While you may prefer to hire a professional, you can lay laminate wood flooring yourself. You can certainly do a great job by yourself, as long as you know what you’re doing. Laminate flooring dries faster and does not require cutting with a particular saw like ceramic and porcelain tiles; installing it is like putting together various parts of a complex puzzle. Here is a step by step DIY guide on how you can install laminate flooring.
1. Prepare the Floor
It is important you prepare the floor before you install the laminate wood flooring. Make sure the floor is perfectly level and remove any glue or paint with a metal scraper or knife. After that, sweep the floor thoroughly to remove dust and other smaller particles.
2. Prepare the Door Frames
Use a vibrating saw to get rid of the lower parts of the door frames. You can also use a trim saw to make a perfect cut. Once you remove the lower parts of the frame, install an underlayment and tap the seams.
3. Install the First Piece
Lay a piece on the first row of the floor. Doing so will help you have a rough idea of the expected length of the last section. You can trim the first piece so that the last one becomes longer. Make the first cut of the board using a square mark. Make sure you mark the side that will be used as a drop to prevent cutting the wrong side of the piece. Use a jigsaw to make a cross cut on the drop side.
4. Assemble the Pieces Together
Once you have the pieces in the first row, bring them together. Make sure you use uniform pressure when doing so. Avoid too much weight because this will cause the joints to weaken. Be careful when you get to the door frames. Make sure you have a measurement of the piece that needs to slide below the door frame. Mark the top of the board in the area where you cut. When joining the boards, make sure the longer edge is tight and shorter one not overlapping.
5. Install Additional Rows
Slowly and carefully install additional rows. As you do this, you need to sway the seams at least 10 inches in adjacent rows. You can often start a new row with the board you cut to end of the preceding row.
6. Lay the Final Row
You need to be extremely careful with the last row. Lay the boards into position at an angle before prying them with a bar. Ensure you leave an expansion gap between the wall and the final row measuring at least a quarter of an inch.
7. Reinstall the Trim
Once the flooring is in place, reinstall the trim you had removed earlier. Use a hammer and finishing nails to put in place the baseboard molding. After that, install the shoe molding and connect the laminate to adjacent surfaces using transition strips. Make sure you don’t nail through the floor when doing this.
If you decide you don’t want to tackle this job alone, contact the pros at MacDonald Hardwoods – we are always happy to help.