaned entirely, as the least bit of dust or containments can tarnish the wood flooring installation or the end results of the process.
Before doing any of this, and especially before the actual installation process itself, it is a good idea to hang “dust curtains” on adjacent rooms. Essentially, taping or stapling pieces of plastic tarp over the doorways of other rooms will keep floating dust and containments from traveling to other parts of the house.
Anyone working in the house should always wear a dust mask while sanding or cleaning. It’s also a good, common-sense idea to keep all the windows in the area open as much as possible.
Another precaution you can take that will reduce the mess made inside a home is to provide a good outdoor workspace. Whether it’s a do-it-yourself project or one done by contractors, a good outdoor workspace will provide fresh air for the craftsman and easy clean-up of the inevitable sawdust.
Of course, once the wood floors are installed, any further sanding will be done inside, and that’s where the dust curtains come in handy. Aside from dust curtains, it’s important to remove any and all possible items from the room where the wood floors are being installed, including curtains or drapes and anything hanging on the walls. If, for finishing purposes, the project requires sanding, everything in the area and surrounding rooms will be covered in sawdust.
It’s also possible, in some cases, that the subfloor will also require sanding. It is imperative that the subfloor be not only clean, but also completely smooth.
Baseboards will need to be dusted as well when the project is finished, assuming the homeowner hasn’t chosen to replace those, too. Even ceiling fans will collect sawdust and will need to be cleaned once the room is completed.
In the end, clean up following a wood-flooring installation requires little more than a few hours of hard work, a feather duster and a good vacuum. And remember, the more that can be done outside, (i.e. cutting and sizing boards), the less mess inside. Outside sawdust is nothing a good rainstorm can’t fix.
Once cleanup has taken place, a homeowner can begin reaping the benefits of easier maintenance that comes with hardwood floors. Unlike carpeting, wood floors don’t harbor dust and containments, and don’t retain stains. Most wood floors can be swept or vacuumed, and mopped with warm water and gentle soap.
A little bit of grit is worth the immaculate finish that follows.