Jan 27, 2017

Be Your Own Handyman – How to Install Laminate Flooring

How to install laminate flooring

The average homeowner will spend about $2,700 on laminate flooring. When you become your own handyman and do it yourself, you’ll save on the labor costs. Laminate flooring is a popular choice for homeowners because it’s an affordable way to get the look of wood flooring. It’s also durable and resists scratching and dents, and doesn’t require the maintenance that real wood does. Be your own handyman and install your own laminate flooring with these steps:


Tools and Materials You’ll Need:
– Tape measure
– Level
– Hand saw/coping saw
– Hammer
– Tapping block
– Pull bar
– Spacers
– Foam underlayment
– Laminate flooring

Step 1- Prepare
Prior to pulling up the existing flooring, be sure you have all of the materials you need for the new floor. You don’t want to start, and find yourself with a torn up floor while you wait to get the necessary materials! Measure your room for the square footage, and purchase 10% more than that total. Some boards will be cut for corners and end fittings, and it’s better to have more than you need than be stuck short.

Step 2- Acclimate
About a week before the project begins, acclimate your new flooring. Since floors shrink and expand because of temperature and humidity fluctuations, this is a necessary step. Unrap plastic packaging and stack the flooring in the room where it will be installed.

Step 3- Reveal
Revealing the subfloor might bring some surprises. Take your time to remove and store the base moldings first. Then, working from the edge of one wall, carefully lift up the existing flooring. Remove nails, staples and tacks strips along the way. Inspect the area once you’re done, and access any repairs that might need to be done. If you install over concrete, be sure to cure it first, and make sure it’s completely moisture-free before laying new flooring.

Step 4- Underlay
You may purchase laminate flooring that has pre-attached foam underlayment. You can also purchase this separately. Read the instructions carefully for the underlayment, as they may vary depending on the manufacturer.

Step 5- Trim
Trim the door jamb after you install the underlay. To get a clean and professional look, you’ll want to lay down one plank at a time and mark the boards to cut with a hand saw. Cut it so that the board can fit smoothly and neatly under the door jambs.

Step 6- Install
Start with the longest wall. Install the planks parallel to that wall. The first plank you lay is the most important, as it sets the scene for the rest of the floor. It needs to have the grooves facing the wall, and be flush to a corner of the room. Place 1/2 inch spacers between the boards and walls every 12 inches to account for natural expansion. One plank at a time, match the tongues and grooves and snap them into place. Use your hands or a tapping block to tap them in, so you don’t damage the planks. Stagger the end joints of adjacent boards to give your flooring a neat and clean look.

Step 7- Finish
The most difficult board will most likely be the last you install. Trim it (or the tongue) to make sure it’s flush. Add thresholds where your new flooring meets another floor (carpet, etc.) or there is a doorway. Now you can remove those spaces and install the base molding!

Laminate flooring doesn’t require a hired handyman, as you can install it yourself to save on labor fees. With a little time, patience and hard work, you’ll have a beautiful new flooring you can be proud of and show off to visitors!