Having the essential DIY flooring tools and equipment is crucial in case your floor needs minor fixing. More so, most of the trending flooring materials come with features such as click-lock that offers the best floor installation experience to the DIY-lovers.
Be it wood flooring, laminates, vinyl, floor tiles, and carpeting, having the essential tools makes your opportunities endless. Having the right tools at hand before commencing a new flooring installation will not only ease your time but also helps to reduce the chances of imperfection. Below are the essential tools and equipment to keep you set.
Flooring Protective Gear
As far as you want to your room space to have an elegant finish, health and safety form the center point. Yes, you should be in protective attire before feeling confident for the task. Putting on the following protective attire will give you a great experience.
1. Safety goggles
To avoid unexpected eye injuries when you least expect, always put on the protective goggles. You never know when a piece of the material may fly into the eye. With that said, choose the safety goggles that meet the standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
2. Dust Mask and Vapor Respirator
This equipment is necessary to protect your respiratory system from the dust and the fumes produced by some of the harmful chemicals. Therefore, never apply finish without putting on the dust mask and vapor respirator.
3. Knee pads
The pads serve to protect your knees from pain and strain. For a better experience, ensure you buy the contractor-grade pads made of cloth and are well adjustable to fit you well. With such, avoid the metal versions and those made of plastic, as they may damage the floor.
4. Safety work boots
Work safety boots are necessary as the dangers to your feet are apparent. However, the shoes should be slip-resistant and capable of resisting compression. For your comfort, choose the boots that have enough cushion. And resist the temptation of using sport shoes that may never provide enough protection to your feet.
5. Heavy gloves
What’s next after protecting your feet? Your hands and fingers need a shield too. Heavy gloves with reinforced fingertips are the best. It would be incredible if you can find those made of a high-grade rubber. The gloves will protect your hand and fingers from bruises, cuts, corrosive chemicals, and adhesives that you might handle.
6. Apron or overall
The clothing serves to protect your personal clothing from coming into contact with the dust, dirt, and adhesives involved in the floor installation process.
The Universal Tools For All Flooring Installation Project
1. Tape measure
It is a necessary tool for taking precise measurement essential in the flooring project. The tape is useful in establishing the area of the floor, thus making it easy to find the amount of the flooring material that will be enough for the room space. Also, the tape measure helps to make cuts of exact lengths and width due to the accurate measurements.
2. Leveling tools
Leveling tools are essential in checking whether your flooring surface is horizontal or not for proper adjustments. The following are the two types of levels that you can use during the flooring installation project.
- 4ft level– Used for checking the level during the installation of concrete and tile flooring
- Carpenter’s level– Used for checking the level of the flooring surfaces such as the wood, laminates, bamboo, luxury vinyl, and engineered hardwood.
3. Chalk line
The tool is necessary for marking long straight lines on flat surfaces. With this kind of a device, you can mark long straight lines when laying out your flooring. The tool gives much farther straight lines more than what you can obtain when using a straight edge.
4. A notebook and a pen/pencil
The writing materials helps to take down all the essential measurements and other particulars. The materials will help you keep a clear record of your data.
Necessary DIY tools for Hardwood Flooring Installation
Hardwood flooring is one of the best flooring materials that will meticulously blend with your interior design and décor to give a perfect outlook. Whether you are installing hardwood floors in new homes or for remodeling of your renovated house, having essential tools may pay off almost instantly. Now, which tools do you need for the job? Below is the list of the essential DIY tools.
1. Rubber hammer
The tool is useful in tightening up the planks by applying some reasonable force that is enough to make the adjacent wood planks to fit snugly.
The tool consists of a metal bar with the two ends flattened and one or both ends having a fissure for removing nails. The tool can also be used as a lever to force two planks apart.
3. Table saw
A table saw is a woodworking tool consisting of a circular saw. The machine is designed to make angled or straight cuts through the wood planks. With this kind of machine, you do not need to worry about the safety of its use. The tool is safe to use and has an adjustable blade to change the depth of cut.
4. Chop saw, or miter saw
It is a woodworking power tool that is useful in making straight cuts on wood. When the saw has some features that make it cut the angles, it becomes a miter saw. Also, you can use the tool to make precise square cuts as you work. You should be careful when choosing this kind of a saw as it resembles the circular saw.
5. Ear protection
The ear protection equipment is essential in noise reduction. Thus, when using the power equipment, you should put on the earmuffs or earplugs to protect you from the disabling noise. Fortunately, the earplugs are inexpensive and easy to use.
