HGTV's Holmes + Holmes, Property Brothers, and Bryan, Inc. can't be wrong. Laminate flooring is the professional choice for value, affordability, and ease of installation. The look of solid wood is timeless, but sometimes the material is inappropriate for the location.
Durable laminate has the look you want without the drawbacks of solid flooring. A thin layer of wood veneer is sealed (laminated) between layers of resin and composite wood. It has the good looks of a wood floor without the hefty price tag.
Laminate is easy to clean, hard to damage and water resistant. It stands up well to extremes in temperature. Installing laminate flooring is a simple procedure. It's a great choice for the do-it-yourselfer.
Read on to learn how to install your laminate floor like a pro.
Professional Looking Edges
Start the process at the edges of the room. Remove the quarter-round from the base of the wall or baseboard. You will replace it after you install the floor.
At doorways, you will need to trim door jambs and casings to allow the new floor to slip underneath. This allows a professional finish. Make sure to leave enough room for a layer of padded underlayment and flooring.
Prep Your Subfloor
A smooth, clean subfloor is key to a good-looking final product. Carefully walk your floor to feel for movement or squeaks. Re-attach any spots to the joists with drywall screws if necessary.
Hammer down any protruding nail heads and level the floor. Vacuum up any dust and debris. This will help ensure a frustration-free installation.
Roll out your underlayment. Your flooring manufacturer will recommend the correct type for your installation. Don't skimp on this step.
Install Your Underlayment
Use a utility knife and t-square to trim the underlayment. Butt the ends together, but do not overlap. If you need to, use a bit of masking tape to prevent shifting at the seams.
It does not need to be stapled or attached to the subfloor. Underlay provides a moisture barrier and deadens sound.
Installing Laminate Flooring
Once your underlay is ready, plan your rows like a pro. Your floor will look better if your first and last rows are no less than half a plank wide.
Take your room's width and subtract 20 mm for expansion space. Then divide by the width of one plank.
If there is a fractional amount, plan to rip the first and last rows so that the ripped planks are no less than half a plank wide. Begin your installation at the wall with the most doors and cuts.
Pro-tip: Snap in a whole row at a time.
Use the Right Tools
Use a tapping block to prevent damage to the groove. A piece of scrap lumber works fine for most uses, but a professional tool helps prevent damage to critical pieces. In fact, you might want to use a bit of scrap and a tapping block for stubborn bits to click.
For cross-cuts, any mitering saw or chop saw will do, but the best tool for the job is a manual cutter. This will minimize dust and give you the best control.
We hope these easy tips will make installing laminate flooring a breeze. If you have any questions, contact your local End Of The Roll and we will have a Flooring Advisor ready to help you out!