(Series) DIY Hardwood Floor Installation – Planning Ahead

Planning A DIY Hardwood Flooring Installation? Here’s What You Need To Know

Difficulty level: High | Time required: 3-5 days (150-250sf a day)

In this project DIY hardwood floor installation tutorial, you can review all the considerations and planning that needs to be done in order to do a DIY hardwood floor install.

DIY Hardwood Floor Installation
Armed with all the step-by-step’s you’ll need to complete the job, you can decide if it’s a project you’re willing to take on to save a few dollars.

Lucky for you, floating wood flooring is one of the easiest types of floors to install. If you’re planning to glue or nail down wooding flooring it is more difficult, but the tools it requires your probably familiar with already. Tools like drills, saws, and hammers.

First, let’s begin with the tool you’ll need to complete your hardwood install.


Tools Needed for A DIY Hardwood Install

Note: If you don’t already have a flooring nailer, you can usually rent one at your local Home Depot store.


  • Nail Down Flooring
  • Pneumatic Flooring Nailer
  • Nail Set
  • Pry Bar
  • Wood Glue
  • Safety Mask
  • Glue Down Flooring
  • Drill with Drill Bits
  • Nails
  • Tape Measure
  • Safety Glasses
  • Knee Pads
  • Molding, Trim and Underlayment
  • Hammer
  • Circular, Miter or Table Saw
  • Utility Knife
  • Work Gloves
  • Adhesive


Have you purchased your hardwood flooring yet? Here are some of the best flooring showrooms in Arizona that our clients love. With over 21 years in the flooring business, these valley wide vendors have become our first referral for customers to make their flooring selections.


Before Laying Hardwood – Review These Do’s and Don’ts

Before you begin the hardwood floor installation:  

Before Laying Hardwood – Do

  • Leave wood to acclimate in the room you’re installing it in for a minimum of seven days (minimum 2-3 weeks for bamboo) prior to installation, at temperatures of 65°F to 75°F.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, Level your subfloor– The subfloor must be completely level and smooth. ¾-inch CDX plywood is preferred and ¾-inch OSB is acceptable. Minimum 5/8-inch CDX existing wood floor or tongue-and-groove solid wood subfloor is also acceptable. Install on or above grade, not below grade.
  • Use a premium adhesive with “moisture resistant & sound absorption barriers” built-in

Before Laying Hardwood – Don’t

  • Lay rows of flooring from the same box. Different boxes of hardwood will vary. Get a blend throughout the entire floor area, to do that open up and intermix boards from at least 4-5 cartons during the installation.


Other Considerations to Keep in Mind


Will You Install Flooring Under the Door Jambs?

Instead of cutting the flooring to work around your door jamb, cutting the door jamb instead is a much easier alternative. You can easily undercut your door jamb with a thin fine cut handsaw or a Japanese pull saw. Use a scrap piece of flooring as a thickness guide so that the new flooring easily slides underneath.

Will You Need Flooring Transitions?

Seams Between Two Floors of the Same Material

This is important to consider when purchasing your new hardwood materials. If you can purchase the same type of flooring (i.e., ceramic to ceramic), or flooring with the same thickness (i.e., ⅜”  to ⅜”), you probably don’t need a transition at all. You should be able to connect them seamlessly but it can be quite tricky for a beginner. Often times a transition strip may still be added between rooms of similar flooring materials to allow for expansion and contraction.

Seams Between Floors of Different Materials

If you are installing a hardwood flooring that does not match the flooring type of another room- bathrooms for example, or floors with moisture-resistant flooring coverings- a transition strip is necessary.

There are many different types of flooring transition materials to consider. This will depend on your design choices- if you’d like to introduce a new design element to stand out- or for safety and visibility- for example, senior homes or people who need to see and anticipate the change in floor elevation.

Fastening Hardwood Flooring – Staples or Nails?

The most secure way to install hardwood flooring to your subfloor is with fasteners, rather than adhesives or even as floating floors. Different fasteners- manual flooring nailer, pneumatic flooring nailers, nail guns, staple guns- each have a different holding strength to consider for your flooring type. You’ll want to keep this in mind to avoid spitting your hardwood and costing you money.

Generally a manual flooring nailer, you have one option: cleat nails. If you prefer pneumatic flooring nailers, you have your choice of a tool compatible with either cleats or staples.


