The decision of whether to paint the walls first or get the flooring done first can be quite confusing for most homeowners. If you decide to get the flooring done first, the paint might fall on the floor or carpet and ruin it. Wall paint is not easy to get out. You will need to use hard bleaching products, which is likely to cause discoloring on your brand new floors. No amount of dry cleaning can take out wall paint from the carpet fabric. On the other hand, if you decide to get the walls done first, installation of the new flooring might leave a few stains on the bottom portion of the wall. Sanding and cleaning of the floors can obviously cause staining near the bottom of the walls. This seems to be one of the “chicken or the egg” questions that really has no definite answer.
So What Comes First?
Ideally, it’s best if you finish the floors before moving on to the walls. Most of the time, we tend to do things in a particular order. We always wear pants before shoes, put cereal into the bowl before pouring in milk, and wash clothes before drying. Installing the floors before moving on to the walls actually makes the most sense. If you decide to install the floors after painting the walls, there’s a certain level of risk involved.
The workers will be using trowels as they work on the floor. This might lead to accidental scraping on the walls or dents in the walls. Similarly, the baseboards could also get dented or damaged. If you choose a wooden or a laminate floor, the number of tools and glue that would be used around the house can be a cause of scratches, scrapes or other accidents. This will require more time and money for you to repair later on.
Another reason why you should get the flooring done first is because the height of the floor might differ from that of the previous floor. This could leave behind a small portion of the baseboard completely unpainted and unattended. It might have been covered by the older floor, but now exposed by the new one. Furthermore, you might have to lower the baseboards, which is really not something you want to do after you have just repainted the walls.
The Major Concern
The major hesitation that most homeowners have about finishing the floors first is that they are scared of drips and spills while repainting their walls. However, this problem isn’t as difficult to prevent as you might think. A professional painting contractor will lay down a protective sheet on the floor to mitigate the risk of any spills or drips. The protective sheet is designed to prevent thick paints, such as oil or latex based paints, from falling through onto the floor. Most painters take great care to minimize the chances of drips and spills, so there’s really nothing for you to worry about!
So to answer the age old question of which came first… in this case it is the floors!!!