How to Install Laminate Flooring the Easy Way

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You probably get excited at the thought of your home gym, hallway, or kitchen with brand new flooring. Getting the beauty to transfer from the roll of laminate at the store to the floor of your home may be a challenge, however. With the tips you pick up here, you will be well on your way to installing that new look in any room in your home.

You do not want to just plop the roll of laminate down in a room and start hacking at it to make it fit around walls and into closets. You will inadvertently gash it somewhere or even cut too far back from a wall, leaving gaps you will regret for years.

Prepare the area for installing the new product

Some types of laminate flooring have enough padding to lay over an existing laminate or wood floor. You would not want to install the new product over tile, stone, or other uneven surfaces. You may have to strip off old materials with power tools. Damaged floors will require a floor-leveling product to smooth out grooves or knotholes.

Once your surface has been prepared and swept clean, roll out your pattern paper. One can use any large roll of paper for this purpose: red rosin paper, roofing felt paper, or cast off newsprint rolls. Sturdier paper will serve you best in this operation.

Roll out your pattern paper within an inch of the walls, cabinets, and other immovable objects your new floor material will meet. Tape the edges down with masking tape placed about every three feet. Cover the whole floor area with this paper pattern, taped together and spot taped along the edges.

Mark the pattern, transfer design, and cut new flooring

Set a standard, L-shaped framing square with the widest and longest side against the wall. You will slide this device all around the floor edge areas, tracing alongside it with a pencil. With the framing square lying flat on the paper and tight against the wall, make a pencil line on the paper by following the whole inside edge. As you move the square and mark along the inside of the long edge, you will end up drawing a room-shaped box two inches smaller on every side from the room's finished edge.

Once you have drawn this two-inch edge around the pattern paper, gently release the tape anchors. Roll up the pattern and carry it to a place where you can cut out the new floor. The work area will have to be larger than the room where you are installing the new floor. You might use the garage, a basement room, or a smooth-floor living room.

Roll out the new laminate floor product with the finished surface up. Now, roll out your pattern paper on the new material, paying attention to the direction of any floor design. Anchor the pattern to the new product with masking tape again.

Take the same framing square you marked the pattern with and lay it on the outside of the line you already traced. Now run your utility knife on the outside of the square's long edge. This cuts the laminate to the exact dimensions of the walls, cabinets, and other edges of the room. When you are finished, the laminate should be exactly two inches larger than the marks on the pattern paper.

Install and secure the flooring in place

Roll up the cut material, lay it out in the room you are remodeling, and see how simply it falls into place. It should be the perfect size for the room. If your product needs glue, try it in position first to see if it needs any trimming, then roll it up and spread the glue. If your laminate product is a floating floor, roll it out, and install the double-sided tape according to the manufacturer's directions.

Some floors have interruptions such as heating vents, a toilet, or a pedestal sink. You should remove these, cut around the opening, and set them back on top of the new floor surface. Finish the new floor as needed with baseboard or metal edge pieces where it meets other flooring.

Janine Green writes about different home improvement ideas and flooring trends out of Toronto. Always looking for the highest quality materials at the best prices, she tends to end up shopping at www.carpetone.ca more often than not.

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