6. Variable speed drill
The tool is essential for making holes on wood during wood flooring installation. The variable drill makes it easy for you to vary the speed of your drill from zero revolution per minute to the top speed of every setting.
- If using a glue down technique, ensure you have appropriate adhesives. Besides, if you are laying it over a concrete floor, ensure the floor has a moisture barrier.
- For nailing down technique, ensure you have:
- A nail gun,
- Staple or cleats
What to Watch Out
Before you start laying your flooring, ensure you are using an appropriate and approved nail size for the nail down flooring techniques. If you are not keen on the sizes of nails required, you may end up with lots of goosebumps on the seams. Also, ensure you troubleshoot for any possible problems such as nicks and gaps and ensure you fill them correctly.
Essential DIY Tools For Installing Ceramic Tile Flooring
Tile flooring comes in different colors, sizes, texture, and thickness that offers distinguishable beauty. The tiles are by far among the most versatile flooring materials that fit every floor spaces in your house other than the bathroom and kitchen. . Ensure you have the following tools before settling for the task.
1. Tile cutter
It is a manually operated tool that is useful in cutting both the ceramic and porcelain flooring. The tool works by scratching a straight line on the surface of the tile and then applies pressure directly below the line and on the sides, thus breaking the tile into two pieces. The tool is essential for precise tile cutting to avoid wastage and misfits.
2. Tile nipper
Cutting the floor tiles may become tricky if you were to use the tile cutter. Since you cannot use the tile cutter, tile nippers offer a perfect solution. The tool helps in nibbling away the edge of the tile to make a curved tile cut. Not to mention, tile nipper is one of the ‘must-have’ tools in any tile flooring project.
3. Framing square
It is also known as the Johnson framing square or steel square. The tool is handy when it comes to finding, establishing the right angle, and marking cut-offs on tiles. Also, you can use the tool in measuring angles of cuts for precision and accuracy.
4. Combination square
The tool has a multi-use on wood, metal, and tiling work. It consists of a ruler and multiple exchangeable heads that you can fix on it when there is need. The most common type is the standard one that serves to measure 90o and 45o. The tool can also be used to find the level of your floor tile by the use of its spirit level vial.
5. Notched trowel
The trowel serves to comb and set the adhesives to various surfaces. Without the notched trowel, it would be nearly impossible to apply and set materials and adhesives on floor surfaces.
It is an essential tool that you can use to remove the baseboards and the doors to allow for more space due to the rising height in floor level. The tool helps to remove the doors as well as refitting them after tiling work. Also, the back end of the hammer can be useful in tapping the slightly raised floor tiles into a level.
7. Floor scraper
The tool has a long handle and an angled head designed to dislodge the layers of old flooring materials such as adhesives. In addition to that, the tool has a sharp blade that makes it ideal for removing the adhesive materials thus leaving the floor clean and smooth, ready for the new flooring.
8. Caulking gun and caulk
A caulking gun is an essential floor tile installation tool that enables you to hold a tube containing filling material for sealing up gaps between the floor tiles. On the other hand, a caulk refers to the sealant contained in the container or a cartridge. The caulk can be either made of silicone or latex.
9. Rubber mallet
You can use the mallet to gently knock the surface of the flooring to make it rest in the level. The rubber mallet serves a vital function that the ordinary metallic hammer cannot fit as it may break the tiles when use to tap them into the level. Moreover, the mallet is light and easy to use.
It is an essential floor tile installation tool that is manually powered to drive in or loosen the screw. The screwdriver help in removing the flush doors to prepare for the new floor height.
11. Putty knife
The knife can be useful in working the concrete to seal narrow gaps left on the floor after laying the tiles. Also, you can use the putty knife to clean the concrete, mortar, and tile adhesive that may have dried on the floor during the task.
The tool is essential when it comes to the mixing of cement, sand, and water to form concrete. You can also use it to scoop concrete and spread on the surface of the floor before laying the tiles. The shovel makes the mixing work easier and faster as compared to using the trowel to scoop the dry sand and cement as well as the concrete.
13. Glass cutter
The tool is useful when it comes to the cutting of the glass tile. The tool makes a score that encourages the tile to break along the score, thus making it easy to cut the tile pieces.
What To Watch Out
It is essential to know that the larger the tile, the easier the installation task. More often, cutting corners on tiles may seem tricky with tile nippers. Thus, you can use a wet saw if you have access to one. Using a wet saw will save you time and spare you the enormous frustrations that might slow down your work rate. However, wet saws are relatively expensive, and you do not need to buy one for a one-time job, thus renting is more cost-effective.