Are You Up for the DIY Hardwood Install Challenge?

Now that you’ve reviewed all the considerations and planning in order to do a DIY hardwood floor install, how do you feel about the project? Luckily for today’s DIY’ers, there are plenty of amazing YouTube videos to take you step-by-step throughout the entire project should you get stuck.

If you’re up for the job, check in next month (April 2019) as we walk you through the additional steps of your hardwood installation:

  • Prepping a Plywood Subfloor for Hardwood Flooring Installation
  • Getting Started Laying The Hardwood Flooring



Need to Talk to a Flooring Installation Expert?

Our team of dedicated installers has over 25 years of experience. Give us a call to talk about your hardwood flooring install.

Hiring a Contractor – What’s important

What’s important when selecting a contractor

When you find a contractor there’s so many things going on in your mind; can I trust them in my home, will they take the money and run, how do I know they will do a good job?

  • How quickly do they respond to your call,
  • set up an appointment with you & how timely is getting your estimate back (a telling signal to their normal response on the project).

We have access to technology to provide us with contractors but do you ever dream of a simpler time? Think back to 1960 when you could ask a neighbor for a recommendation. Or better yet, only having one contractor in the whole town.

As technology has made it easier to find a contractor, it’s made it harder to know if you can trust them. Before you hire a contractor for your next project, here are somethings to consider.



Starting online will get you in front of the largest amount of contractors and from there you can narrow it down. There’s a few great places you should start online, and these are in no particular order.

Where  to look for contractors

Angie’s List is a great place to start because it is geared towards homeowners who have multiple projects or job in mind, from plumbers to flooring contractors. The website has been around for years so the profiles you will find should have lots of great photos and reviews. Try to find those profiles that show recent activity, and lots of great pictures from past jobs.

Angie's List - Gainey Flooring Solutions


Most people think of Yelp for your next lunch spot or date night but you will find service based businesses as well. You should look for profiles that have photos, descriptions of the business and reviews.

Check for multiple reviews

When reading reviews on any site, whether it be Angie’s List, Yelp or Google, pay special attention to the bad reviews. Look to how the business owner responded, did they keep it professional or were they accusatory? Was it a picky, venting customer or did the contractor put the homeowner in a bad position? There’s always two sides to each story so don’t be afraid of a few bad reviews, and how they respond says a lot about the integrity of the business.

These days we start online,  but asking your neighbors can be a great resource many homeowners don’t immediately think of. The nice thing about personal recommendations is that they will have already vetted the contractor on their own; you will get to hear each step of the job. If they are friendly, they may invite you in to see the work for yourself.

You don’t have to walk next door with cookies to meet your neighbors and ask for a recommendation. There’s a new community called Nextdoor full of everyone in a close radius to your address. Think of it as the online community bulletin board.

Verify licensed and bonding and proper insurance

Once you’ve asked around and found potential contractors, look up if they are license or bonded. Why is this important? The license verifies that the contractor has had some training or certification in the field. And the bonding ensures that if anything goes horribly wrong, you can submit a claim against the bond rather than paying for the remainder of the job yourself.

GFS is licensed, bonded and insured. ROC #296456 & ROC #297719.

Once you call a few contractors and share details about your job, don’t be afraid to ask for references of previous jobs like yours. Ask for the date of the job as well to ensure they are actively running this business, not just a weekend contractor.



Now it’s time to request bids on your project. Everyone contractor’s bid will look slightly different from the next. Some contractors simply conduct their business in a different manner than others. Let’s walk through the general bidding process and what you might expect.

There are two pieces of the bid, the time or labor involved and the material needed.

Time and material

Included in the labor estimate will be any prep work needed. If you are looking to create a new custom bathroom this prep work takes into account the toilet being taken out, the old tile being removed, the disposal of the tile, any relocation of plumbing, etc. This is assuming that there were no hidden issues like mold or the bad work of the person who have previously installed the bathroom. That may come up as the job progresses.


The biggest prep work, and often the most unconsidered, is preparing the subfloor. Any cracks found in the foundation will need to be filled. The floor will also be measured for levelness. Even a slight incline or decline could cause your shower floor to mold due to water pooling in certain raised areas.

