Installing Laminate Wood Floors


Installing a replacement floor covering is a good do-it-yourself project. But keep in mind that there are a
number of types of flooring you should consider, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here's a
little information to help you get started.


Vinyl is soft and easy to install. It's particularly good if you have younger children, as it's soft underfoot, and
the finish very easy to maintain. And it's very easy to install -- just peel and stick.

Ceramic is durable and cleans easily. Be warned, though: it's very hard and unforgiving, so if you fall or
drop something on it, it will break.

Laminate is available in designs that imitate wood, stone and ceramic tile. It's just like the material on
countertops, only harder. This covering is great for bathrooms because it doesn't require the upkeep that a
wood floor would in a damp area such as a bathroom.
Our homeowner chose a slate-looking laminate (figure ). One of the beauties of this type of flooring is that
it's a floating floor; that is, it can be laid right over an existing floor.


Measure the floor and take that measurement to the home store to determine how much flooring you'll
need. You want the new flooring to be centered, so measure from the starting wall to the finish wall; divide
that number by the laminate board width. If you're lucky, you'll end up with an even number. If not, you'll
have to trim the first and last boards to keep the pattern centered, as in our project.

You must remove the toilet to install a new floor, but the vanity can stay.

Roll out the foam underlayment along the starting wall and cut to length. Roll out additional foam
underlayment as needed during installation.

Lay out the first laminate board with the small tongue side facing the wall ( figure B).
Tip: Use 1/4" spacers between the laminate and the vertical surfaces such as walls, vanity, shower or tub to
allow for expansion (figure C). Don't worry about this space, as you'll be covering it later with the molding.

Tip: Because this floor is in a bathroom, the manufacturer recommends strengthening the joints with a thin
bead of glue on top of the tongue only (figure D).


Install the next piece by aligning the short ends of the boards and clicking them in place (figure E). Use a
tapping block and hammer to tap on the short end (figure F) and lock the rows into place. Remember to
glue each joint.

After 24 hours, remove the spacers and install the molding pieces (figure G). Since this is a bathroom, use
a silicone caulk to seal around the walls and the toilet, and use caulk and molding to seal around the
bathtub. Remember, although many of these products advertise that they just click in place, you must use
glue on the seams to ensure a watertight seal.
Tip: When you're using large laminate boards like those shown in this project, having a helper makes the
job a whole lot easier!






RESOURCES:


The Wood Finisher: How to Finish Everything, From Decks to Floors to Doors
Author: Bruce Johnson
ISBN: 0345372972
Ballantine Books



The Guide to Easy Wood Floor Care and Maintenance: A Complete Owners Manual for Hardwood Floors
Model: 1880759004
Author: Grant Aslett
(1993)

To order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


Marsh Creek Press (A division of Don Aslett, Inc.)
Pocatell, ID 83201
Phone: 208-232-6316
Fax: 208-232-6286


Hardwood Floors: Laying, Sanding and Finishing
Model: 0942391624
Author: Don Bollinger
(1990)

To order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


The Taunton Press Inc
Newtown, CT 06470
Phone: 203-426-8171
Toll Free Phone: 800-888-8286
URL: www.taunton.com


Hardwood Floors (Second Edition)
Model: 0830635297
Author: Don Ramsey
(1990)

To order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


McGraw-Hill Companies
New York, NY 10020
Phone: 212-512-2000
E-mail: webmaster@mcgraw-hill.com



The Floor Book: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical and Decorative Floor Techniques
Model: 1570762015
Author: Dominique Coughlin
(2002)

To order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


Trafalgar Square Publishing Co.
North Pomfret, VT 05053
Phone: 802-457-1911
Fax: 802-457-1913
Email: tsquare@sover.net


Flooring Basics (Basic Series)
ISBN: 0806958979
Author: Rick Peters
Order this book from Amazon.com.
Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-532-7160
Fax: 800-542-7567


Carpets and Flooring for Your Home
Model: 1899163093
Author: Renate Beigel and Stanley Lyons
(1995)

To order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


Cimino Books, Inc.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215-732-2491
Fax: 215-732-8288


Ortho's All About Floors and Flooring
Model: 0897214463
Author: Martin Miller
(2002)

To order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


Ortho Books
Columbus, OH 43216


Laying Floors (DIY Essentials)
Model: 1842154117
Author: Mike Lawrence
(2001)

To order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


Southwater Publishing (The Manning Partnership Ltd.-- Imprint of Anness Pub)
Phone: 0-1225-852727
Fax: 0-1225-85282


Flooring Projects & Techniques (Black and Decker Home Improvement Library)
Model: 0865736790
Author: Editors
(1997)

To order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


Creative Publishing International, Inc.
Minnetonka, MN 55343
Phone: 612-936-4700
Fax: 612-933-1456


Decorative Floors in a Weekend
Model: 1558706178
Author: Catherine Cumming
(2002)

Or order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


Betterway Books (F & W Publications)
Cincinnati, OH 45207
Phone: 513-531-2690


The New Flooring Idea Book: Creating Style from the Floor Up
Model: 156496731X
Author: Regina Cole
(2001)

To order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


Rockport Publishers, Inc.
Gloucester, MA 01930
Phone: 978-282-9590
Fax: 978-283-2742


Flooring: Furnish Your Floors: 25 Stunning Surface Solutions
Model: 1842154974
Author: Catherine Tully
(2001)

To order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


Southwater Publishing (The Manning Partnership Ltd.-- Imprint of Anness Pub)
Phone: 0-1225-852727
Fax: 0-1225-85282


Creating Beautiful Floors
Model: 0376011475
Author: Sunset Books Editor
(1996)

To order this title from Amazon.com, click here.


Sunset Publishing Company (Division of Time Warner)
Menlo, CA 94025
Phone: 650-321-3600
Fax: 650-322-1043
E-mail: books@sunset.com



Sunset Ideas for Great Floors
ISBN: 0376011785
Author: Sunset
Order this title from Amazon.
Sunset Publishing Company (Division of Time Warner)
Menlo, CA 94025
Phone: 650-321-3600
Fax: 650-322-1043
E-mail: books@sunset.com