Essential DIY Tools For Installing Vinyl Flooring
The most commonly installed vinyl flooring include luxury vinyl and sheet vinyl. They are among the high-end flooring in terms of elegance and cost-effectiveness. Whether you’ve had an experience in the past or not, the flooring is a no-brainer to install as it comes with the click-lock features that will ease your task. In addition to the universal flooring tools, ensure you have the following tools.
1. Carpenters square
The tool is essential in measuring the angles of cuts on the flooring material.
2. Utility knife
A sharp utility knife is essential in cutting the vinyl flooring into desirable sizes. Ensure you use a construction type heavy-duty utility knife, not just any other knife. Also, ensure you make a straight cut as it looks better than the sloping or curved ones. In case you have trouble making straight cross-cuts, you can use the edge of the square to guide the knife.
3. S-891 trowel
It is a notched steel trowel that serves to spread the adhesive evenly on the floor. You can also find other types such as excellent and regular notch trowel. Also, there are options for left-handed and right-handed.
4. 100 Ib Roller
The roller serves to make the vinyl sturdy after installation. 100 Ib roller is the recommended roller for making the flooring compact and sturdy, thus reducing the instances of seems in the floor.
What To Watch Out
Vinyl sheets are always weak on the cut corners. Therefore, anytime the materials are cut, you should ensure you reinforce the cut with two to three pieces of masking tape to avoid the tearing off that may occur.
Essential DIY Tools For Installing Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo flooring comes with exceptional beauty that will make your floor look classy and authentic. Unlike wood plank, bamboo flooring has a relatively high water resistance and a sleek surface that makes it stain-resistant and easy to clean. More interestingly, there are many options that you have based on the technique for installation. You can lay down bamboo flooring through nail-down, glue-down, or floating floor methods. You will require the following tools to install the flooring using each technique.
Nail down bamboo flooring installation tools
1. Hand saw
It is a masonry tool that is very useful when it comes to cutting the wood planks into smaller pieces of different shapes and sizes. The hand saw is safe and easy to use and to maintain. However, the power saw may be more convenient to use when handling big flooring installation projects.
2. A pneumatic nail gun and cleats of an appropriate size or gauge
The tool is essential for driving nails into the wood by use of compressed air, electromagnetism, a small explosive charge, and some flammable gasses such as butane or propane. The compressor is attached at the base of the tool with a rubber or plastic air hose.
Glue down bamboo flooring installation tools
1. Approved flooring adhesives
The flooring adhesive is essential for the glue-down technique of bamboo installation. The glue works to stick the bamboo planks firmly onto the floor surface. When it comes to the use, the adhesives come with different specification. Therefore, you should carefully read the manufacturers instruction.
2. Adhesive trowel
The tool is also known as margin trowel. The trowel is a small tool with a small rectangular blade that you can use to apply, move, and smooth small amounts of adhesives for sticking down the bamboo flooring.
Floating bamboo flooring installation tools
1. Duct tape or poly tape
It is a cloth tape coated with adhesives on both sides. With that, you can use the tape to stick the floating on the underlay surface to prevent the flooring from moving back and forth when people walk on the floor.
2. 3 in 1 underlay
The underlay will protect your flooring from moisture that may be very destructive. It comes in different types of material such as cork, rubber, standard foam, and sound-deadening materials. However, the foam padding may have or may not have a moisture barrier.
3. Moisture encounter meter
The tool is useful in testing the amount of the moisture present in the floor before installing the bamboo flooring to reduce the chances of damage to the flooring by a substantial amount of moisture. Any reading above 4.5 on the moisture encounter meter is enough to cause mold growth on the bamboo floor surface.
The universal tool for DIY installation of all type of bamboo flooring
1. Table saw
It is a masonry cutting tool that has a design that enables it to make both straight and angled cuts through the wood. The saw is safe to use with an adjustable blade that you can use to change the depth of cut.
2. Tapping block
The tool serves to protect the planks from direct hitting by the hammer and allows you to set the plank gently into the groove. To make your work easier, install the groove over the tongue of the adjacent plank rather than the tongue over the slot.
The tool is essential in hitting the tapping block to fit the grooves and tongues of the planks. Also, you can use the hammer for driving nails in and out of the wood in case you lack the nailing gun.
4. Pull bar
The tool is essential in the fitting of bamboo flooring in narrow areas where it’s not easy to use the tapping block in fixing the wood planks together.
5. Miter/drop saw
It is a power saw that makes a quick cut on a work piece at any specific angle. The tool is essential in cutting the molding and trim. In addition, the saw is relatively small and portable with standard blade sizes ranging from size 8 to 12 inches long.