Things to consider

Other considerations for time or labor estimates  should be the company’s years of expertise, the quality of the work, the attention to detail and caliber of the installers.

A good rule of thumb is to receive 2-3 bids. Try to look beyond the price because each contractor has different skills. One might be more expensive but they have the knowledge and strong reputation. Another bid might be cheaper but they are not licensed and don’t manage their installers to do everything to code.

A hidden gem of a contractor will be one that has a good eye for design. It’s very helpful getting an expert’s opinion on the design aspect so you don’t have to have everything figured out. Things like what backsplash will match the tile, or what grout color to choose.
Congratulations! You’ve found a reputable contractor, accepted his bid, and you’re ready to start the project. You should have a written copy of the agreement you are about to enter.

If there’s fine print on the agreement make sure to spend some time reading it, this is a big purchase. Some things you might see on the fine print are the finer details like whether or not the tile will be sealed, any surcharges for credit card payment or liabilities.

Sign the agreement and keep a copy with both of signatures for your records.



At this point you should have agreed on a timeline. Contractors have several projects going on at once so don’t be surprised if you don’t start tomorrow, but you should have a plan.

Establish start time and a finish date, then purchase materials

Once the agreement is signed and the start date is set, it’s a good time to begin sourcing the materials. At Gainey Flooring the design process is the most exciting. During the estimation process we can talk about how to make the new flooring/shower updates work for your home.

I have several recommendations for places to visit around the valley. Together we can visit the showroom to discuss different material options, what’s trending and what will work in your home. The GFS will arrange all the shipping to your home.

Click here to review some of Arizona’s finest flooring and tile showrooms.

If you have a specific material in mind, always be prepared with a plan b. You might learn that the product is sold out, or or not available for several months.


Starting day has finally arrived. Your contractor should be communicating with you who the installers are, what time they plan to arrive, and how long they will stay each day. It’s important to keep your project on schedule, but having installers in and out of the house until 9PM is unrealistic. Don’t be afraid to express those boundaries.

If you have any concerns at all – about your install team, how they are working, the progress of the job- don’t be afraid to communicate that with your contractor. This is a big investment and they should understand and be mindful of your concerns.

These are just some of the thoughts, items and moments you will find yourself in during the process of a renovation. For any questions, contact Gainey Flooring Solutions for more information.

Best Flooring for My White Kitchen

So, you’ve decided to follow the white kitchen trend. Good move! Real estate agents say that white kitchens sell homes. Gone are the days of the natural wood cabinets, dark richly colored walls, and busy backsplashes. When it comes to kitchens, the whiter the better! But, you might be thinking that you don’t want white floors. That’s just too much. And you would be right. Too much of any color can feel bland and even overwhelming. So, if you’ve eliminated white natural stone or ceramic tile as an option, you might be asking, what IS the best flooring for my white kitchen?

Dark Hardwood

Best Flooring for My White Kitchen

Dark floors can anchor all the floating white in the room. It gives weight to a room that’s too light, too airy. You can install dark wood in a contemporary kitchen, paired with shiny, laminated, flat surface cabinets, or in a country kitchen with more rustic features. The best part of dark wood is that it doesn’t show every stain or spill. It has some camouflaging properties, unless it’s very dark and very shiny. Sometimes shiny, dark floors show dust more, which can be another headache.

Light Wood Tones

Best Flooring for My White Kitchen

If you don’t want to go dark, you can still keep the light feel of the kitchen without going all the way white or cream. Natural wood floors are a great option because they keep with the bright feel without letting the kitchen “float away.” Pair your modern cabinets with a rustic, natural tone, wide plank flooring to really make the whole look sing. But, you could also go for a beige natural stone or ceramic tile. Just make sure it doesn’t go too dark, if you go this route. Medium to dark tones of natural stone or ceramic flooring can come across as Tuscan, which is hard to combine with white cabinets.

Medium Wood or Bamboo Flooring

Best Flooring for My White Kitchen

Somewhere in between dark and light is a medium color flooring. This can be great in a kitchen with warm gold hardware with some black or dark gray fixtures. Stick with natural colors and materials here. It’s easy to end up with a floor that doesn’t match the clean, bright style of a white kitchen with medium tones. A gray/beige hardwood is a great choice, whereas a orange/beige ceramic tile is not. Again, it hearkens to a Tuscan, ornate style that doesn’t pair well with white cabinets.

