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Walls or Floors? Which To Take Care of First with an Empty House

Moving into an empty home means you have the ultimate opportunity to create the nest you’ve always wanted. Fresh paint, new floors, new appliances — the world is your oyster, and taking action before you move in is the prime time to remodel your home.

But what should you do first: your floors, or your walls? Flooring contractors say theirs should go last. Your painters will want to be the ones to put on the finishing touches. Really? There are pros and cons to any arrangement you might choose, so here is a quick rundown to help you choose the best approach for you.


Paint first?
If you choose to paint your walls first, make sure to give your new colors plenty of time to cure before it’s time for the flooring to be laid. If at all possible, remove the old flooring before you paint to reduce the potential for dings and enable you to clean out as much of the dust and dirt as you can. Fresh paint is sensitive, and dust and debris can leave the texture looking chalky or granular. Really, who wants to do touch-up work on a wall they just painted a week ago? Ensure your flooring contractors are keeping the windows open and actively keeping the room from becoming too dusty. Unless you choose a matte paint that isn’t washable, you should be able to clean off whatever dust accumulates after they finish fairly easily. The major upside to painting first? You don’t have to worry about dripping on the floor. It’s much easier to touch up wall paint than fix the finish on your floors.

Flooring first?
If you’ll be doing tile or hardwood floors, it may make more sense to put the floors in before painting. Making cuts to customize the measurements will mean lots of dust and debris, and you’ll feel a bit more at ease when you know you’ll be taking care of the walls later down the line. When planning your timeline, do take into consideration that floors take some time to cure, especially if you live in a humid climate, and your contractor won’t want anyone walking on them until they’re completely done. You’ll also need to be sure to take extra care to protect your floors from drips of paint since newly finished floors don’t do well with intense scrubbing. That means taping down the edges of plastic sheeting or drop cloth, a project that should take you a little time to do well.

Major renovations?
Ripping out walls or building new ones will likely change the shape of your room in a significant way as well as moving around a lot of heavy equipment, so leave the floors until last to make everything a little easier. Then you can clean out the debris and garbage, wash down the walls, and paint everything on your new blank slate — leaving the floor to be your final crowning achievement in a new, beautiful room. Leaving the flooring until last even means you can paint the baseboards separately and install them after you’ve finished the floors, making painting a bit easier. Remember to plan ahead so that the paint has plenty of time to dry before you begin flooring, and get all of your paint rollers and brushes out of the room before there is the chance they could get damaged with dust or particulate. Need some inspiration for your remodel? This blog post is a collection of some of 2016’s biggest trends in home renovations.


If you decide that you’d like to do some major home renovations and need somewhere to store your household belongings, Unpakt can help you find an affordable and high-quality storage facility to meet your needs.