If you're giving one of your rooms a total makeover by renovating it from scratch, the order in which you complete the different tasks is important. For people getting a new timber floor installed, their instinct is often to paint the walls first. This seems logical because you don't want to risk getting paint on your brand new wooden flooring.

In fact, it's usually better to do it the other way around, putting down your new floor prior to getting the paintbrush out. And here's why.

Timber flooring varies in thickness

Laying new timber flooring to replace an old floor means it's unlikely to be exactly the same thickness as before. The result of this is that the final level of your floor is slightly higher or lower than the previous one. This can present two problems for painting. If the new floor is higher, you might need to raise your baseboards slightly, which is much better done before you paint so that you can do it without messing up the paint.

For instances where the new floor is lower than the old one, you'll be left with a line running around the bottom of the walls where they haven't been repainted. This is difficult to fix by touching up, and you may have to redo the entire paint job.

The floor should be the centre of your decor

Getting everything in a room to match requires a lot of thought and planning, and it helps to have something that ties everything together nicely.

If you make the floor the central point, it's far easier to make the rest of the decor fit. In particular, finding a paint colour that matches the floor is much simpler when the floor is already in place, as you can try painting swatches of paint samples to see how they look with the colour of the timber. When you paint first, you may find the colour you chose doesn't go with the flooring, leaving you with no choice but to paint again.

Timber floor installation can mess up your paint

People worry about painting ruining their flooring, but the opposite is actually more likely. Installing a timber floor means there's a lot of flying dust particles, and the potential for equipment and tools accidentally scratching the walls. It's easy to cover and protect flooring while you paint, but doing the reverse is not so straightforward. By getting the floor installed first, you reduce the chance of damage and the need to start over.

For more information on timber floors, contact your local flooring company.