Go White

Best Flooring for My White Kitchen

Sometimes it’s great to go all the way. It takes a brave soul to live with stark white flooring because it shows spills and dirt very easily. A shiny white tile might be a high maintenance mistake for someone with small children or pets. But, there are some white or almost white options that could be less of a headache. If you must go light, avoid shine. Shiny floor show dirt more than dull floors. Consider a shiny car. It looks dull when it’s dirty and indicates that it’s time for a wash. A car with a matte finish might give you a little more time between washes. Also, you could try for painted wood on the floor. It is more rustic and allows for some dents and scratches. So, a little dirt doesn’t stand out as much.

And, if you must have white floors, look for an anchoring element somewhere else in the kitchen. Dark wood doors and trim, a dark gray backsplash, or a brightly colored Indian rug could do the trick.

When it’s time to pick flooring for your white kitchen, remember that all white isn’t always best. Select some fixtures or accessories that bring the room back down to earth. While white is bright and cheerful, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Ask yourself, what’s the best flooring for my white kitchen? And call a professional if you get stuck.

Ready to talk flooring? Click to give us a call or schedule a design consultation.

Hardwood Floors, DIY or Professional

Hardwood Floors: DIY or Professional installation 

Your realtor tells you hardwood floors increase your home’s value.  Your pet-loving neighbor recommends hardwood floors for easy cleaning.  Your DIY friend assures you the installation of natural finish oak floors was a breeze.

You’re ready to make the commitment to hardwood floors. Do you do the project yourself or hire a professional?  What’s the real investment for a DIY installation?

Here are some considerations as you decide about installing hardwood floors DIY or professional.

Installing Hardwood Floors Yourself – Considering Each Type of Hardwood Floor

Your choice of hardwood flooring will determine how many episodes of your favorite show you’ll need to DVR or how many football games you’ll miss.

Laminate flooring, made from compressed layers of fiberboard overlaid with a photographic image of wood grain and a protective coating, is available in easy click-and-lock styles.  You’ll need to unpack the flooring and acclimate it for about three days in the room where you plan to install it.  This prevents expansion of the moisture-sensitive particle board.  You can use this time to clean, level uneven areas of the sub-floor and lay a plastic, paper or foil vapor barrier.  After acclimation, allow three to four hours for completing the installation in a 12 x 16 bedroom or living area.

Engineered hardwood is made from compressed layers of multiple woods or wood veneers.  Its construction adds stability, making it less susceptible to expansion, so you may not need to acclimate it like laminate. You’ll still need to spend time prepping the floor. For our 12 x 16 room, plan on at least two working days to complete the install.  And you won’t be able to walk on the new flooring for 24 hours after installation.

Solid hardwood flooring is available in finished or unfinished formats.  Maple, oak, and cherry are among the more widely available hardwoods.  Exotic hardwoods like Brazilian cherry, rosewood and bamboo are durable options becoming more popular because they have more unique appearances than traditional hardwoods.  Allow at least three days to acclimate solid hardwood flooring prior to installation. The exotic woods may need to acclimate for up to seven days.  Plan to commit two days to installation.  With a finished solid hardwood, you can use the room after completing touch-up work.  Unfinished solid hardwoods need to acclimate for up to two weeks after installation prior to sanding. Applying a polyurethane finish and allowing it to set requires three to five more days.

Average Labor Cost for Installing Hardwood Floors

With a rough idea of the time you’ll invest, you need to consider potential dollars you could save by installing hardwood floors DIY or professional.

The professional installation costs associated with hardwood floors vary by floor type.  Industry labor rates to install laminates range from $2 to $8 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the room and prep required.  Engineered hardwoods cost $3 to $10 per square foot.  Finished solid hardwood installation averages $3 to $6 per square foot, with unfinished rates at $4 to $8 per square foot.

If bragging rights and dollars saved are worthy trade-offs for some possible frustration and missed games, then consider the DIY option.  But if the investment with a professional seems reasonable, then make the call and save your time.

When is it Time to Replace Flooring?

when is it time to replace flooringAs homeowners, we tend to hold off on major home improvement projects for as long as possible. These projects are expensive, time consuming, and can be extremely inconvenient.

