There are a number of options for protecting your floor, but it tends to be a last-minute consideration if it is done at all. Yet you can’t afford not to protect your floors as damaging a floor during a renovation adds to the cost of the project and results in delayed work. Let’s learn how to protect your floors the right way during renovations.
Plan Ahead to Streamline Work
If you plan ahead, you can put foam door protectors on door frames so they won’t get scratched up as you carry heavy items out of a room and building materials in. If you’re going to be removing interior walls, cover all areas of the floor that may be affected before you start ripping out the drywall.
Think about the floors you may be putting in as part of the renovation. If you just laid a new floor – be it laminate, wood, timber or tile – you’ll want to put down plastic sheeting to protect it as work goes on. When these floors are new, any membrane put on top of them must be permeable so that the floor underneath can breathe. If you throw non-permeable membranes on these floors to protect from spilled paint, dust and abrasion, you may find that you’ve added to the drying time or curing time.
Plan the Path for Workers and Materials
Inside your home, you should consider installing protective films where people will be walking and working. Cheap adhesive film lets you protect carpeted areas that won’t see much footfall. This generally doesn’t need additional tape, though taping it around edges and door frames keeps it in place. Unfortunately, not all these films come with anti-slip coatings.
If you’re putting plastic film on vinyl flooring, it is essential to have a non-abrasive, anti-slip surface on the plastic cover so that your floor covering doesn’t slide on contact and create a trip hazard. Consider putting down Trimaco dropcloths. They’re durable, slip resistant, and stain-resistant, whether you pick canvas dropcloths or plastic ones. Sheeting like this can be found in wide rolls that can cover a large area quickly. Lay down these materials wherever people will be walking through and across the work area. If you’re going to be putting down a lot of plastic covers, tape applicators save you a lot of time and hassle.
The only exception to this advice is if work crews will be rolling heavy equipment into your home. If so, you may want to lay out hardboard paths that ensure the wheels won’t hurt your flooring.
Clean as You Go
Have a clean as you go strategy. Ask those working on the remodel to tidy up their workspace at the end of the day. Sponge mops and shop vacuums can suck up the dust, while sweeping anything up found elsewhere in the house prevents it from getting into the small cracks that are a challenge to clean up later. Consider putting dirt trap mats in front of doorways. Clean up any spills, and pick up trip hazards at the end of the day. You probably want to replace ripped dropcloths, too, so that paint spilled tomorrow can’t stain your carpets or hardwood floors.
While many of these tips are sound construction practices, they’re often overlooked by do-it-yourselfers and professionals alike. However, if you take the time to protect your floors at the start of the project and maintain the safeguards throughout, you’ll enjoy peace of mind while saving everyone time.