Elegant Floors Hardwood Flooring How to Install Laminate Flooring

Elegant Floors Hardwood Flooring  How to Install Laminate Flooring

Elegant Floors Hardwood Flooring

How to Install Laminate Flooring

There are many advantages to choosing a laminate flooring material instead of traditional “real” wood flooring. Most laminates today are very resistant to scratches, scuffs, dents, fading and staining. The same just cannot be said for natural wood. These days, laminates are available in virtually every style and color of simulated wood imaginable. Due to the nature of the materials used, laminates are resistant to warping and will expand and contract with changes in the weather or humidity over time. They retain their good looks for many years and are a much more resilient choice than traditional hardwoods .

Installation  involves joining the laminate panels by their tongue and groove interlocking edges. The new floor will not be attached to subfloor — instead, it rests above the subfloor so that it can withstand changes in humidity. It is a fairly manageable home improvement project. but some specific guidelines should be followed to ensure the success of your project.

Materials and Tools Needed:

  • laminate flooring of your choice
  • shoe molding to match the flooring
  • matching finishing putty
  • black self stick rubber base
  • thresholds and/or transition strips
  • foam underlayment (if not already pre-attached to the laminate flooring)
  • tape measure
  • miter saw with laminate blade
  • right-angle square
  • brad gun or hammer and brad nails
  • compressor
  • hammer and chisel and/or small crowbar (for removal of moldings)
  • chalk, pencil
  • jigsaw
  • utility knife
  • rubber mallet

Steps for Successful Laminate Flooring Installation:

1. Empty the room or rooms you will be flooring. Carefully remove the existing the molding and rubber base under the toe-kick. Be careful not to damage the wall or the molding when you remove it.

2. Remove any other items that might obstruct the floor, such as radiator pipe flanges, etc.Vacuum and clean the floor thoroughly .

3. If the flooring does not have a pre-attached foam underlayment, you’ll have to purchase one. The manufacturer’s instructions should give you all the installation specifics you need for the brand that you select. If the laminate flooring you’ll be installing already has a pre-attached foam underlayment, purchase of a separate one will not be necessary.

4. Always start a flooring project by beginning at the base of the most eye-catching wall in the room — the one you look at first when you walk in. By doing so, if the room happens to be out of square, the final “crooked” cut will be less visible and noticeable. Do all you can to keep the grain of the laminate “square” with the walls. In order to maximize this, start by installing the laminate away from the wall in case the wall is not completely straight. Measure away from the wall about the width of one piece of laminate flooring. add 0.25 inch, then run a chalk line across the room at this measurement. Line up the first pieces of flooring with this line. Everything else you install afterwards should line up accurately.

Important Reminder:  Leave a 0.25 inch gap around the entire perimeter of the room. This will allow the flooring to expand and/or contract as needed with weather and humidity changes.

5. Follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions for installing your particular brand of laminate.  Use your miter saw to cut the flooring pieces to the length needed. Use the jigsaw to contour cuts around any corners, pipes, etc. Be sure to consider the gap underneath any doors to the room; the doors may have to be raised.

6. The very last plank you install will need to be trimmed to fit the remaining space.  For best results, to do this place it directly over the next-to-last plank, and then place another on top of that. Slide the top plank until it fits evenly. Draw a chalk line along the piece below the top one to mark the width of the gap between the next to last one and the wall. Cut the plank along this chalk line, and you’re ready to install your last plank.

7. Using your miter saw, cut the shoe molding to fit. Using your brad gun, nail the molding to the baseboard around the entire perimeter of the room. Fill and seal any gaps with the finishing putty.

8. Under the toe kicks, install rubber base instead of shoe molding. (You’ll be able to cut it with a utility knife and peel off the backing of the adhesive to adhere it in place.)

9.The final step is to install thresholds and transitions strips as needed. Install your base moldings to cover the 0.25 gap around the perimeter of the room.

Home improvement projects can seem daunting to some, but installing laminate flooring is definitely do-able. With some care and precision, you’ll be enjoying your gleaming new laminate hardwood floors in no time — and for years to come!


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