Floor Protection

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Protective technique prevents damage to existing floors

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Phase II, in Lakewood, Wash., covers wood and tile floors with layers of protection to make sure the surface remains undamaged during construction. Depending on the type and length of job, the company’s carpenters put down rosin paper, foam, then Masonite. “A little effort up front for protection basically eliminates any damage to the existing flooring, carpet, and hard surfaces, and makes cleanup easy,” says company president Rick Hjelm.

He says that taking a little extra time to do this creates a worry-free environment for him and the field crew, as they, and various subcontractors, traipse through the home. Hjelm says that since the company has used this method, not a single client has complained about a damaged floor, nor has he had to fix any damage to floors.

The foam usually lasts through several projects, and Masonite lasts even longer. Before devising this method, Phase II used cardboard to cover the floor. However, spills would leak through the cardboard and it wasn’t thick enough to provide adequate cushioning to prevent damage. Also, on long projects, it left ridge marks in the wood floor.

Hjelm says that it’s worth the investment — especially if you consider the cost of fixing a wood floor damaged by a dropped hammer. “If you spend an hour on preparation, then you don’t have to do repairs later. Profits tend to disappear in repairs,” Hjelm says.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.