When your kitchen floor is torn up for a whole week, the room that is most often used in your home is out of commission, that’s stressful. But, sometimes we let our old flooring go too long without being replaced.

When is it time to replace flooring? Here are some ways to gauge whether your flooring really needs to be changed.

Carpet- The Allergen Collector

Carpet, while inexpensive and comfortable to walk and sit on, has a shelf-life. Every day, the people who come into your home are tracking dirt from outside, and not just dirt from the yard. Shoes carry dirt from the bus station platform, the public bathroom at the junior high school, the cafeteria, and other grimy, bacteria-ridden places.

Also, carpet collects dander, dust mites, and hair and skin particles, making it a veritable smorgasbord of allergens. Vacuuming frequently and having a carpet cleaner come in occasionally can help with this, but carpet should be replaced every five years. If you want a real visual of the dust and particles that your carpet is collecting, watch old carpet get removed. There are literally drifts of fine dust particles under your carpet pad.

So, if your carpet is more than five years old, consider having it changed. Or better yet, try hard flooring. With sweeping and mopping, almost every possible allergen is removed and you won’t have to worry about asthma or allergy issues from your flooring. Also, if you take care of tile or stone or wood floors, they will last you four times as long, or longer.

Tile-When it Breaks, it’s Time

Tile is incredibly sturdy. It doesn’t stain easily and can be cleaned quickly. The problem with tile is when it breaks or when the grout starts to get dingy and cracks. Over time, you may start to notice that an edge of

your tile has cracked or that the grout is splitting. This is often because the subfloor is shifting underneath the tile. Once this starts happening, the tile will continue to shift and may become a trip hazard. To make matters worse, dirt and moisture starts to build up under the cracked tile and grout, often becoming moldy and developing an odor. When this happens, it’s time to replace your tile.

Also, because tile does last so long, usually you don’t need to replace it until the style trends change. Many will replace tile floors simply because they have outlasted home décor trends. If your floor is avocado green with brown grout, it’s from the 70’s and it will certainly affect the value of your home. It’s time to put something more modern in.

Wood Flooring- Water is the Enemy

Wood flooring, believe it or not, can last a very long time. Old historic homes often have their original wood floors intact, a demonstration of how durable these floors are. The biggest enemy to wood is water. If water sits long enough on hardwood, it will warp. And usually it will warp beyond saving. This is an obvious time when your flooring needs to be replaced.

But there are other situations as well. The finish on your hardwood will eventually start to fade, and that wood will be exposed to the elements. It will start to turn gray and will be hard to clean. Eventually that unprotected wood will crack and even break. If this happens you may be able to just refinish your wood floors. A good sanding, staining and sealing will give your wood floors new life.

Lastly, termites have been known to attack wood floors. In this case, the entire floor should be totally replaced and the subfloor should be treated with pesticide to ensure the little critters are really gone.

Sometimes it’s obvious when your floors need an upgrade. But sometimes we wait too long, which can be a detriment to our health. Allergens and mold, when inhaled, can inhibit the immune system and cause serious respiratory problems. Also, in the case of wood floors, early intervention can save the floor from irreparable damage. So know when it’s time to make the switch.

Top Five Most Durable Flooring Options

You may be looking for attractive flooring, or the most durable flooring options for pets and children. You may be looking for scratch resistant, waterproof and easy-to-clean floors.

Carpet has its advantages, it’s difficult to clean, traps allergens and dust mites, and stains easily. If carpet isn’t your first choice, one of these five options might be just right for you.

Durable Flooring OptionsLuxury Vinyl Planks

This flooring is the new rage in commercial and domestic interiors. It’s super durable and waterproof, making in an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Wood-look vinyl plank flooring is difficult to differentiate visually from real wood and will not warp in the event of a flood like hardwood. The finish is also scratch resistant, though it can get scratched if something heavy is dragged across it.

Most luxury vinyl plank products are made to be easy to install, though this often depends on your skill level. It’s best to hire a licensed contractor to assure that the subfloor is level and the flooring is installed appropriately.

High Quality Laminate

Cheap laminate will chip, warp, stain and easily scratch. All laminate is actually made from a high-density fiberboard, which is like a cross between paper and wood, and covered with a thin layer of printed plastic. In this higher quality, laminate flooring durability is higher and more scratch-resistant.

