Should you paint the walls in your house before flooring is installed?

When it comes to remodeling a room, there are many differing opinions on whether or not you should paint the walls in your house before flooring is installed.

Deciding whether you should install flooring first or paint your walls first when you are remodeling a room or a house can help you to stay organized throughout the entire process and prevent unnecessary damages to your new investments.

Key considerations when you are remodeling a space

When you are remodeling a room in your house, or even the whole house, there are many different decisions that will need to be made along the way.

It is always important to stay organized and work according to a plan when you are busy remodeling your home, because there are usually a lot of moving parts and different people involved.

One of the biggest considerations involved in this process is whether you should be painting the walls before or after the floors are installed.

Should you paint the walls in your house before flooring is installed?

It is common for homeowners who are remodeling their houses to wonder whether they should paint the wall or install the flooring first when they update their rooms.

The answer to this question can be complicated, as homeowners obviously want to avoid damaging their new investments before they have even had time to enjoy them.

Installing floors first means that you run the risk of drips and messes on your new floors, but painting first means that you may end up with scuff marks or damages to your new paint, which will need to be retouched.

The truth is that there are pros and cons to either method and the decision is really up to your personal preference when it comes to the sequence of the flooring or the painting in your rooms.

Walls first

Painting your walls before you install your flooring is the best option if you want to avoid getting paint splatter on your new floors.

If you have exposed subfloor before you have installed the new floor, this can be a good time to paint the walls, as any drips of paint on the subfloor will eventually be covered up by the new flooring.

This is also a good option if you are not using a professional painter. Many amateur painters may not be as versed in covering and taping off their floors when they are painting, and this makes it much more likely that you will splatter or drip paint onto your new floors.

These drips and splatters can often be sanded out of hardwood floors, but it can be difficult to match the exact stain and finish that the floors had originally.

Moreover, porous surfaces like untreated wood and carpet will immediately soak up the paint and this can be almost impossible to get out.

Floors first

Installing your floors before you start with painting your walls is often the best choice if you are worried about damaging the new paint.

Installing the new flooring first ensures that your paint matches up perfectly with the height of your floors, as this may differ between the old and the new flooring.

This also prevents any dust and debris created from the installation of the new flooring from sticking to your newly painted walls and ruining the look of your new paint.

What is the most common choice?

Even among the professionals, opinions vary vastly between doing the walls or the floors first in remodeled rooms. The most common approach is a compromise between both styles.

The most common sequence of events for remodels is to do the preparation for the walls, like removing old wallpaper, sanding and applying primer, as well as the preparation for the flooring, like removing the old flooring and baseboards – before starting with either task.

After this preparation stage, it is advisable to paint the walls first. Here any possible drips and splatter will be on the subflooring and will eventually be covered by the new flooring in the next step.

If you are using professional painters, they are also usually very skilled in taping off and covering the floor to prevent this in the first place.

Then, the new flooring can be installed carefully, as to avoid possibly scuffing or denting the new wall paint.

Final thoughts

There are positive and negative aspects to both installing the floors first and painting the walls first within a renovation.

The best choice for you will depend on whether you are using professionals or doing the work yourself, and what matters most to you.