Preparing the floor
Before you prepare the floor youíll need to remove the existing flooring. Any old carpet or vinyl floors will need to be pulled up. Remember to take off the tack strips around the perimeter of the room. Scraping the floor might necessary to remove any padding left stuck to it. After this it is important to give the entire floor area a good clean, preferably with a decent vacuum cleaner. With any dips, it is important to level them out, while on a concrete slab an appropriate self-leveling compound can be skimmed over it to get your floor in the right shape for a great home improvement. If you have a plywood subfloor, then this will need to be repaired.
Now youíll need to remove the baseboards. If you do this carefully you may be able to save these for re-use. Use a coping saw to cut off the bottoms of door jambs and case openings. Depending on the thickness of the laminate and padding you are using you will need to leave an appropriate space for doors to open smoothly without sticking. The thicker the pad the better, even if it is more expensive.
Firstly, roll out the underlayment padding, ensuring the pieces are connected together with wide and clear plastic tape. Depending on what type and brand you have bought, the laminate flooring can connect in a variety of ways. Laminate floor generally snaps or clicks together, so it is essentially a simple and straightforward part of the installation job. Because laminate flooring is a floating floor, it doesnít connect to the house but just to itself, so itís best to leave at least a quarter inch clearance between the laminate and the wall of the room where you are fitting the new floor.
As you go along, gently use a mallet and pull bar to snug the floor up. Watch out for doorways, as this is where things could get challenging. Sometimes a utility knife can sort this out by trimming the snapping connections on the adjoining planks so they can simply slide in place together. Some wood glue here could be helpful as well.
Finish up by re-using the baseboards you carefully removed earlier, which were hopefully not damaged in the process. If you cannot re-use the baseboards, then cut and install some new ones. Remember to miter and caulk all of the necessary joints on the base boards, and do not nail them into the blanks as this is a floating floor. Now you are done bear in mind that the laminate floor will need some level of care, although it is very low maintenance.
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Article Added on Wednesday, February 15, 2012
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