Laminate Flooring Tips And Tricks – We spoke to flooring experts to get some installation tips that will help you avoid humps, bumps, gaps and cracks.

To calculate your starter row size you need to make sure the walls are parallel when you set up. You may find installing laminate in a 6-inch room. One end is narrower than the other. This means you have to rip off the last row which is sharply pointed and it looks ugly. If one side of the room is not permanently covered by furniture, you may be better off dividing the difference and lowering the first and last rows so that neither side is so noticeable.

Laminate Flooring Tips And Tricks

All underlayment seams need to be taped. It’s tempting to use whatever tape you can find on the pickup, but don’t. Some packing tapes and house wrap tapes are very stiff and can make an annoying crinkling sound when stepped on. Use any tape recommended by the underlayment manufacturer or purchase an underlayment that has built-in seam tape.

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Our flooring pro recommends installing the underlay perpendicular to the way the planks are installed. The underlayment is less likely to “bubble” when you lay the flooring. They also suggest installing a few rows of lining at a time to avoid tearing from your shoes.

Laminate floor systems do not perform well on uneven surfaces. Before starting any flooring work, inspect the subfloor. Crawl along a straight edge to find any areas that are more or less than 1/8-inch. Subfloor seams are the usual suspects.

A belt sander with a coarse-grit belt will demolish seams very quickly, but you may need to rent a commercial floor sander to grind off the sharp peaks.

A dip in the floor creates a soft, spongy section in the laminate floor. Most dips can be taken care of with a trowel and vinyl floor patch. If you want to start laying the floor the same day, buy a quick-drying variety.

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“Avoid self-leveling floor compounds, especially in older homes,” says our flooring pro Jay. “It can take an entire truckload of self-leveling compound to flatten an out-of-level floor. And oh, yes—it’s time to screw the plywood to the joists anywhere that squeaks.

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Cutting laminate with a miter saw can get noisy and dusty very quickly, and walking back and forth to your miter saw is not very efficient. Instead, cut the planks where they will be installed quietly and cleanly with laminate scissors.

One of the thorniest problems you’ll encounter is installing flooring around doorways. Simplify it by starting on the wall with the most openings. Of course, you’ll still need to lower and trim the jambs, but it’s much easier to start at a doorway than to end at one.

It’s tempting to find a long, straight wall and start hitting planks. The problem is, when you get to the opposite wall, you can tear off thin strips of flooring. It doesn’t look good and is hard to install.

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Plan ahead by snapping a section of four or five pieces together, place it against one wall and make a pencil line on the outside of the connected piece, then slide the section toward the opposite wall, aligning it with the pencil line. Walk across the room like this to determine if you should start with a split line and how wide it should be. It’s not an exact science, but it’s a quick way to get a good idea of ​​how wide that last row will be without having to do a bunch of math.

Occasionally it is necessary to tap a board in place or to fasten an uncooperative one together. Yes, you should use a tapping block, but to avoid damaging your brand-new floor, snap on a sacrificial scrap and tap on it to prevent ruining the edge of the new flooring.

If you actually read the instructions on most laminate floors, the pieces must be snapped together. Some flooring (usually cheaper materials) are impossible to install without damaging the planks. If you have problems, snap the butt ends of the entire row together, then snap it as one long piece.

If you’re installing flooring that continues through the doorway, it’s best to leave a gap (instead of snapping the flooring together) to accept the transition strip between the rows. Place the gap directly under the door so the transition strip makes visual sense. A transitional list allows you to treat each room as a separate project. This allows more flexibility in your layout and design.

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Often, ending up in the doorway is unavoidable. When that happens, it’s a little tricky because you have to slide the flooring under both jambs. Here’s how to handle it with a little trim woodworking:

Plan on the seam in the middle of the doorway. Notch and cut the first piece to fit then slide it completely under the jamb. Notch the second piece so it is short of the door when in place. Lift the flooring to get around the corner and under the casing, then snap it.

After attaching the two pieces, slide them far enough so that both jambs cover the ends of the flooring.

Laminate floors expand and contract with variations in humidity and temperature. So before starting any laminate work, pay attention to the furniture in the room. Heavy furniture, such as a pool table or fully loaded bookshelves, can pin the laminate, causing it to push up as it expands or separate as it contracts. The trouble really starts when you have two heavy pieces of furniture directly across from each other trapping the floor. To avoid trouble you will have to lose one of the furniture or go with a different flooring material. How much weight will trap the floor? A good rule of thumb is that a typical laminate floor will still run well under a fully stocked refrigerator

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The hard-shell knee pads you wear for roofing and landscaping are not the same knee pads you wear for installing flooring. There’s no question about it: flooring is hard on the knees, and the wrong knee pads will scratch laminate floors. Floor installation calls for pads with fabric, foam or soft rubber material on the business end. Gel-filled pads are more comfortable because the gel helps distribute the weight.

We no longer support IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. I install laminate flooring to showroom standard every time, it’s really easy when you know how to follow these simple DIY tips and tricks for perfectly laying floating click together floors, including tips to help you lay your own floor

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When you install laminate flooring, the two most important things are what you choose to lay the first boards on and what tools you use to cut the laminate flooring.

There are two things I usually consider before I decide to lay the first line to start the installation. What is the straightest wall and what is the trickiest area to deal with?

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There is little time to make a judgment call. Ideally, in a typical square room I would start laying the floor on a long, straight wall parallel to the direction I want the floor to run (I usually lay the floor in the same direction as the light). Once you click two or three straight lines together it’s usually plain sailing.

That could be an area with four vents, much faster and easier to handle when you still slide the floor back and forth a bit at the beginning of the installation. These areas are trickier to deal with at the end, when you have less room to maneuver (more details on laying laminate in doorways further down the page).

If you need to know the tools I use to cut and install laminate flooring, check out my list of laminate flooring tools and get set up yourself first.

Before you install laminate flooring, you need to bond the boards together by leaving them in the room where they will be laid for at least two days. Check the instructions that come with the boards, as this will help prevent problems with floor shrinkage/expansion after installation.

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When I install laminate flooring over a wood floor, I make sure all screws are countersunk/buried and the nail heads are punched below the surface first.

Concrete sub-floors should be level and in worst cases latexing or another leveling compound may need to be applied to ensure that the floor is level enough to lay the floating floor.

You will need to lay a waterproof membrane before installation

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