6. Variable speed drill
The variable speed drill keeps you in control of the speed of the drilling ranging from zero rpm to the maximum speed set for the drill. It helps to make holes for driving in screws and nails, thus preventing the splitting of the planks that may occur when you directly hammer the nails into the wood.
Bamboo Floor Installation Tips
Ensure, you place the planks parallel to the longest wall. Moreover, the direction of the planks should depend on the layout of your room, the position of the doors, and the windows. Since bamboo flooring installation is not a complicated task, you can make it your weekend fun project and save at long run.
Essential DIY Tools For Installing Laminate flooring
Laminate is a classy flooring option with both the synthetic and natural properties achieved through the high-tech 3-D digital printing. The technology makes it simulate some of the high-end flooring such as wood plank and stone.
With such, the flooring will fantastically blend the natural beauty into your room space at a cheaper cost. Also, laminate is easy to clean and highly resistant to wear and tear that makes it highly versatile in use. Laminates are affordable to buy and easy to install but require special sub-floor preparation. Below are the tools that you should have for the task.
Carpet Removal Tools
To install your laminate, you should peel off your carpet prior to the task. Below are the essential tools that you’ll need to complete the task.
The tool is also known as the pry-bar, pinch bar, wrecking bar, prise bar, or jimmy bar. It is essential for unpeeling the carpet from the floor if you’ve got your carpet installed on a shoe molding. The tool should help you to remove your wall to wall carpet with ease and save on the money that you could otherwise use to hire someone for the job.
2. Dead blow hammer
It is a valuable tool that looks like a mallet and functions to absorb the tremors that occurs from the striking effects of the hammer. The tool prevents the damage that may occur on the soft surfaces while improving the striking forces. Also, it reduces the rebound effect.
3. Work glove (fingerless glove)
The fingerless gloves are the best options for protecting your hands during the exercise. The gloves have a design that makes them protect your hand under conditions that may cause injuries such as cuts, bruises, and scraps. Not to say, the gloves come in different materials such as leather, rubber, latex, wool, and nitrile.
Tools For Preparing The Sub-Floor
The following are the tools you should have for the preparation of the sub-floor.
1. Angle grinder
It is a versatile machine that you can use for grinding the sub-floor. The device has a significant bearing for countering the forces that result from the grinding action.
2. Rope caulk
It is also known as caulking cord. It is a type of putty that is pliable, off-white in color, threadlike shaped, odorless, and stays flexible for an extended period. The caulk is a product of acrylic, silicone, latex, or a combination of two or the three materials. It is useful in sealing the gaps that may be present on the floor.
It is a special type of a vacuum that is useful in woodworking. The machine consists of a high-powered suction unit which sucks up dust, loose dirt and debris from the sub-floor thus making it clean.
4. Mixing paddle
The tool is essential in mixing a wide range of materials such as paint, plaster, and cement. The tool comes in different head shapes and sizes that make it suitable for various functions.
It is a masonry tool that is useful in spreading, leveling, and shaping the mortar or concrete. The trowel comes in different shapes and sizes. Depending on the task, you can select the size, you can choose the most appropriate size for your use.
6. Compound miter saw
The saw is an essential tool for cutting the planks at a variety of angles. Besides, the saw has a blade mounted on a swing arm that helps to precisely and quickly cut the moldings and the trim, thus saving your time.
7. 15 amp 10-inch table saw
It is a unique saw used for ripping down the length of laminate flooring. The tool has a self-aligning rip fence that will enable you to make accurate measurements. Especially for the narrow dimensions. Also, the presence of the EZ views measurement system helps in making precise settings.
The square helps to check on the right angles. If you are not able to make a straight cut freely, you can use the edge of the square to set straight lines for cross-cutting the planks.
9. Skill flooring saw
The saw is essential in making cross-cuts and miter cuts on the laminate flooring. Not to mention, Skill saw makes laminate flooring installation easy for both the DIY enthusiast and a professional floor installer.
Tools For Laminate flooring Installation Finishing
1. Air compressor and brand nailer
It is a unique nailing tool that uses compression to drive nails into the wood.
2. Hammer drill and concrete anchors
The tool is essential in drilling into concrete, stone, and mortar when you equip it with a masonry bit. The tool rotates like other regular drills with a forward, hammering type action.
The above-listed tools will help you lay the laminate on your floor without a migraine. However, care should be taken to ensure you are putting the new flooring on level ground. When buying laminate flooring it is imperative to buy an extra 10% of the flooring material to cater to the wastage. If you purchase the exact amount, you may end up with a shortage.
