couple moving couch and boxes

Installing Floors? Here’s What You Need To Know About Moving Furniture

Remodeling and Renovation Tips

by LB Gabriel Posted on January 25, 2022

If you have hardwood flooring that’s worn and scratched or laminate flooring that’s outdated, you’ve probably considered redoing your floors. And, after taking into account what would be involved in the process, you may have gone back and forth about whether you really wanted to tackle the job. We get it. After all, tackling the floors means tackling all the permanent fixtures on the floors (aka, the furniture). But trust us, this is one project that’s worth the hassle.

Sure, like lots of good things, it’ll take some planning and preparation to get the best results. When new floors go in, everything else in the room needs to go out, rendering the space temporarily useless. But when it comes to moving furniture, relocating items, boxing up decor — basically everything you need to know to prepare for installing floors — we’ve answered some of the most common questions. 

So what do you do with furniture when refinishing floors?

Installing floors requires moving furniture out of the room (and, if you ask someone who’s done it before, possibly taking a short vacation). Obviously, if you’re ripping out old carpet and replacing it with new, you’re going to need to clear the space. But what if you’re just refinishing existing hardwood flooring? The answer: Unfortunately, that process involves messy wood particle debris, stripping agents, and sealants, so it’s wise to protect your items by moving them out of the way in that scenario, as well.

Here are some furniture storage options:

Another Room in Your Home

If you’ve got an office with room to spare or a guest bedroom that you haven’t filled with furniture yet, lucky you! You can hold your furniture and home goods there until the job is done. Wondering how long that will be? Floor installation timelines vary by project, but if you’re installing new hardwood flooring, it should take a little longer than a week. This is because the wood has to go through an acclimation process. Non-hardwood materials, like vinyl plank flooring and tile, should only take around one to three days.

The thing to keep in mind is that the most efficient furniture moving process takes two steps: moving into the temporary room and moving back into the permanent place. If you’re having to move furniture into the room, relocate that room's furniture to another room, and so on, you’re creating more problems than you’re solving. Remember that your installers will need a clear path to get to the floors, too. You don’t want anything impeding their direct access to the space or requiring them to weave around through other hallways and rooms.

A garage full of yard tools, sporting equipment, holiday decor, and more

Your Garage

If square footage inside your home is tough to come by, or if you’re installing new flooring in multiple rooms, we recommend getting your furniture out of the house. If your garage is relatively clear, this might be a possible storage space. But if you have antique furniture or other temperature-sensitive pieces, this might not be the best spot during certain seasons. Plus, if years of home moving and decluttering expertise have taught us anything, it’s that garage space is usually already claimed by yard tools, sporting equipment, holiday decor, and more.

…if you’re not able to move heavy items, you’ll need to either enlist help from some muscular friends or pay for professional loading and unloading assistance.

Storage Center

Maybe you want your stuff really out of sight and out of mind. In that case, you might want to consider moving your items to a temporary storage facility. This would likely require renting a moving truck, loading the furniture, and then unloading everything at the storage center.

We don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot of potentially expensive work to us. Want to check out some numbers before going that route? The PODS blog breaks down typical storage center rental costs and advice for picking the right sized truck. If you’re on a budget, these added costs are something to consider. Plus, if you’re not able to move heavy items, you’ll need to either enlist help from some muscular friends or pay for professional loading and unloading assistance.

A couple storing their furniture in a PODS container

Portable Storage Container

Rather than filling up other rooms in your house, overloading your garage, or renting a truck to lug your furniture and large appliances to a storage facility, you can have a PODS portable storage container delivered right to your driveway. Keep everything out of the way but close at hand, ready to be moved back into place as soon as your new floors are done. This is one of the best options for both yourself and the team laying down the new floors. Your furniture is kept close by for easy in-and-out moving, while still being out of the way so the pros can get the job done with ease.

They come in three convenient sizes, so you can find the option that works best for you without having to pay for extra, unused space. And if your project takes longer than expected, it’s no problem. Keep the container as long as you need. If you don’t want the container stored in your driveway, that works, too. You can keep it in a secure PODS Storage Center until your home is ready. 

Remember to always lift the furniture instead of dragging it to prevent scratching the floor.

Do you have to remove furniture to install vinyl plank flooring?

If you’re installing vinyl flooring, laminate flooring, or hardwood flooring that comes in planks instead of one large piece, you may be in luck! Depending on the size of your space, you may be able to scoot furniture out of the way to areas that aren’t being worked on and then move them back when the new flooring is in place.

To do this, however, you’ll likely need to invest in some furniture pads and moving blankets to prevent scratches, bumps, and dents. And remember to always lift the furniture instead of dragging it to prevent scratching the floor. This is good practice for any time you move furniture in and out of a room.

Subflooring in a room that is being remodeled

Can you put furniture on the subfloor?

Did you know floors are made of layers? And that the layer that supports the main flooring is called the “subfloor”? The most common types are made of plywood, concrete, and oriented strand board (OSB), but certain types of subflooring work best with certain types of main flooring. You’ll want to work with a professional installer to determine the type that will work best for your situation.

And while technically, yes, subfloors can support the weight of furniture, they’re not meant for daily wear and tear. That’s why another flooring material is installed on top. Our recommendation? Avoid the risk of messing anything up and 86 the furniture from the room until the flooring is complete.

Do flooring installers move appliances?

Some flooring installers do move furniture as part of their service. But moving appliances is a little more complicated than moving furniture because of the additional electrical and plumbing elements. Talk to your contractor or installation company, let them evaluate the space, and then decide on a course of action. They may want to involve a plumber or electrician while moving these appliances.

Whether you’re wanting a new kitchen floor, an entirely new kitchen, or a complete home renovation, installing floors is a home project that pays off in the long run. New floors make a great first impression, and, compared to other projects, take a relatively short amount of time. So go ahead, start moving furniture, and get ready to step into a fun new chapter for your home.

LB Gabriel is a freelance writer who lives with her husband, daughter, and Golden Retriever in Memphis, TN. A frequent PODS blog contributor, she's a sucker for any tip she can find on downsizing, cutting clutter, or minimalist living. When she's not on a deadline, you can find her on a tennis court or golf course.

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