DIY Laminate Floor Install

by Dave The Handyman on February 19, 2010

There are many things that can come to mind when thinking about what home improvements you want to take on in your home, one of them may be getting laminate flooring installed. Laminate floors can give your home a great look if you are wanting the hardwood floor feel, the only problem is that it can be kind of expensive to have laminate flooring installed if you are hiring a contractor to come out and do it for you.

The other option is the DIY laminate flooring install, which is really not all that hard if you are a go getter and are pretty handy around the house. If this is the case then the first thing that you should do is get some help or a buddy to give you a hand, installing laminate flooring is a whole lot more simple when you have someone there helping you, especially when it comes to joining the planks together. Though this can be done single handedly, it is only recommended for those handymen and women with experience.

The first thing you want to do when getting ready to install laminate flooring is to remove all of the baseboards in the room that you plan on installing the flooring in. By doing this you are making it look more professional and also ensuring that you are securing the flooring well and it will not come up in future.

Next you will want to lay down the underlayment. There are many types of underlay that are out there and they all have their qualities. It is used to absorb sound, even out the bad concrete flooring, along with some other uses and it is highly recommended that you use it when you are installing laminate, as it will also help the laminate stay in place a lot better. Underlay usually comes in rolls that are about 40″, to join them together all you have to do is use some duct tape. Once you got the underlay down, you can begin to lay out the planks of laminate.

Also remember this is similar to laying tile as you want to have the same size laminate planks against both sides of the walls, so determine whether or not you are going to have to cut down in size for the sidings, you usually do. A circular saw will work well for this type of cut to make sure that it is cut fine.

When you are laying the first boards down, you will want the grooves to be inward towards the wall, and many professionals will recommend that you leave approximately 1/4 of an inch from the wall, this is also referred to as an expansion gap. One tip to make sure this is even all the way around would be to use 1/4 inch spacers all around the room. Remember you will also be putting back the baseboards when you are finished with the install also.

When you get the the end of a row, you may need to use a pry bar and a hammer to ensure that the board latches in securely, once you got the first row done, then all you have to do is repeat the steps that you did to install the first row. That’s all there really is to when it comes to installing laminate floor, the one thing that I can tell you though the smoother you have the floor, the easier the job will be to complete with out hassle.

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