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8 Key Flooring Remodel Tips: Your Guide for an Outstanding Installation

2023-09-11, Laura Nieto


Flooring remodels are a significant undertaking, but with proper preparation and the right products, you can get any room transformed. Note that there will be different steps depending on the type of flooring material you’re working with. For example, bamboo and hardwood will require some acclimation time before planks can be installed, but a rigid core CALI Vinyl plank can be laid right out of the box. Your CALI rep can give you tips for your specific floor, and you can find more detailed installation guides for each CALI collection here.

In the meantime, here are some important steps you’ll want to familiarize yourself with as you begin your flooring remodel journey.

1. It’s Worth the Wait to Acclimate

Before beginning your flooring remodel, allow your new flooring materials to acclimate to the environment of your home. This step is crucial when working with hardwood and wood alternatives like bamboo, eucalyptus, and cork. Because these planks involve natural material, the product needs a chance to “breathe” a bit in your home environment.

Why It's Important:

Acclimation prevents future warping or gapping caused by sudden temperature or humidity changes.

How Long:

Typically, flooring should sit in the space where it is going to be laid for at least 48-72 hours prior to installation.

See CALI’s Full Acclimation Guide here.

2. Control Your Environment

Maintaining a stable indoor climate ensures your new flooring will last and perform its best. Again, this is most important when it comes to flooring made using a natural material like wood, bamboo, cork, or eucalyptus.These materials are hydroscopic, meaning they can expand and contract a bit with seasonal changes in temperature and humidity. Luxury vinyl plank, on the other hand, is less affected by changes in the home environment.


Aim for a consistent indoor temperature, typically between 60-80°F.


To keep your new planks stable, maintain relative humidity levels. If you are in an area that is more or less humid than the recommended range, this is ok; just ensure you acclimate your flooring properly, and maintain the humidity range within 20%.​

​​a. Solid Bamboo Flooring: 40-60%

​​b. Engineered Bamboo Flooring: 35-65%

​​c. Meritage Engineered Flooring: 30-55%

3. Prep the Subfloor

Your new floor is only as good as the foundation it sits on.To this end, your subfloor should be flat, dry, level, and clean. All soft surfaces like old carpeting should be removed.Here’s how to achieve a subfloor that will best support your new floor:

Clean the Subfloor
Start with a thorough sweep or vacuum to remove all debris, dirt, and dust. Remember to check for and remove any protruding nails or staples. 

Level the Subfloor
Ensure the subfloor is level to avoid uneven planks down the road. Use a straight edge or a laser level to identify high and low spots across the subfloor.Mark problem areas with chalk or a pencil for easier identification.

Addressing High and Low Spots: 

​​For wooden subfloors: Sand down high spots using a belt sander or an edging sander. Ensure you wear safety goggles and a dust mask.Use a self-leveling compound or wood filler to fill any low spots or depressions.

​​For concrete subfloors: Use a concrete grinder or a hand grinder to smooth down high areas. A self-leveling concrete compound can be used to fill in low spots. Mix and pour it according to the manufacturer's instructions, ensuring it's spread evenly.

Check for Moisture
This is especially important for concrete subfloors. Moisture tests, like the calcium chloride test, can indicate the moisture levels.A moisture barrier is always required when installing over a concrete subfloor.

Here are More Tips on How to Prepare Your Subfloor.

4. Glue-Down Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Check out this guide on how to measure the square footage of your space. Remember that it's wise to order a bit more than your space requires. This accounts for any mistakes, damaged pieces, or future repairs.

Recommended Overage for Each CALI Flooring Type:

CALI Hardwood – Order 8% More

CALI Bamboo– Order 8% More

CALI Engineered Bamboo– Order 8% More

CALI Cork – Order 5% More

CALI Vinyl– Order 5% More

5. Select the Right Adhesive

If you’re doing a glue-down installation, note that not all adhesives are created equal. CALI offers a range of adhesive and sealant products tailored for hardwood and bamboo flooring, ensuring longevity and strength. Note that if you’re installing CALI Vinyl luxury plank, these floors can be floated without the need for glue.

See All CALI Flooring Adhesives Here >

6. Know the Importance of Underlayment

Underlayment provides many benefits, from moisture protection to sound dampening. CALI offers several types, all of which are easy to apply and can be used for any flooring type. Check out all CALI Underlayment Products here.

CALI Complete All-In-One Underlayment: CALI's premium underlayment offers both moisture and vapor barrier properties in one go.Pair it with Metallized Seal Tape to form a vapor-tight seal between underlayment sheets and around the room perimeter.

CALI 6 Mil Plastic Moisture Barrier: This underlayment is a great option, especially for larger installations that demand straightforward moisture protection.

CALI Recycled Felt Underlayment: This roll of felt underlayment adds an extra layer of cushioning, enhancing comfort and sound insulation.

7. Post-Installation Cleanup

If you’ve done a glue-down installation, once your planks are down, there might be some stray adhesive spots. Use CALI's adhesive remover wipes to clean any messes and make those new planks look their best.

8. Maintenance Matters

Your new floor deserves care. Regular cleaning and maintenance ensure your investment remains beautiful for years. Check out CALI’s Flooring Care and Maintenance Guides here.

Every flooring remodel promises a transformation. When equipped with the best tips and top-tier products like CALI's, you're not just installing a floor; you're crafting a legacy. Happy remodeling!

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