Even though we had no experience, we tore down a wall between our kitchen and living room and designed our dream kitchen from scratch in our 1950's ranch home. We saved thousands of dollars by doing much of it ourselves, including these amazing hardwood floors!
Time: 5 Days Cost: $2500 Difficulty: Advanced
The finished floors that unify our new open kitchen and living room space.
When we pulled up the carpet in our living room a few years ago we discovered there were hardwoods in most of the room but only plywood where a porch had been converted to living space. When we tore down the wall between our kitchen and living room we needed to unify the space and stay within our budget so we found hand scraped laminate flooring that looks just like hardwoods! You can see where we started!
Check with your manufacturer but make sure to start with a mandatory acclimation time of at least a couple days, letting the product adjust to climate, humidity, temperature, and even elevation.
Our floors came with an attached foam backer. However, we chose to add additional underlayment because over half of our existing sub-flooring had a light to moderate degree of glue residue on it after removing everything from peel-and-stick to tile floors…to the tune of five layers! We could not have the floating floor sticking in place to glue!
According to the manufacturer’s suggestion, three boxes are mixed together to avoid duplication of pattern. My husband's piles ready to install were 18 pieces randomly chosen and put in place. He repeated this practice through the entire project and staggered the placement of the boards as he worked.
Once the board is set you can be quite aggressive as you lock into place. Also, a notched tapping block is essential. As you reach a wall, switch to the tapping bar that kind of looks like a pry bar.
Our son preparing to snap and lock a full piece.
An important step in this process, and one that every floating floor requires, is use of spacers all along every wall or obstacle. Spacers are usually small plastic wedges that are graduated to accommodate various widths.
In this picture, they fall along that left hand wall and are vertical all the way down. These allow for the proper spacing (hence, the label!) of the floor away from the wall to let the floor expand and contract. They are removed prior to installation of the new moldings, but are critical at this point of the project.
Suggested materials for this project:
- Golden Select laminate flooring (Costco Canada)
- Plank tapping block (Home Depot)
- Rubber Mallet (Home Depot)