1) Read your floors installation instructions and warranty information! Why?
To preserve your warranty! Most flooring claims are denied due to installation error! Make sure you know what the manufacturer requires to install your new floors or choose to work with a professional flooring installer (not a general contractor or handyman) who will warranty their work. Bottom line: Flooring is the 3rd largest purchase that most people make, so take the time to understand what is required to keep your warranty intact!
2) Purchase the full project now rather than waiting! Why?
Manufacturers are constantly changing which floors are produced and the quantities they produce in order to match consumer demand. If you wait to do that other room, or choose to not do your stairs "this time" you may find that in just 1-2 years that flooring may no longer be available to you no matter how hard you search!
3) Spend extra on your stairs... its worth it! Why?
Hardwood/Bamboo flooring is beautiful, but to really let it become a focal point in your home you need to do the little things right. You can spend a very large budget on your floors, but if you go cheap when you get to your stairs, then that is the lasting picture that will impact your guests, or future buyers when you go to sell your home! Spend the extra money to buy treads and risers to match your stairs, and really make a visual impact on all your home's guests.
4) Plan on inserting an expansion space (using a T-molding) for every 25-30 linear feet of flooring! Why?
Floating floors are required to provide expansion space to avoid many flooring concerns later. The most common mistake is providing the proper expansion space on the perimeter, but without an expansion space (using a T-molding to cover the gap) to separate sections of your floor that continues for 25-30 linear feet can lead to future flooring concerns.
5) Purchase a minimum of 10% more than your square footage requirements! Why?
Installation requires many different cuts and problem solving within the your projects rooms. Even the professionals allow a minimum of 5% overage to ensure an easier installation process. Additionally, manufacturers allow a 5% discard rate for any kind of visual defect that can be spotted prior to installation according to www.nwfa.org. Most often this discard rate is not required, however the installer is required visually inspect each board for visual defects PRIOR to installation. If you have a few extra cartons remaining, consider keeping them on hand for future repairs, or for a small expansion (like expanding the floor into a closet). As we mentioned above, it can be as little as 1-2 years until you can no longer get a floor to match this project.