The benefit laminate flooring is that it’s cheaper than a luxury vinyl plank, easier to install (since it’s a “floating” floor and not glue down) and there are many options in finishes and styles. It also feels and sounds a lot like real wood, because it’s essentially made from wood—derived material.

Whatever your budget, there are many options for flooring that may work for you if you need something durable. Some are more resistant to water and some more resistant to cracking, so choose your flooring based on the type of use the room or rooms will get.

durable tile for bathroomCeramic or Porcelain Tile

Porcelain is slightly more durable flooring option than ceramic, but it’s also slightly more expensive. The two flooring types are both excellent choices when you need something that is resistant to scratching and water damage. Ceramic and Porcelain tile is easy to mop up and, if the grout is properly sealed, will resist staining as well. However, tile can crack if something heavy is dropped on it, though this is very rare.

Natural Stone

There are different types of natural stone, and some are more durable than others. Slate requires a diamond saw blade to cut, while sandstone will wear with time and natural erosion. All in all, though, natural stone, if cared for, will last a very long time. Sealing your natural stone floors every 2-3 years will help them retain their original beauty and luster. Also, watch out for grit and staining and mop up spills quickly.


While natural wood gets a bad rap in terms of durability, it’s important to remember that some historic homes that are 100+ years old have their original hardwoods in-tact. Yes, a flood will warp the wood and yes, it can be scratched, but a quality hardwood will not only last, but can be refinished and restored as needed. Also, if the dishwasher floods and the water is cleaned up quickly, your wood floors probably will not warp. The only real threat is standing water comes after a flood in an unattended area.


Looking to install new flooring in your home?

Starting your next flooring project with Gainey Flooring Solutions is easy, just three steps:

  1. Free design consultation  | This includes a design consultation to discuss what materials are best for durability and cost, popular plank sizes or colors, and flooring showrooms to visit.
  2. Starting your project | The project starts with the installation quote, the job costs from floor prep to transitions. If the materials were purchased from our preferred flooring showrooms we’ll deliver your materials.
  3. Full 2 year warranty | We stand behind our work and offer homeowners a full 2 year warranty.

Book Your Flooring Consultation

Cleaning Natural Stone Tile


Cleaning Natural Stone TileThe contractors have gone home, and your house is finally put back together after installing new stone flooring. Now the question is, what do I know about cleaning natural stone tile?

If you have natural stone in your house, you may be intimidated by the care of it. Since natural stone comes from natural materials, it does act differently than other hard floors. There are some things you should remember when cleaning and caring for your travertine, slate, granite, or marble.

Removing Dirt & Stains from Stone Flooring

Dirt is your number one enemy. Dirt, sand and dust grind under your shoes and into the floor, gradually “sanding” the protective finish off. Avoid this by putting rugs near all the doors, dust mopping the floor often, and keeping the floor clean in general.

Enemy number two with stone floors is staining. The porous nature of the stone causes it to absorb liquids like urine and red wine and to cause staining that is almost impossible to get out. Avoid this by mopping up messes as soon as possible after the spill.

After sweeping or dusting the floor, mopping helps get what was left behind. Using the cleaner you have chosen or a mild dish soap and warm water, mop your floor with a soft mop. Then, rinse the entire surface with water alone. Allow it to dry. Be careful, wet stone (especially granite and marble) is very slippery.

Stone Floor Cleaner Products

Look for the right cleaning agent. Some stone, like granite, slate, sandstone, quartzite, are SILICEOUS. Siliceous stone is very durable, and you can use a mildly acidic cleaner on it. Marble, travertine and limestone is CALCAREOUS. These stones are not as durable, and you should avoid any cleaner that is acidic. Check the bottle of any stone cleaner to see which stone types it is safest for, and consult with a professional to find the right cleaners for your floor type.

Sealing Stone Floor Tiles

Get it re-sealed. Natural stone needs to be sealed before use, and that sealer can wear thin and get permeated by use. Once it wears off, your stone will start to get stained and scratched, sometimes beyond repair. Get your stone sealed every three years by a professional. The cost of this varies, but you can expect to pay about $1-2 per square foot. This will extend the life and beauty of your stone dramatically.

