Whether you are working will solid wood, laminate, carpet or vinyl you must remember that all flooring has a waste factor. For carpets and vinyl this can be down to the roll width or the shape of the room. For wooden floor, there will be waste due to the condition of the material, installation process and the experience level of the fitter. All manufacturers and retailers recommend that a percentage waste factor is added to the total quantity of flooring required to ensure that there is enough to complete the job.
Condition of material
When installing a laminate floor wastage will be minimal for the condition of the material as laminate is mass produced so each plank should be more or less identical without defects. For solid and engineered products, there will be more chance of natural imperfections. These natural imperfections could be the degree of knots, sapwood, grain or colour variation. The percentage of waste will vary depending on the grading of the wood and the owners personal taste as many individuals appreciate the natural beauty of a rustic floor where others prefer a cleaner board.
Even the most experienced fitter will have wastage when it comes to the installation of a wooden floor. To create a natural looking floor it is recommended that the planks are either staggered across the floor or a random length product is used. To create a staggered effect the starting plank in each row will have to be cut shorter to ensure that the finished floor does not look too uniform. The end plank in each row will rarely be a perfect fit so again planks will need to be cut which in turn causes wastage.
Experience of Fitter
A popular phrase used in the flooring industry is ‘measure twice, cut once’. Both professionals and those turning their hand to DIY are encouraged to always double check their measurements before cutting. Cutting errors are not only costly but time consuming and can be avoided with careful attention. Experienced fitters are likely to have less waste as they tend to make fewer mistakes and have learnt tips and tricks to minimise wastage.
Here, at Discount Flooring Depot we recommend that our customers add a 5-10% wastage factor on to the total quantity of their order to allow for defective planks, cutting errors and general wastage. It is also highly recommended that an extra pack or two is purchased and kept aside to future proof as flooring ranges are often discontinued and it is cheaper to replace a few damaged planks than to purchase a whole new floor.