Essential DIY Tools For Installing Carpet Flooring
Carpet is one of the best flooring material that gives an incredibly beautify your room with stylish designs and patterns. Ranging from its simplicity in installation, diversity in color and texture, carpets offers an adorable flooring that attracts the attention of many. While you may look for a wall to wall carpet to keep your footwall, the carpets will also provide a soft and warm surface that is ideal for kids and pets. Choosing to install your carpet through a DIY method makes it the cheapest flooring options than ever before. To accomplish the mission, you will need the following essential tools.
1. Linoleum knife
While other knives can also do the work, linoleum knife does the unbelievable. Due to its sharpness, the blade cuts the carpet with little effort and time.
2. Carpet steam roller
Helps to meld two pieces the carpet after seaming them together.
3. Large magnet or weigh
Helps to suck up any staple on the floorboard, thus enhancing the safety of your carpet.
4. Carpet tape
You need the tape to adhere the carpet to the floor and create a seamless surface. The carpet tape also prevents the cover from sliding on the pre-existing floor, thus making the flooring firm.
5. Teamer and a trowel
The two unique tools help to stick the carpet against the floor.
6. Power stretcher
The tool is essential in stretching the carpet for a higher fit.
7. Bonding iron
The bonding iron heats the two pieces of carpet to make them fit together seamlessly. Moreover, the tool has an adjustable thermostat and heat shield that provides ideal heat for hot melt tape while protecting the carpets from damage by the high temperatures.
8. Staple gun
It is a powerful device that you should use to drive the heavy-duty staples through the carpet into the wood. Not to mention, the tool is more powerful than the traditional stapler and has higher efficiency.
You can use it to roll the tack strips to prevent the tacks from affecting the quality of the carpet surface.
With these tools at hand, there is no much to worry. But, you should take care not to end up with seams on the surface of your carpet as they may cause tripping and fall risks.
Essential DIY Tools For Installing Concrete Flooring
Concrete is a standard yet along-lasting flooring option that you can use virtually in any room space. With the advent of advanced technology, you can instantly change the tone and texture of your flooring by using some of the stylish stains and polishes. Even though installing the concrete flooring is a great experience, it would be better if you had a helper to assist you to do the task faster. Below are the tools that you need for the job.
1. Rubber boots
Due to their rubber make, the boots are essential for protecting your foot when walking on the wet and muddy ground. You’d better protect your foot to safe and enjoy the experience.
2. Rubber gloves
The rubber gloves can be supported or unsupported, but their primary function remains to protect your hands from harmful or corrosive chemicals. Due to the corrosive effect of the cement on the skin, rubber gloves provide the ultimate protection that you need.
The machine is essential in compacting the various layers of concrete to reduce air voids. There are numerous types of compactors available in the market, but you do not need to purchase one for a one day task. Instead, you can rent one for the job.
4 ft. Level does great in the process of concrete floor installation. The tool helps to find the level of the floor, thus achieving an even surface.
5. Reciprocating saw
A reciprocating saw is useful for almost all the cutting works during concrete installation. You can use the saw with a grinding blade to cut through sturdy materials such as stone and concrete. With this kind of saw, you only have the hard rocks and metals to spare.
It is one of the indispensable masonry tools for concrete works. The tool is useful in scooping the dry sand and cement, mixing to form a batch as well as scooping the wet concrete.
Concrete rake is essential in spreading even concrete and smoothing out the wet concrete on the ground surface.
8. Bull float
It is an essential masonry tool for smoothening the concrete surface with large aggregates. The tool consists of a flat board attached to a long handle that will enable you to pull it on the surface.
9. Magnesium float
It is an essential masonry tool that is useful for smoothening the surface of fresh concrete to create pores for proper evaporation.
10. A Kneeling board
The board serves to provide a cushion and comfort to your knee when carrying out cement finishes.
11. Steel trowel
You can attach the trowel to a bull float handle, thus allowing you to finish the concrete without walking onto the surface.
12. Mason’s trowel
The trowel is useful for leveling and shaping the mortar on concrete.
It is a masonry flooring tool essential in achieving a smooth edge of the concrete slab.
It is useful for transporting the mixed concrete to the surface on which you want to lay the concrete floor.
With the right tools and procedures, you can efficiently install most flooring material but some require the input of an expert. You should be very careful with the methods as any simple mistake may lead to irreversible loss. In case of large and complex flooring installations work, seek the services of a flooring contractor to handle the job more securely and professionally.