Do You Do Floors Or Walls First?

So you’ve decided to tackle a home renovation project, but before you start, you’re faced with a common dilemma: should you begin by working on the floors or the walls? It’s a question that has perplexed many DIY enthusiasts, and the answer may not be as straightforward as you think. While some argue that starting with the floors makes logical sense, others believe that focusing on the walls first can provide a better overall outcome. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both approaches, leaving you equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision and ensure a successful home renovation. When it comes to home renovation projects, one of the common concerns is whether to tackle the floors or walls first. The order of these tasks can greatly impact the efficiency and ease of your project. So, let’s break it down and discuss the best approach to take.


Before diving into any renovations, it’s crucial to prepare the space properly. This step involves clearing the area of any furniture, decor, or obstacles that might hinder your progress. By clearing the space, you create an open and easily accessible area to work in.

Additionally, it’s essential to measure the space accurately and plan accordingly. Take precise measurements of the room to determine the amount of flooring or wallpaper you’ll need. This careful planning will ensure that you have all the materials required and avoid any last-minute runs to the store.

If you’re working with an existing floor or wallpaper, you’ll need to remove it before proceeding further. This step allows for a clean slate and ensures that the new materials will adhere properly.


Now that the space is ready, let’s focus on the flooring. Cleaning the floor thoroughly is the first step to ensure a smooth and even surface for installation. Remove any dust, debris, or residues that might compromise the adhesive’s effectiveness.

If necessary, you may need to repair the subfloor before installing the new flooring. Check for any loose or damaged areas and make the necessary fixes. This step is crucial to create a stable foundation for your new flooring material.

In some cases, you may need to install an underlayment before proceeding with the flooring installation. Underlayment acts as a cushion and moisture barrier, providing additional support and protection for your floors.

Do You Do Floors Or Walls First?

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While the flooring is an essential aspect of any renovation project, the walls also play a significant role in transforming your space. Begin by removing any wall decorations, such as artwork or shelving. This will provide you with a blank canvas to work with.

As you remove the decorations, check the walls for any imperfections that need attention. Fill in any holes, dents, or cracks with spackle or filler. Sand the patched areas to achieve a smooth finish, ensuring that your walls look flawless once the project is complete.

Before applying paint or wallpaper, it’s essential to prime the walls. Priming creates a uniform surface and prevents the paint or wallpaper from being absorbed unevenly. This step is crucial for achieving a professional and long-lasting result.

Electrical and Plumbing

Depending on the scope of your project, you may need to address electrical and plumbing needs. It’s crucial to consider these requirements before proceeding with the flooring and wall installations. Make a detailed plan and consult professionals if necessary to ensure safety and compliance with building codes.

Consider the placement of electrical outlets, light fixtures, and switches. If any modifications or installations are required, it’s best to complete them before installing the flooring. This ensures that you won’t have to cut or drill into your new floors, risking damage or compromising the look.

Similarly, if you’re planning any plumbing changes, handle them before installing the flooring. It’s easier to access and adjust plumbing pipes and fixtures without the obstruction of installed floors.

Do You Do Floors Or Walls First?

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Flooring (Continued)

Now that the necessary preparations have been made, it’s time to move forward with the flooring installation process. Begin by laying the tiles or planks according to your chosen design and pattern. Take care to ensure a precise and straight layout, creating a polished and professional look.

When working with adhesive, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Apply the adhesive evenly and allow it to set for the recommended amount of time before proceeding. This step is crucial for the proper adherence and longevity of your new flooring.

Cutting and fitting the flooring pieces can be a meticulous task, especially if you’re dealing with irregular or uneven areas. Take your time and measure twice before making any cuts. A precise fit ensures a seamless and polished final result.

Walls (Continued)

After completing the flooring, it’s time to turn your attention back to the walls. Painting the walls is often the go-to option for many homeowners. Choose your desired paint color, prepare the paint, and apply it evenly using a roller or brush.

If you prefer to add some flair to your walls, consider applying wallpaper. Measure the wall area accurately, cut the wallpaper accordingly, and carefully adhere it to the primed surface. Smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles for a flawless finish.

In areas such as the kitchen or bathroom, installing tiles or a backsplash can add both aesthetic appeal and practicality. Choose your desired tiles, apply the adhesive, and carefully set them in place. Allow the adhesive to dry properly before moving forward with subsequent steps.

Do You Do Floors Or Walls First?

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Trim and Baseboard

To give your renovation project a polished and finished look, installing baseboards is essential. Baseboards not only provide a clean transition between the flooring and walls but also protect the edges from damage and wear. Measure, cut, and attach the baseboards securely, ensuring that they align with the overall aesthetic of the space.

Consider adding trim and molding to further enhance the appeal of your walls. Crown molding, chair rails, or wainscoting can bring an extra touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. Take your time to carefully install these elements, as they require precision and attention to detail.

Finishing Touches

With the major components of your renovation project in place, it’s time to focus on the finishing touches. If you’ve installed new flooring, sealing it is crucial to protect it from moisture and wear. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper sealing and maintain the longevity of your floors.

If you’ve opted for tiles, applying grout between the tiles is necessary for both aesthetic and functional reasons. Choose the appropriate grout color and follow the instructions for mixing and application. Properly applied grout fills the gaps between the tiles, preventing dirt and moisture buildup.

For the walls, completing the painting or wallpapering process is essential for achieving a polished look. Double-check for any missed spots, ensure even coverage, and address any touch-ups or corrections that might be needed.

Do You Do Floors Or Walls First?

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Cleaning Up

As with any home renovation project, cleaning up is a necessary step. Remove any debris, including old flooring or wallpaper remnants, packaging materials, and excess adhesive. Keeping the area clean during the entire process ensures a safe and organized workspace.

Clean your tools and equipment thoroughly before storing them away. Properly maintained tools last longer and perform better, making your next project easier. Remove any excess adhesive or grout from tile installations, ensuring a neat and clean appearance.

Final Steps

With the renovation work completed, it’s time to reinstall the furniture and fixtures. Take care not to damage the newly installed floors or walls during this process. Consider using furniture pads or sliders to protect your floors from scratches or dents.

After everything is in place, take the time to inspect the completed work. Look for any potential issues, such as loose tiles, uneven paint, or gaps in the baseboards. Address any necessary fixes promptly to ensure that your renovation project meets your expectations.

In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether to tackle floors or walls first during a renovation project. However, by following a systematic approach and considering factors such as preparation, electrical and plumbing needs, and overall aesthetics, you can ensure a successful and satisfying outcome for your home improvement endeavors. So, take your time, plan carefully, and enjoy the transformative process of creating a beautiful, refreshed space.

Do You Do Floors Or Walls First?

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