DIY – Don’t

If you have toothache you go to a dentist, if you feel unwell you see your doctor, if you car wont start you call a mechanic, for every eventuality in life there is someone who specialises in that field in order to fix the problem. So why is it that when people are using a general builder they feel it appropriate to entrust the “said builder” with specialist tasks that are outside of his skill set. Moreover, why does the builder give the customer the impression that he is a specialist in everything.

This is not a lecture just advice from someone who knows what can go wrong when you ‘give it a try yourself’ or ask someone else who is not a professional in that field to carry out the work

Believe it or not certain elements of flooring are actually pretty complex, and we are still learning every day about new and improved ways of installation and advancements within the industry.

We work with some very competent builders such as Rees Homes Ltd and most will try to be very helpful when it comes to extras such as fitting flooring or tiling, painting etc. But you should remember builders are not specialists in every field, most fit neatly in the pigeon hole of general builder, with only a few are maybe a little more specialist.

When it comes to flooring whether it be sticking down solid oak, latex levelling, damp proof membranes, the builders we work with know that a specialist will save them time, put a real finishing touch to their build and ultimately save them money as any snags will be addressed by the flooring specialist and not the builder.

If you’re having  building works carried out or an extension at the moment you probably think your builder can do everything or at least he has told you he can, but please don’t be naïve, flooring is a specialist job, as is electrical work and plumbing, you would not let your electrician or plumber fit your floor so why would you let your builder do it. I have always said that if had pound for every time a customer has come to me and said ‘my builder fitted my floor and it’s all coming up now’ I would be a millionaire, don’t get me wrong some builders do know what they are doing but more often than not they are taking chances with your flooring and subsequently your hard earned money.

Solid oak floors also need specialist installation, you can’t just go and buy solid oak, or even engineered oak flooring from a local diy center and fit it yourself the same day, it must be allowed to acclimatize for at least 7 days (48hrs for engineered). It must be permanently fixed to the subfloor by either secret nailing or fully bonded adhesive to a sub floor that is clean, sound and dry and flat to within plus or minus 2mm over 1800mm . It must be strap clamped during installation to ensure it stays tight together and most important of all expansion gap, expansion gap, expansion gap, minimum 10mm at any point where it meets an obstacle. Unfortunately unless you’re an expert in flooring you would not know this, most diy center staff don’t know this so dont rely on them for advice. Even knowing the above wont ensure a good job, however experience does, don’t DIY,  it’s not worth the risk, it will cost you in the long run when the flooring has to be removed and re installed by a professional.

When it comes to Amtico or Karndean flooring, only an approved fitter should install these products. This is because Amtico and Karndean will only warranty their products if its fitted by an approved installer, if there are any warranty issues then the suppliers and fitter need to be on site before any warranty inspection can take place. This holds true if you purchase the product on the internet, your supplier would have to be on site for any warranty issues to be resolved as well as your fitter. Your fitter (if it is a shop) will be more inclined to help you if they have supplied the product, most shops will not fit a product you have purchased elsewhere, this is because they cannot guarantee if it is genuine (there are plenty of fake products on the internet, flooring is actually one of the most copied!). Chinese factories have become experts at passing of substandard products on the internet, they look the same, are packaged the same, but are made from substandard materials and because they are fake there is no warranty.

I guess it comes back to what we started with , flooring can be a huge part of your overall budget when you are putting on an extension or simply replacing your floor coverings. You would not by a car without looking at it, or furniture, or really anything else for that matter, so why risk it with your flooring, its just not worth it

Go to a reputable shop where you will get expert advice from people who know the industry inside out, they will supply and fit genuine products which will be installed by craftsman, we cannot speak for all flooring shops, however if you visit Lloyd Marsden we guarantee this to be the experience you will have.


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