How to Prepare for a Tile Flooring Renovation
This is one of the most important responsibilities we have as tile professionals.
In addition to guiding clients to appropriate tile flooring, assisting with design and educating homeowners about tile, one of the most important tasks is managing expectations.
This includes the homeowner’s expectation of tile performance, maintenance of tile floors and what to anticipate during the tile floor installation process.
Flooring removal and installation is hard work. It’s labor intensive, noisy and messy.
The first step to navigating the removal and disposal phase is to know what to expect before the crew arrives.
Sensitive Family Members - If you have family members that are sensitive to noise and disruption of routines, consider a visit with a family member or friend during the day. Or, sequester your family member in a quiet room away from the work site.
Pets - Noise and strangers can be distressing to pets. Frequently opened doors are a risk. Secure pets in a part of the home that is not affected by the flooring renovation. Or, ask a friend, relative or boarding facility to care for them during the renovation.
Baseboards - This is a good time to upgrade your baseboards. Ask your contractor to measure for new baseboards. If you intend to keep the existing baseboards, expect to replace some if they are removed. Old baseboard gets brittle and can splinter during removal. New baseboards will require paint. Old baseboards may need paint touch up after tile flooring installation.
Paint Touch Up - Expect to need paint touch up on baseboards and walls. If you plan to paint, we recommend painting after new tile floors are installed. Flooring removal is dirty work and walls can be nicked in the process. It’s easy for painters to use tarps to cover & protect new tile floors during the painting process.
Hire a Cleaning Crew - After the flooring renovation is completed, facilitate clean-up by hiring a company that specializes in post construction cleaning. They are familiar with the way dust navigates through the home. We suggest Linda Whalen Cleaning Services in Melbourne, Florida (954) 654-9727
MANAGE YOUR FURNISHINGS
Furniture and belongings must be removed from the work areas before the tile installation crew arrives. Tile flooring installation experts are not professional furniture and appliance movers. Many tile contractors avoid handling furniture and appliances due to liability.
Can you do the heavy lifting? Moving furniture yourself doesn’t add to the cost of the project, but it might not be the best option. If you have physical limitations, enlist the aid of friends and family or hire professional movers. Moving pianos & safes is best left to the experts. Small, one or two room projects are ideal for homeowners to handle on their own.
Musical Chairs; Small Project - Move your furniture to your spare rooms while your new flooring is being installed. If multiple rooms are being refloored, it means a lot of moving furniture from room to room, but if you handle this task, it doesn’t cost you a dime.
On Site Storage; Mid-Size Project - Garages can be used for short-term storage during the installation process. Be certain the space is waterproof and secure.
Short-Term Storage; Large Project - Renting a portable storage unit for a month facilitates the process. This is especially true if you have a lot of furniture and accessories. Give yourself a break and hire someone to help you move your furniture. We suggest Mi-Box Storage of Space Coast for local portable storage (321) 500-4344
Don’t Forget Décor - Anything hanging on walls and fragile accessories should be removed prior to a flooring renovation. Minimize post flooring renovation cleaning by securing artwork and décor away from the work site in closed rooms.
Electronics - Disconnect and store electronics away from the work space; TV’s, computers, laptops, etc.
Books, Accessories, Toys - Pack up household items and store away from the work zones.
Appliances - Gas appliances must be disconnected and reconnected by a licensed plumber. Dishwashers are usually left in place; if the dishwasher must be removed, a plumber is required for this too. Washers and electric dryers can be moved into the garage or to a covered patio. Most refrigerators with wheels can be moved around as the project proceeds. Discuss appliances with the tile flooring contractor.
Plumbing Fixtures - Toilets must be removed and re-installed by the homeowner or a licensed plumber.
Even “dust free” flooring removal produces residual dust. The entire construction process of installing flooring produces dust. And dust travels.
Flooring contractors often provide dust containment as an added labor cost.
Discuss this with your contractor to determine what they will provide. You will be responsible for moving personal items and covering furnishings.
Hang and tape plastic sheets in doorways to contain dust. Use painters tape to avoid damage to walls.
Cover vents, ducts and air returns.
Turn off the A.C. during flooring removal. Keep doors closed to maintain temperatures.
Tuck old towels or sheets under doors to closed rooms.
Pack up pantry items when kitchen floors are being replaced and store in a closed room.
Remove clothing and linens from closets in the renovation area and store in a closed room.
Cover furniture in rooms in close proximity. Old sheets suffice.
Keep a pair of slip on shoes next to the work zone entrance. This helps prevent tracking dirt, dust and debris to other parts of the house.
THE NIGHT BEFORE AND DAY OF
Clean up! Even if the install team is removing old flooring, vacuum the floors to eliminate dirt, dust and pet hair. This keeps the site cleaner and more orderly.
Tidy Up! Relocate toys, mail, paperwork, pet supplies and household clutter away from the work zone.
Clear up the Entry! Remove anything from the entry that would hinder the crew’s movement from the street, driveway, sidewalk, porch and foyer.
Which Restroom? Determine the restroom that will be available to the installation crew and clearly identify it when they arrive.
Be sure someone is home. The team arrives early. Make sure the house is unlocked and address the arrangements to lock up.
Disclose pertinent details. Is there anything out of the ordinary the crew needs to know about the home or its occupants? Aggressive dogs, etc.
Stay away from the installation. The tools & equipment used during removal and installation can cause injury. The crews work best given adequate space. Direct questions to the project manager. Refrain from engaging in conversation with the crew as this distraction slows the process.
AFTER THE INSTALLATION
Moving Furniture Back Into Place While it’s best to wait a day before moving furniture back into place, often this isn’t possible. In this scenario, wait a couple hours while the grout sets. Be careful to not drag furniture over or through grout joints as this could gouge the grout out of the joint.
Cleaning Newly Tiled Floors Refrain from scrubbing, mopping and wetting newly installed tile floors. The grout needs to cure. Wait a couple days before cleaning. Use Miracle Sealants Tile and Stone Cleaner, available at Atlantic Tile.