What to Do About Old Flooring When You Want to Upgrade

Good flooring is the basis of home décor. You can choose new materials, textures, and colours for a new look home. But first you need to know if you can use the existing flooring to lay the new floor over, or if it has to be removed for the best finish and durability. 

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When Can You Lay New Flooring Over Existing Flooring?

Most experts agree that you should not simply lay a new floor over an existing one, except in special circumstances where it will not compromise the new flooring. For starters, the new floor base will only be as solid as the existing one. The first problem you will experience is that your floor squeaks continuously. The more layers of flooring you have, the worse this problem will be. You could also be denied a warranty on your new floor. 

Adding extra layers of flooring can raise the floor level to a height that was not intended by the design of the house or apartment. As a result, doors may not shut completely and the trim will not look right. Another problem with adding layers is that appliances may not fit under counters anymore or an existing appliance could become stuck and need the new flooring ripped up when you want to move the item. Also be aware that if the old floor gives way, the new one will too.

Only consider layering if the old floor is level and compacted and without structural faults, and provided that none of the concerns mentioned above exist. If there is asbestos in a previous layer, you may also be reluctant to tamper with it as this is a dangerous material. The new flooring must be laminate or interlocking luxury vinyl tile.

Removing Old Flooring

If there is no asbestos in your old flooring, you can save money by removing it yourself. How you do this will depend on the type of flooring in place and how many layers there are. If possible, place a large rubbish collecting bag right outside the window or somewhere accessible to dispose of materials. The skirting panels will have to be removed.

Next, use a hammar to crack the tiling and a chisel to pick up the pieces. Once this is done, pry away the next layer. Use a circular saw to cut through a few planks, then a pry bar to remove them, as well as any nails, until you have covered the area. Remove the paper barrier underneath.

Options for New Flooring

Some forms of flooring are less expensive than others, but don’t rush for the cheapest. Consider what will fit in with the overall look you are after. Options to consider are a hardwood floor, engineered wood flooring, bamboo, ceramic tile, laminate, vinyl, linoleum, and cork. Each has advantages and disadvantages. For example, laminate floor is versatile because it can have the appearance of wood, tile, or stone. However, if it deteriorates, it will have to be refitted and is prone to damp.

Having determined if the old flooring is a good base for your new floor or whether you should remove it first, you can now begin to transform the rest of the room. You will want to paint the walls and add new furniture to complement the style you are aiming for. Above all, make sure that the colours and textures chosen match what you have in mind. 

Malika Lugar

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