How to Replace Laminate Floor in Your House
This project is sponsored by Eco Cork Foam (ECF), however, the thoughts & opinions are my own.
Do you have laminate flooring in your house that is old with scratches and dents? Or maybe you don’t like the laminate color or style? Perhaps you want to change the look of your room with a new laminate floor design. In this post, I’ll go over step-by-step about how to replace a laminate floor in your house using Eco Cork Foam underlayment. Underlayment is sometimes a forgotten step but should be the most important. Underlayment provides protection, support, noise reduction, and waterproofing. Eco Cork Foam offers all the features and more as it’s the only waterproof underlayment with a built-in 6-mil barrier.
Our living room had laminate flooring that started to separate in some areas and had many scratches, dents, and nicks. So I decided to remove the old laminate and replace it with a new, better color and quality laminate.
For this project, you don’t need fancy tools. You could make all the cuts with your skill saw, and jig saw. Even if your cuts are not perfectly straight, they will be covered with baseboard or edge molding.
You also might be interested in other DIY projects that I've done, such as DIY Rocking Chair.
Step 1 – Remove the Baseboard
To remove the old laminate, first, you need to uninstall the baseboard that sits over the flooring. If your room is fairly simple and the new laminate planks are the same thickness, you might not need to remove the baseboard.
For my living room, the new laminate planks were slightly thicker than the old planks. So the baseboard had to be installed higher for new planks to slide under the baseboard.
Most of the baseboards out there have caulking covering the cracks. So first, you need to cut through the caulking with a utility knife. This will separate the baseboard from the sheetrock. Then you will need to pry the baseboard away from the wall to get the nails completely out. You will need to use a pry bar with a wide end. If you’re using a flat screwdriver, this might damage the sheetrock since it’s so narrow.
Make sure not to push too hard on the sheetrock to prevent any dents or holes. If you’re planning to reuse the same baseboard, remove it carefully, trying not to break it.
Step 2 – Remove the Old Laminate and Underlayment
Once the baseboard is removed, now remove the molding around the perimeter. You will also need to use a pry bar to lift up the molding.
Then piece by piece, remove the laminate planks. After that, roll up and remove the old underlayment.
Step 3 – Clean and Vacuum the Floor
Using a putty knife, scrape off any old caulking from the walls and around the moldings. Then vacuum the area.
Step 4 – Cover the Floor with Eco Cork Foam Underlayment
Once the area is clean and vacuumed, cover the floor with the Eco Cork Foam Underlayment.
Using Eco Cork Foam will save you time and money on installation. It comes with a 6-mil built-in vapor barrier. You don't need an additional tape or glue to adhere the pieces together. Just peel off the adhesive strip and lay the flap over the adjoining underlayment to adhere. ECF also keeps the floor warmer during the cold months.
When placing the two sheets of underlayment next to each other, the vapor barrier will need to be overlapped and taped using the built-in adhesive strip. The benefits of using Eco Cork Foam:
- ECF protects your flooring investment in ways that other underlayments can’t, adding value, durability, and performance to your project.
- Engineered using a proprietary blend of polyethylene and granulated cork, ECF is the only waterproof underlayment with a built-in six mil vapor barrier.
- The only underlayment that delivers 10 features in every roll. ECF is technologically advanced and outperforms the competition in every way, from moisture protection to ease of installation.
- Built for use with today’s most popular flooring applications: laminate, attached pad laminate, vinyl, engineered wood, and solid wood floors.
- ECF cuts easily but resists tearing during installation. As the only underlayment with a built-in six mil vapor barrier, ECF eliminates the need to purchase a separate barrier and avoids added installation costs.
- ECF is a product of Palziv North America and proudly made in Louisburg, NC.
Step 5 – Install New Laminate
To install the laminate, start from the corner of your room. Place one full plank in the corner having a 1/2″ gap between the wall and laminate. Typically during summer, the planks expand, and in the winter, they contract—that’s why you need to have a gap between the wall and the laminate.
Continue placing the laminate planks until the floor is covered. Make sure the laminate planks slide inside the snaplocks. This will prevent the boards from separating and creating gaps.
Step 6 – Attach Baseboards
If you’re reusing the old baseboards, you need to remove the finish nails from the boards. The easiest way to remove nails is to use an angle grinder. You could easily cut off the nails with a metal cutting blade.
Next, with a putty knife, clean out the old caulking around the corners and the back of the baseboard.
Place the baseboard on top of the laminate and nail it to the wall with 2″ brad or finish nails. Then caulk the gaps between the wall and the baseboard. Also, caulk the brad nails and the corners.
Step 7 – Install Moldings
Finally, install the moldings between the laminate and the tile/carpet. You are done.