Laminate Flooring Made Easy

Selecting Your Flooring

Several things to consider when selecting the type of laminate flooring would be: The location of the flooring. Will this floor be in a high traffic area? If so, you would be wise to select a laminate that is at least 12MM thick and has a high wear rating. Wet area? Laminate flooring manufacturers generally sell a waterproof or water resistant flooring for use in areas where water may contact the surface. Lastly, laminate flooring comes in a myriad of colors and wood patterns. From Cork to Bamboo to natural wood grain looks, laminate floor choices are endless! Don't be discouraged, with many selections available, it should be easy to find the perfect blend of style, durability and affordability with minimal effort. Your local flooring dealers can really help with your selections by asking a few questions about your lifestyle and point you in the right direction quickly. The only thing left is to bring it home, let it acclimate to your home for a day or two and soon you will be on your way to a nice, shiny, new floor that should last you and your family for years! Happy Flooring!

Laminate Flooring Made Easy

Completed room for less than $100.00!
Completed room for less than $100.00!

So You Want To Install A Laminate Floor?

Installing laminate flooring is not as hard as it seems. Follow me in this step by step guide to install beautiful, long lasting laminate floors in your home or office today. I recently moved into a rental home that was over 100 years old, the flooring was horrendous! I decided to update the entire place to make it more modern and increase its rent-ability when I left. The first thing that needed sprucing up was the flooring. I've compiled pictures of the job and I'll explain the process of installing the laminate flooring throughout the home.

Laminate Flooring Specific Tools

Pull Bar, Tapping Block and Spacers
Pull Bar, Tapping Block and Spacers

General Tools For Installing Laminate Flooring

Circular Saw, Hand Saw, Hammer, Tape Measure, Utility Knife, Straight Edge.
Circular Saw, Hand Saw, Hammer, Tape Measure, Utility Knife, Straight Edge.

Required Tools To Install Laminate Flooring

First you'll need to insure that you have the correct tools for the job. Below I have compiled a list of the necessary tools needed to install most laminate floors or "click and lock" floors.

Tools that are specific to installing Laminate Flooring.

  • Pull Bar
  • Tapping Block
  • Spacers

These tools can generally be purchased as a kit from retailers that sell laminate flooring. They can also be found on the Internet, generally for less.

General hand and power tools required for installing Laminate Flooring.

  • Circular Saw/ Miter Saw
  • Hand Saw/ Under Cut Saw
  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure
  • Utility Knife/ Razor Knife
  • Straight Edge/T-Square

These tools are required and can be purchased at most hardware stores or on the Internet.

Installing The Foam Underlayment

Foam Underlayment
Foam Underlayment

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First Step: Install Underlayment

The first thing you need to do is install the foam underlayment. This process helps insulate, blocks moisture and provides sound deadening for the laminate floor. It is definitely required so don't skip this critical step. The underlayment comes in 4' wide rolls and is generally sold by the square foot. Measure your room to determine how many rolls you will need. Start by rolling out the first strip and cut it to fit the space with a utility knife. TIP: I like to use masking tape to hold it to the floor so it doesn't slide around while laying the flooring.

Undercutting The Door Casings

When trimming the door jamb I find it easy to lay a piece of the flooring down as a guide so you get the correct height of the cut. The flooring should slide easily under the casing once you have made these crucial cuts. I use a carpenters saw when doing this or I've found that an oscillating saw works great as well. See pictures for details.

Trimming the Door Jambs

Carpenters Saw
Carpenters Saw

Jamb Saw

Jamb Saw
Jamb Saw

Costs Associated With Installing Laminate

Tool
 
Cost
Oscillating Tool
 
Moderate
Saw
 
Inexpensive
Material
 
Moderate
Labor
 
Expensive!!!
Do it Yourself
 
Cheap!!!
Foam Underlayment
 
Inexpensive
Cost Break Down.

Stagger the Joints

Staggered joints with foam in place.
Staggered joints with foam in place.

Installing The Laminate Flooring

The next step is installing the flooring. I like to start from an outside wall, these are generally the straightest wall in a home. I start by using the spacers that come with the install kit so I leave a gap around the room for expansion and contraction. Matching the tongue to the groove, tap the pieces together with the supplied tapping block so as to not damage the pieces. Make sure to stagger the rows as you install the floor, generally 6 to 8 inches is fine. This way the joints at the ends of the boards don't line up.

Finished Floor

Easy, beautiful results!
Easy, beautiful results!
Done!
Done!

Finishing The Room

When finishing the room, the last board will have to be trimmed to fit. To accomplish this, mark the board at the correct width, place another board directly over the next to last board and place another on top of that and slide the uppermost board until it sits evenly against the spacers against the wall. Draw a line along the board just below the top board along the edge of the top board. This will mark the width of the gap between the next to the last board and the wall. With a table saw or jug saw, rip cut the plank along this line and install just as you have done with the other boards.

Base Boards and Threshold

Finished Floor
Finished Floor

Install Threshold And Base Molding

You've come this far and installed the floor! Now its time to install any thresholds between the end of the flooring and any open doors where the flooring ends. Thresholds come in different sizes, widths and styles to accommodate the kind and height of the flooring that the new laminate floor butts up against. Remove the install kit spacers and install your base molding to cover the expansion gap around the perimeter.

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1 comment

Marina7 profile image

Marina7 20 months ago from Clarksville TN

That is great to know. It is more affordable to do the DIY.

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