Great article about how to install laminate flooring

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I was browsing online and came across this great article on laminate flooring.

In Sickness and In Health…but NOT Laminate Flooring

July 8th, 2008

We recently celebrated our 12 wedding anniversary, and despite our ups and downs, Bill and I have a good marriage, or at least we did until this past weekend.

The issue – laminate flooring. OK I confess, it was my idea to rip up the old dog stained carpet and put down oak laminate flooring. Every body I spoke to said how easy it was to install. Clearly they’ve either paid someone install it for them, or they’ve actually know how to operated a maitre saw.

I knew we were in trouble when Bill came home with the biggest saw I’ve ever seen, along with a few other ones. Grinning from ear-to-ear, he looked like the cat who’d just swallowed the canary.

I personally find renovations take patience and more patience. Two things I’m sorely lacking.

We started ripping apart out the basement flooring first thing Saturday morning. By Sunday at 10 a.m. I was ready to call the flooring guy back, the one who quoted us $1,600 dollars, and beg him to complete the job. It wasn’t that we weren’t progressing quickly enough – we honestly didn’t have a clue how to install laminate flooring. Call me pragmatic, but I didn’t want to waste a square foot – even if it only cost $0.79.

Our luck took a turn for the better when I ran into my friend’s husband. Lucky for us, he’d actually installed several laminate floors. Pleading my case, he took pity on us and gave us a hands- on tutorial. Thank God he did. Bill confessed he was feeling overwhelmed and didn’t have a clue how to tackle it. With our his help we cut, hammered and butted our new flooring into place in almost a day.

Yes, laminate flooring is easy to install, but if your a novice like we were, here’s a list of things I found useful:

  1. The plastic covering or underlay should be placed with the sticky tape side facing up (not down – wasted a whole roll on that mistake)
  2. Either rent, borrow or buy a compound sliding mitre saw and a laminate flooring blade (the blades cost $80). A jig saw also comes in handy.
  3. You will need a work bench, ruler and a pencil
  4. Invest in a Flooring Installation Kit that includes: tapping block (do not use directly on the flooring you’re tapping into place – it will chip it – use a spare piece of wood in front of the actual piece you are installing), pull bar and spacers
  5. Have a broom, dust pan and garbage bags standing by.
  6. A sense of humour – good if you both have one.
  7. Extra flooring for mistakes
  8. Good quality flooring – you pay for what you get – ours kept chipping when we tried butting it together

It took us a day to prep the room which included:removing the furniture, ripping out the old carpet and underlay, removing the carpet nails and installing the plastic sheeting.

We also found it really helpful to have someone standing by to get us started – a flooring coach if you will. It gave us the confidence we needed and prevented us from wasting a lot of wood.

Fortunately our marriage has survived another renovation, and the new flooring looks awesome. Personally, I think Bill was just looking for an excuse to buy some new toys, if you could call a maitre saw a toy…..



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Matt Dickinson