Planning and Preparation Make for an Easy Project!
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Since my son moved out, we are remodeling his old bedroom for my daughter. Though it isn’t a huge room, it is bigger than her current room and there are quite a few projects that need to be completed before she can move in. One of those projects involved removing the carpet and installing new flooring. It is such an easy project and I have a few tips on installing laminate flooring to make it a seamless project!
The flooring we used is glueless laminate in Lakeshore Pecan from Home Depot. This flooring is so pretty in light shades of tan and grey, and the price point can’t be beat – .79 a square foot! The flooring for this room, which measures roughly 10 x 12, cost a little over $150!
Always Buy More Than Needed and Invest in an Installation Kit
When we figured out how many boxes we’d need (5), we added one more box and purchased six just in case. It was a good thing, too because right off the bat I cut a couple of pieces wrong! If the extra box that is purchased isn’t opened, it can be returned to the store or saved for later emergencies like water damage, etc.
The installation kit is a worthy investment and contains the tools necessary to install the flooring. The kit includes spacers (which are needed to keep the flooring away from the walls to allow for expansion and contraction), a block for setting the planks and a metal tap bar to help install the last row.
Tag Team the Project
It would take a lot more time if I had to do this by myself. Matt and I usually tag team the flooring projects – he’s the fitter and I’m the cutter. Once we get into a groove, I can go outside and cut beginning and end pieces so that the project doesn’t take as long! We finished this in about three hours which included removing staples that held the carpet in place (they didn’t use a tack strip which would have made things easier), then laying the underlayment and flooring.
Mark the Position of Any Vents As You Are Working
When we laid the flooring in the kitchen last winter, we forgot to cut the opening for the floor vent as we were working. It was a total pain to try to locate the vent, then cut the opening when the floor had already been laid. This time, I remembered the vent after a couple rows in (duh!) but it was easy to slide the flooring down to cut the underlayment away from the vent opening then mark the position on the flooring plank. We drilled a hole then cut the opening using a router with a straight bit.
Make an Interesting Pattern with the Seams
To me, there is nothing worse than having the seams (where the flooring boards meet) look like a zig-zag pattern! Normally, we start at one end and whatever piece is cut off at the opposite end is the beginning of the next row. In this room, that didn’t quite work – it would have made the seams within 2″ of each other. So I just picked a number, cut the piece and continued on. If you’re feeling really adventurous, the flooring could be laid at an angle (45°) from the walls. This will make a lot of angles to cut but it really looks neat!
End the Flooring Rows in the Least Obvious Place
In this room, we laid the first row along what I would call the “front wall” where the door is so that the last row would end along the “back wall”. The last row was much narrower than the rest of the rows and the pieces needed to be ripped on the table saw. This row will most likely never been seen because it will be covered with furniture.
Clean Up As You Go
I like to make sure that tools are picked up and put away as we go, especially if we aren’t using them. As soon as we were done with one (the jigsaw, for instance), I put it away. This keeps the area neat and more safe with less to clean up later. Usually the last thing I want to do when I finish a project like this is spend a ton of time cleaning up!
Now, all I have left to do is reinstall the baseboard pieces then caulk and paint them! I love this flooring and have used it in almost every room in my house with two more left to go!
Do you have any tips for installing laminate flooring? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below!