The Perks to DIY Laminate Flooring

By: Robert Thomson

If you're considering DIY laminate flooring for the home, you'll love the advantages it has to offer. It's no surprise why laminate is becoming the top choice for homes of all calibers. With better technology, these floors look just like real hardwood and even rival them in sound and feel. Of course, for a more authentic wood looking floor, you'll have to invest in a higher quality laminate. That said, laminate is still affordable and less susceptible to moisture and water damage. It's durable, resistant to scratches and dents and will last for years with proper care.

Since DIY laminate flooring can be installed by the average homeowner, you'll love taking an active role in your home improvement project, while also saving hundreds on the cost of installation by a professional contractor. While installation does require that you have some basic handyman skills, you'll be pleasantly surprised just how feasible this flooring is to work with.

Virtually all new laminates have an installation method that is referred to as a snap-and-lock or tongue-and-groove system. This means that the floorboards snap together like puzzle pieces and do not require any messy glues or specialized tools. What you will need however, is underlayment.

Like carpet padding, it's important not to skimp on underlayment. Although it may look similar to a vinyl sheet, this is what will absorb sound and allow the laminate to last longer. Quality underlayment also allows more time to clean up spills and will act as a barrier if moisture were to seep in between the floorboards.

Once you have purchased your materials and DIY laminate flooring, you will need to prep the area. Fortunately, laminate can be installed over many existing floors such as vinyl, so you may not have to rip up the base floor. Just make sure the subfloor is clean and smooth and you can begin laying the underlayment. Make sure that when you trim down the underlayment, you save any quarter round and base trim. Tape seams on the underlayment for a tight seal as well.

To install the floorboards is easy; although you will need to make sure you begin installation in a straight manner. Position one of the floorboards in place and mark where the cuts will be. Then use a miter saw to make the cuts and reposition the board. The second row of laminate should start with half planks so that the floorboards are staggered throughout the room. Also make sure you start on one end and work your way to the other end instead of starting in the middle.

The rest of the floor will fall into place. You'll snap each piece in next to each other, and to ensure that the floors are stable, it will be best to have another person stand on the piece that is receiving the next plank. Once you have a rhythm down, you'll find that the project goes rather smooth and can be accomplished in a day or two. The finishing touches include molding, trim and transitional pieces.

Thanks to DIY laminate flooring, you can now enjoy a wide range of flooring options that rival the look of hardwood, while being able to handle installation on your own terms. Finally, a project that will have your name stamped onto it!

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Darrell Potter writes out of Vancouver about DIY laminate flooring, and gives advice on how to maintain your home and carpet looking sharp. Always looking for the highest quality materials at the lowest cost possible, he tends to end up shopping at more often than not.

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