Laminate Flooring: Ultimate Installation Guide Vinyl Flooring: Ultimate Installation Guide Calculators  

Prepare to Install Your Flooring

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Victorious warriors win first, then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first, then seek to win. – The Art of War, Sun Tzu – Get your Flooring Ready If your flooring was delivered, make sure you received what you actually ordered. Read the instructions in the box over carefully to know if there are special instructions for your product. Sticking to manufacturer guidelines is also critical to not voiding the warranty. Oh, and definitely save your receipts. You can even attach them to one of the labels from the end of a box.  Stores usually let you return unopened […]

Luxury Vinyl Buyer’s Guide

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Looking for inexpensive, easy-to-install flooring? Look no further than Luxury Vinyl.  This flooring has come a long way, with surprisingly realistic tile or wood looks.  It’s extremely durable and especially good at fending off wear, dents, scratches, and stains.  Plus it’s water-resistant – or even waterproof – without any special installation. Another advantage to vinyl – it can often install over old floors – with the exception of carpet – as long as the surface is smooth.  Major inconsistencies in underlying floors will show through, but vinyl is more forgiving than many floors.  If changes in the floor vary less than an 1/8” over a […]

Laminate Flooring Tools and Supplies

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We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us. ― Marshall McLuhan – What you need to install a laminate floor Laminate flooring is considered a beginner level DIY project, but there may be some tools needed that you don’t have in the garage. Here is the required gear: Tape Measure and Pencils Laminate Flooring (How Much do You Need?) Underlayment Flooring Cutter – such as a PFC or a miter saw Transition strips Trim and moldings (If you are not reusing old trim) While preparing, consider whether you’ll need any special tools.  Are there door […]

Laminate Flooring Installation Guide

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Layout It’s usually best to install the floor with the long side of the panels parallel to the longest wall in the room. The exception to this is what is known as long-lighting: if you have large glass doors or windows shining into the largest room you are installing the laminate in you may want to run the flooring parallel with the longest light source of the day (setting/rising sun). With the layout direction in mind, you now have two walls of your room which are options for starting your installation. It is best to install starting from the wall further […]

Shear or Saw?

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Give us the tools, and we will finish the job. ― Sir Winston Churchill – Having the right tools for the job can save you hours of time, not to mention costly mistakes. But as a DIYer, that perfect tool can often become the most expensive part of a project. This stands true when installing laminate and vinyl flooring. To achieve a smooth, professional quality cut you need a table or mitre saw, easily costing hundreds of dollars. Plus laminate flooring can chip easily if not cut correctly, and vinyl can have jagged edges. Enter Weekend Warrior’s Plank Flooring Cutter. The PFC […]

Laminate Flooring Buyer’s Guide

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Sweat more in practice, bleed less in war.  – Spartan Warrior Credo – Installing laminate flooring in your home offers the look of real wood with easy installation, low cost, and better scratch and stain resistance.  However, the huge variety of brands and styles available is overwhelming, even for folks who have installed laminate before. There are several key specifications of your floor (beyond the color and pattern) that are important to consider. How long will laminate last? Most laminate flooring comes with a warranty between 10 and 25 years.  Take a look at the space in which you will […]

How to Use a Tapping Block on Laminate

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My old grandmother used to say ‘anything mechanical, give it a good bashing’. – Capt. Colin Maud, The Longest Day – Most folks who’ve done construction have had to hammer something in place without denting or damaging the surface. Typically you will hold a block of scrap lumber against the offending surface, and vigorously pound it with a hammer until something gives and it slides into place. When installing a ‘click together’ laminate or vinyl floor, you have to persuade long planks to sit tight against each other, but the available edges for pounding are thin and fragile. The solution […]

Best Uses for Laminate Flooring

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Laminate flooring gives you the look and feel of hardwood in your home without the cleaning and refinishing commitments. It’s wonderful to have in areas where moisture is limited, such as in living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways. It is easy to install, durable, and easier to clean and maintain than most wood floors. Great areas to install laminate Living Rooms Bedrooms Hallways over Ceramic over Vinyl over Concrete over Plywood over Particle Board (subfloor) Places where laminate is NOT a good idea Bathrooms Laundry Rooms Saunas Kitchens Porches Entryways Mudrooms Garages Check out our Vinyl Flooring Guide for these areas Why […]

How to use a Pull Bar on Laminate Flooring

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Ten strong horses could not pull an empty baby carriage if they worked independently of each other. – John Wooden – When installing laminate or Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring, you need to seat the planks with a hammer and tapping block. When you get to a wall at the end of the row, a tapping block just won’t fit, and there isn’t much room to swing a hammer. To get the last row set, the tool to use is a pull bar. Pull bars come in many styles – the cheapest are just a bent piece of sheet metal, while […]