Floor replacement is a great way to increase the property value of your home, but it can be a big task to take on. Sure, you can hire contractors to do it, but doing it yourself is generally cheaper, and it can be a rewarding experience that you’ll feel proud of when you’re done. The great thing about DIY floor replacement is the fact that even though it’s a large undertaking, it really isn’t that complicated overall depending on what type of floor you’re going to be installing.
The most important thing to remember when replacing your floor yourself is that you need the right tools for the job. Not having the right tools can cause delays or mistakes which can prove costly. A good idea is to learn about what kind of floor replacement you’re doing, figure out what tools you’ll need, and get them all at once before you start. This way you won’t have to put your project on hold because you discover that you don’t have a tool that you need to get the job done. This being the case, let’s take a look at five essential tools for floor replacement.
1. Tape Measure
While this may seem almost too simple to matter, not having a tape measure can spell disaster for any flooring project. In fact, a tape measure is likely the very first tool you’ll be using since you need the correct measurements in order to decide the length of the materials you’ll be using for your floor. For example, if you’re installing a wooden floor you need to know how long the planks should be. Using a tape measure figuring out basic facts like this is easy, and will set you on the correct path when purchasing and/or cutting your materials.
2. Contractor Table Saw
Speaking of cutting things, another essential tool for floor replacement is the contractor table saw, especially if you’re installing a wooden floor. This tool will allow you to cut wooden boards into the length you need based on the measurements you took with your tape measure.
These days contractor table saws come in all different shapes and sizes, with different levels of functionality. Most have wheels for easy transport as well. Even though a contractor table saw is essentially just a wood cutting device, there are other features to consider such as the size of the tool, the type of motor, restart protection, and more. Remember, a contractor table saw is a very important investment for your project, so be sure to do your research and pick one that suits your needs.
Like the tape measure, the level is another critical, yet often overlooked tool that you should be using. When you do floor replacement yourself, you have to make sure that the floor is even and not tilted. In order to do this, you need to use a level, which is a device that typically has a vial containing a small amount of water with a bubble in it. By placing the device onto a surface, you can see whether or not the bubble lines up in the center. If it does, then the surface is even. If not, then it’s tilted.
While most levels are very simple, there are more advanced models such as the pivot square which features three different bubbles for different angles, and a variety of measuring tools. In most cases, floor replacement won’t require anything this extreme, but if you do need something fancier than a normal level, just be aware that there are other options.
If you’re going to replace your floor, then you have to first remove the old floor. The kind of floor you have will determine what kind of tools you need to use, but having a prybar is always a good option, especially if you’re replacing a wooden floor. Prybars are bars shaped in a way that allows them to get up under old floorboards, and pry them loose. In addition to the standard crowbar style prybar there are other types as well including:
- Qep Staff
- Wrecking Bar
- Multi-Tool Prybar
- Molding Lifter
The key to using the right kind of prybar lies in understanding how you need to remove your old floor, and whether or not you care if you damage it. If you want to keep the old floor relatively intact, then that will play a part in determining which kind of prybar you use.
5. Safety Goggles
Another very simple tool, but also very important. When doing any kind of construction work such as floor replacement, you always want a good pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes. Some models are fairly simple and are basically just a pair of thick plastic glasses. Others go a bit further and are built to attach completely to your face around your eyes, ensuring that no debris hits you at an odd angle.
The thing to remember when purchasing safety goggles is that they come in different sizes. Too large and they may not fit on your head, and can become a nuisance to wear. Too small and they may not provide enough protection. If you’re purchasing them in real life, make sure you try them on first. If purchasing online, you should look at the sizes and get an idea of which would fit you best.
A Good Job Requires Good Tools
Another important fact to keep in mind when doing floor replacement is that the quality of the tools you use matters. Shoddy tools will do a shoddy job in most cases. On the other hand, just purchasing the most expensive tools possible doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get what you need.
Instead, carefully consider the tools you need for your floor replacement project, and purchase good quality items that will help you get the job done. Remember, this is an investment, and the costs will likely be offset by the increased property value. Understanding this fact will help you to make good decisions when purchasing the tools you need for floor replacement.