what are some tips for first-timer installing laminate floor?

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  • Imagery Imagery on Mar 18, 2011
    Felicia, the best tip I can give is, to make sure you you leave enough room for expansion and contraction, I have seen many floors turn into big messes when the wood expands, leaving a large bump in the middle of the room.

  • KPT Carpentry KPT Carpentry on Mar 19, 2011
    Hi Felicia, make sure you vacuum up the subfloor real good before you put down your new floor.

  • 3po3 3po3 on Mar 19, 2011
    Have fun. Installing laminate flooring is a fun DIY project. Plan. It may sound stupid, but I have seen projects where people just started laying flooring in a bedroom only to realize later that they really wanted the flooring to run the other direction in their main living room. The basic rule of thumb is that you want the boards to run perpendicular to the closed front door. IE, when you walk in the front door, you are looking down long planks, not at a "stairway" of sideways planks.

  • Chae Chae on Mar 19, 2011
    Depending on size of the room, consider installing from the middle. Generally you start from the longest wall and move across the width of the room (keeping in mind the existing, if any, orientation of wood floors), but if the room is not perfectly rectangular, you could end up with awkward gap once you reach the opposing wall. Consider that if the room is only 2-3 inches out of square, you may have to rip the planks at an angle and still end up with visible flaws. By starting from center, you share the flaws both sides, so 2-3 inches out of square becomes 1-1.5 inches out of square each side and easily covered up with shoe moulding.

  • Carl Peters Jr. Carl Peters Jr. on Mar 19, 2011
    Beyond following the directions printed on the cartons containing the flooring, there are a few things that make the job run smoother. Cut down some scrap pine to 3/8 of and inch and duct tape small pieces to the wall before you put your first course down. Maintaining gaps around the perimeter, as well as all doors heat pipes is key when laying these floors. Stagger seams as directed but ensure that you are getting maximum coverage from each piece. Lay out a few rows to see if you like the look and placement of panels. Use the more expensive underlayment--a few dollars more but you'll notice the difference. Remove base moulding and any remaining tackless nails from the subfloor and clean the area well. Dryfit two pieces together to get the feel of how they snap together and to see what a locked seam looks like. Lastly, wear kneepads, it makes the job alot less painfull.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 19, 2011
    Laminates are hard on saw blades...as your project progresses you will notice a performance drop is cutting. Also be vary careful handling the planks the corners are very vulnerable to damage and can not be repaired once install short of replacing the whole plank, which if in the middle of the room can be a pain.