The evolution of floor protection
Contractors are always looking for better and simpler ways to protect newly installed floors or existing floors when renovating. As one of those contractors I have tried almost everything on the market at least once.
What I have found threw trial and error is what works well and what doesn’t. The other thing that I have realized is that with the changing world of flooring, so goes the world of flooring protection.
I have used some companies that are reputable but wouldn’t stand behind their warranty when their product failed and have used other companies that their products simply didn’t work like advertised.
Here are some tips that you should look for when trying to buy flooring protection;
• You need to know exactly what you are covering. Is it tile, carpet, hardwood, factory finished wood or onsite finished wood.
• You want to avoid any product that has a fair bit of adhesive. The adhesive can either leave a residue on the floor or damage the finish on the floor. Only carpet protection should have a fairly aggressive adhesive.
• If you are doing construction over a newly laid hardwood floor then you will need to buy something that will absorb the impact of tools or material.
• There are different products on the market for the different areas of a home. You should be buying different materials for different parts of the house. Hallways need a material that will take more of a beating then bedrooms.
• Special consideration has to be paid to stairs, especially custom stairs. Stairs need something that will stick to them to stop a tripping hazard but not to sticky that it reacts the finish on the floor.
• Look for products that don’t require you to use any tape to attach it to the floor. Tape left on the floor to long will damage the finish.
One of the products that I am impressed with that I have been using for the past couple of months is called RAM BOARD. It is a paper product; it looks a lot like craft paper that you buy at your local hardware store but the biggest difference is the thickness. It is about a 1/8” thick and when you are talking floor protection that’s pretty thick. It is so thick that it will absorb liquid spills from coffees and cans of paint. It is also thick enough to take a marginal amount of impact without damaging the floor below it. The RAM BOARD is heavy enough that when you roll it out it usually stays in place. When you want to cover a wide area you simply tape the joints together leaving the outside edges tape free. The total weight of the paper together holds itself in place. It’s also thick enough and water absorbing enough to use at the front door in the winter when you have a lot of people coming inside with wet footwear. Ram board is durable enough that you can re-use it from one job to the next. What we do is vacuum the Ram board and then roll it up and tape it so that it stays rolled and compact until it is needed on the next project.
If you are still using saws and saw horses inside then you have two options, you can either put a sheet of plywood on the floor where the legs of the sawhorses will end up or you can buy some thick carpet underlay and put that down. Usually the plywood will take a beating better but you have to be careful when moving it through doors that you don’t damage the frames or walls.
Village Builders Inc.