Repairing Natural Stone Floor Tiles

Get it repaired. Sometimes your flooring will become uneven or cracked. If there are cracks or unevenness in the tiles, dirt will collect and be hard to get rid of. Have a flooring contractor come and fix the damage as soon as possible after you notice the crack or raised tile.

Make sure it’s installed correctly. A bad install will lead to cracking and lifting tiles, which means excess dirt collection and eventually, the need to reinstall the entire floor. Avoid this costly repair by hiring the right contractor in the first place.

Caring for your stone floor takes a little research and some time, but if you do the work, you will enjoy your stone for years to come. It’s one of the most beautiful and durable flooring types in the world, and because it’s natural, it’s always one of a kind.

How-To DIY Ceramic Tile Removal + Tools Needed

DIY ceramic tile removalAre you ready for new flooring? Do you have outdated old tile that you hate, but you are terrified of tearing it out?

While removing old tile is not for the faint of heart, with some elbow grease, a few simple tools and some know-how, your diy ceramic tile removal project will be finished in no time.

  1. Remove any appliances or fixtures that will get in the way of removing the tile. Usually your toilet will be installed over tile and dishwashers are often installed over tile. Obviously your refrigerator will need to be moved out. Make sure you have someone to help you.
  2. You will need a starting point, a place where you can put the pry bar under the tile and pull it up. Usually there will be an edge somewhere when you remove the appliances or fixtures, but if not, you will have to break the tile with a hammer to something heavy. Remember to be careful if you are dealing with a plywood subfloor. You don’t want to have to make repairs there.
  3. Start prying up the tile. By now you should know for sure whether or not there is flooring installed underneath the existing tile. Sometimes you will see an underlayment like mortarboard. You can try to salvage this if you want, but often it needs to be removed. Keep a container nearby for disposal of the old tile. A good tip is to make it a medium to small container so you can resist the urge to put too much in the container. Tile is very heavy and it will be easy to make the container impossible to lift.
  4. When all the tile and damaged underlayment is removed, it’s time to clean and prep the floor for new flooring. Whether it’s carpet, hardwood or new tile, the floor will need to be smooth, level, and clean.

As you labor to remove your ugly old tile, remember to be safe. Wear protective goggles since shards of tile or other material can fly up as you work. Wear gloves and shoes that cover your toes, preferably steel toed boots.

Also, make sure you have the right tile removal tools. A pry bar and a good sledgehammer will be very useful to you. Have a stiff broom and sturdy dustpan nearby for cleanup as you go.

This will be very messy. Dust and debris will be everywhere. If you are prone to asthma or bronchial problems, you should wear a mask and keep your windows open, if possible.

Good luck, and happy flooring!


Having trouble removing your old tile?

It’s our job to know exactly how to remove tile quickly. Give us a call if you get stuck, and we’ll give you a hand.

I need help removing my old flooring

Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Laminate For Your Bathroom

Bathroom Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Laminate

Flooring Options to Consider for your Next Bathroom Remodel

When looking for new flooring for your bathrooms, you may find yourself wandering the flooring aisle of your local home improvement store, lost in all the options.

Hardwood, tile, luxury vinyl plank, vinyl sheet flooring, and so many other flooring types can be overwhelming. But the two types that are often compared are luxury vinyl planks and wood laminate flooring. They are both lower in cost than traditional hardwood and mimic the look of a real hardwood.

When comparing vinyl plank flooring vs laminate for the bathroom, we look at three different considerations, durability, look and feel, and ease of installation.

Durability of Laminate and Luxury Vinyl

Laminate is made of fiberboard, which is wood pulp that has been glued together into planks. The visible portion of each plank is just a thin layer of printed material, usually in a hardwood print. So, this flooring acts like wood. It is not a great idea to use it in bathrooms. If a plumbing fixture leaks without immediate cleanup, it will warp, and unlike hardwood, will not be fixable. You can’t resurface or sand laminate without losing that decorate laminated layer and ruining it.

Luxury vinyl is another story. Luxury vinyl planks are a relatively new product, but it’s become very popular for use in many different environments. Even commercial spaces can use this flooring without fear of it needing to be replaced in a year. It’s very durable and it doesn’t react to exposure to water. It doesn’t warp or mold and for this reason, it’s an excellent choice for a bathroom.

