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Preparing For a Flooring Project

Preparing For a Flooring Project


Here at Burritt Bros, we typically install the flooring that we sell to our customers. A customer may have never taken on a flooring project (or any home improvement project), so it is understandable that they may have no idea what to expect. The following is a general guide for flooring projects. Your flooring retailer can provide more in-depth for your specific flooring project.

The Work Site

Each work site is going to be different. It may be in a detached home, in a strata condominium, or even in a commercial office space. Customers who live in a strata building will need to check their strata’s bylaws to ensure the work is allowed by the strata. Each strata is different and will have their own bylaws, so it is important to check all the bylaws before committing to any home renovations.

The work site needs to be ready for work to occur. This means that there should be access to power, heat, water (for drinking and for some preparation tasks), and access to a restroom for the installers.

Duration of project

At Burritt Bros, we try to provide an estimate for how long a certain flooring project will take. However, the length of time that a flooring project will take is going to depend on several factors:

  • Total area to be covered in new flooring
  • The type of flooring that is being installed
    • Hard surface installations, like hardwood, will typically take longer than broadloom carpet installations
  • Areas where flooring will be installed (flat surfaces like bedrooms, or areas like stairs)
    • Stairs require more detailed work and will take extra time to complete
  • Related products to be installed (like baseboards)
  • Sub-floor preparation
    • This can include grinding or sanding the sub-floor or using a levelling compound
  • The size of the actual work area
    • Condos typically have smaller areas to work in and can slow down the pace of the installation, especially if tools and equipment need to be moved around as the floor is installed (especially things like table saws for hardwood installations)
  • Unexpected challenges
    • Finding sub-floors that require structural work to make ready for flooring installation
    • Finding older flooring under the existing flooring which might contain asbestos

What can the customer do to prepare for flooring installation?

Customers can help the project go smoothly in several ways:

  • Move small furniture, electronics, knickknacks
  • Empty bookcases and dressers (if they need to be moved for the project)
  • Remove bedding from mattresses (if beds need to be moved for the project)
  • Remove pictures/paintings from walls

Different flooring stores and installation teams will have different rules for how they deal with furniture on a job site. Here at Burritt Bros, our installers can move some basic furniture, but there are limitations as they are not professional movers. Customers may choose to rent a storage cube and place as much of their belongings in the cube as possible for the duration of the installation. Customers might also hire a moving company to temporarily store their belongings off site for the duration of the installation. An empty home is always the easiest to work in. The emptier the space, the quicker the install should be.

What to expect during the flooring project

Expect the unexpected

If home renovation television shows have taught us anything it’s that homeowners should expect the unexpected. With a flooring project, the biggest unknown is the condition of the sub-floor since there is typically existing flooring in the space. Installers will need to remove the existing flooring to assess the sub-floor. It is at this point that surprises can present themselves.

Removal of the existing floors

Different types of flooring will require more time to remove. Typically, flooring that has been attached to the sub-floor with glue or nails will take more time to remove than flooring that is “floating” on top of the sub-floor. Some removals will also create more dust and mess than others. If the sub-floor needs grinding to remove thinset adhesive residue it is going to create a lot of dust and noise.


For safety reasons, work areas should be avoided by the customer during the installation process unless approved by the installer.

Different flooring materials require different tools and require different installation times. Broadloom carpet is generally regarded as the quickest to install. Products like hardwood take more time to install. Hard surface installations will generally be noisier than carpet installations and will generally create more mess during the cutting process. Dust tends to get into all sorts of areas, and customers may not notice dust in a certain area right away. Customers should expect to perform some cleaning after a hard surface floor has been installed. Alternatively, customers should budget for a cleaning company to come into their home after a flooring installation, or after any type of home renovation project.

Final inspection

It is recommended that the customer do a walkthrough of the installation areas with the installer whenever possible. If the flooring retailer also installed the product, the customer can also ask the salesperson/project manager to do a site visit if they have any questions or concerns. Here at Burritt Bros our project managers will often visit the work site more than once during the installation process. Doing this as soon as the installation is complete will provide an opportunity for the customer to ask questions about the finished result.

Please let us know if you have any questions about an upcoming flooring project: info@burrittfloors.com

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