Installing Laminate Flooring

Filed in Home & Living by on April 27, 2007 8 Comments

This is an old post that I have been meaning to put up for about a year. Since it is raining outside and kind of slow here at work, what the heck.

Back when we first purchased this house, we noticed that the master bedroom was the place the the previous occupants kept their dogs. It stunk and had a carpet in it. I have a real hatred for carpets. The only thing carpets are good for is to have someplace for the dirt to hide. If you are allergic to dust, good luck. Sure, with hardwood, you are vacuuming every day, but what else do you have to do?

We decided to rip up the carpet right after we unpacked. Basically, the whole room was trashed. The walls had little holes in them and the floor was just dirty plywood, or what you would call “subfloor.” These people even used crown moulding as base moulding…real champs. They were also smokers, so the entire house would need painting. Yum! Listen, here is a word of wisdom…if you can’t do it correctly, then please don’t do it. It is a real waste of resources and money for the next guy to have to tear it up and re-do it.

Anyway, since we were on a budget and have pets of our own, we decided to lay down some laminate flooring. I heard the stuff was really tough. A guy that I work with (Kevin) told me about a flooring place in Middletown that had good prices. He was right and I purchased enough Mohawk Laminate Flooring for the first room. We eventually did the whole house, except for the kitchen and bathroom. That’s going to be tile.

To start, you are going to need a few things. You will need a miter saw, a hammer, a circular saw, the laminate floor installation tool (looks like a small flat crowbar) and a bowl with water and a sponge. I really advise that you purchase the installation tool. You won’t think you need it until the very end. If you don’t have it, you will find yourself in Home Depot. It’s only like $13, so just get it.

Installing Laminate Flooring

Foam Underlay Under Laminate Flooring

I purchased the foam that goes under the floor too. The flooring I bought doesn’t require it because it had a thin layer attached, but I read that it takes the imperfections out of the subfloor. I will tell you about the consequences of that later. As you can see from above, it’s fairly simple to lay down. First, you cut your foam to size, if you decide to use it, and staple it to the floor. Then, you start from one corner and start popping the pieces together. When you cut your last piece, take the extra and walk it back to the beginning. That’s your starting piece for the next row…and so on. There will most likely be instructions on the box of flooring.

The flooring that I bought had glue pre-applied to the edges. When attaching one piece to the next, use your sponge to wet the edge, then pop it together. When you are done with the floor, install your base moulding and your good to go.

Finished Installing Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring

I think the directions said to wait a day for the floor to dry before putting the furniture back in. I am not sure if I read that part. Either way, the furniture made it back into the room.

Room With Laminate Floor

Ok, so here is my opinion of laminate flooring, now that I installed about 1,000 square feet of the stuff. It’s ok, if you are on a budget. When you walk on it, due to the foam and it being a “floating” floor, some spots can feel kind of soft. You might like that because it is easy on the feet, but when I walk on it barefoot, it kind of annoys me. I like to walk barefoot on concrete, but that’s me.

I have to say that it looks good, but people will know it’s laminate. The way the world is heading, this may be a trend, so that’s ok. Also, if you scratch it or chip it, I think you may be out of luck. There are fillers and scratch touch up products, but don’t count on sanding the floor down in 15 years to refinish it.

Overall, laminate flooring is a good alternative to carpet. If I had it to do over again…and I will in our next house, I would do Bamboo. Now THAT’S a floor!

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Comments (8)

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  1. Ede says:

    Good article, nice pictures!
    I would have not removed the base molding but rather install a shoe to cover the gap between the base m. and floor.
    Double layer of foam might be too much. The weight of some heavy furniture can leave a “valley” or dent.
    But again Nice Job!

  2. Bomba Lola says:

    Its very nice, but I have to say it looks a little overly staged for me. (Yes, yes, I know that you clean when you photograph your house but some of this seems a little overly done)

  3. Adam says:

    The laminate flooring in the picture is 3-strip?

  4. Mary says:

    we are actually doing all hardwood flooring in our new condo

  5. mike says:

    Good post. I have a house to decorate, but I don’t know how to choose materials, especially the laminate floor, actually I’d rather to prefer the wooden floor. Can u help me?

  6. Martha says:

    why my laminate flooring has bed smell? I’d rather to prefer the wooden floor.

  7. James says:

    Good tutorial – completed by clearly instruction, good pictures, by expert in the field. Thanks for sharing installing laminate flooring, I may use it at my house.

  8. Jim says:

    Yeah, it does look better than having a carpet on it. We also have our carpet lying out on the floor and everything just get stuck into it. From dirt to dog hairs and not to mention how hard it is to remove stain from it. It’s such a lot of work. And yeah, you gave me and idea. Thanks.

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