Look and Feel

Laminate, since it’s made from wood fiber, actually feels more like wood flooring than vinyl. This might not be a good thing, though. Wood is louder, more hollow sounding, and can be annoying in some environments. Also, there are usually more options for styles in laminate, giving you more options that may be more visually appealing to you.

Vinyl is a lot quieter than laminate. The feel resembles a ceramic tile, but most people don’t notice the difference because the luxury vinyl plank looks very convincingly like wood. In a bathroom, however, where people are often barefoot, this should be a consideration.

Ease of Installation

Laminate is pretty easy to install. Like wood, you need a chop saw to cut the pieces to fit and sometimes it needs to be nailed down. You can also glue it down and some products are meant to be “floating” so, no need to glue or nail. But, since laminate is thick and rigid, the subfloor needs to be very level and smooth. If it’s not, the flooring will tilt and crack and eventually look bad.

Vinyl often comes in “click-in” planks which are meant to be installed as a floating floor. You don’t need glue or nails and, even better, it stands up to a little unevenness. However, because it’s flexible, all vinyl will eventually fall into the grooves or uneven areas in the floor, so the subfloor should be pretty smooth. Large cracks or bumps will show after some time.

Our Vote

For bathrooms, luxury vinyl is a much better option. You don’t have to worry about someone overflowing the bathtub or a pipe bursting and ruining your floor, not to mention the mold that comes when water sits on organic materials. For other areas of the home, laminate may be a better fit, but luxury vinyl planks in any print would be your superior choice for the bathroom.



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Starting your next flooring project with Gainey Flooring Solutions is easy, just three steps:

  1. Select your flooring materials | This includes a design consultation to discuss what materials are best for durability and cost, popular plank sizes or colors, and flooring showrooms to visit.
  2. Starting your project | The project starts with the installation quote, the job costs from floor prep to transitions. If the materials were purchased from our preferred flooring showrooms we’ll deliver your materials.
  3. Project complete | We stand behind our work and offer homeowners a full 2 year warranty.

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2017 Wood Flooring Trends to Follow

2017 Wood Flooring Trends to Watch this Year

2017 Wood Flooring TrendsWood floors have been used for hundreds of years in homes all over the world. It’s not uncommon to walk into a 100 year old home and see hardwood floors in good condition. Today, hardwood is still an excellent choice, and there are many more options than ever before.

From hardwood floor stain colors to the most popular flooring in new homes, here are some of the hardwood floor trends for 2017.

Renewable Flooring

Pine and cork are trees that grow relatively quickly, making them more renewable. The wood is softer, but many people don’t mind a more distressed look on the floor. Cork is resistant to fire and very lightweight. Pine is great because it can be cut, stained or painted to achieve pretty much any look.

Popular Hardwood Floor Stain Colors: Gray and Honey

Gray wood floors are extremely trendy right now. This look can be achieved by either using a gray stain or paint. Make sure, if you choose this route, that you like the plank size and type of wood you choose.

When the trend fades you can refinish the floors to meet the next trend. Lighter honey colored stains are also popular, following the midcentury modern style.

Most Popular Flooring in New Homes

While this flooring product is not actually wood, it’s an extremely popular option if you aren’t sold on natural wood. It’s cheaper, easier to install and more durable than hardwood. One drawback to vinyl is that it’s basically printed in the factory on each plank. This means that there will be a pattern repeat. This flooring has to be installed carefully to avoid an annoying visual repeat effect.

Repurposed Wood Floors

This option can be pricey, but it’s more environmentally friendly than new hardwood. Repurposed wood comes from older homes, factories, or even barns. It can also be challenging to install because of warping or splitting. Make sure you hire a good contractor to do this work.

Hand Scraped or Wire Brushed Engineered Wood

Engineered wood flooring offers more flexibility in terms of texture. The hand scraped trend has been around for a long time, but it’s still a very popular option. Engineered wood is less susceptible to warping in a flood and is a little more durable than traditional hardwood. If this flooring is damaged, however, it can’t be refinished.


Looking to start a new wood floor remodel in your home?

Contact Bruce at Gainey Flooring Solutions to get a free in-home consultation. You’ll get expert advice on popular hardwood flooring options, and what it will take to turn your flooring into a trendy masterpiece.

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