laminate floor tips?


Any tips, do's, or don'ts for somebody considering installing laminate flooring on slab in a bedroom? Is this an easy job for somebody who hasn't done it before?
Replacing carpet. Already know I have to pull up tack strips, remove baseboard, use a vapor barrier over the slab, and cut bottom of door trim to clear the laminate flooring.
If the masonry nails from the tack strips leave any small holes/pits in the concrete, do I need to patch them first?
Any other advice and/or suggestions appreciated.
Thanks, Jerry
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If you visit Mannington site you can download installation instructions for their click floors. One trick is to stick with minimum lengths and widths of planks. I had a guy that ignored those specs and I fired him when he refused to fix it. Mannington can be clicked and unclicked unlimited times and edges are moisture resistent. Other brands are click once or twice and you are done and edges suck up moisture.

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Not sure where you are, but consider some "Delta-FL" under the floor.
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Noozer wrote:

Was not familiar with the product, so I went to the website and educated myself.
My application is in an 8 year old house, slab on grade, built on what I'm sure was a cotton field 20 years ago, in the east suburbs of Phoenix AZ.
Cool, damp floors are not the usual problem here. :-)
But thanks for the suggestion.
Jerry
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jerry snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Yes, provided you have a suitable saw and know how to use it (safely).

No need to patch small (nail sized) holes. But do be sure to remove any high-spots, even small ones.

Plan out the details before you start. As well as the overall layout, plan the specifics of how you are going to handle the doorways, closets, and other such features and joins. Also decide and plan how you will handle the edges -- quarter round, new matching baseboard or whatever.
Follow the floor manufacturers instructions to the letter so you don't void their warranty.
And finally, don't forget to think about any other projects that would best be completed before the new floor goes down (e.g. repainting the ceiling and walls).
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Malcolm Hoar wrote:

Hmm, the far end of the bedroom (the end away from the hall and bathroom doors) has a bay window. Anything special I should know about how to handle an end board with a diagonal cut? How do you pull on that to snug up the end joint to the previous board in the same row?
Thanks, Jerry
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Step #1. Buy knee pads
A little protrusion from a nail may cause a fit. It can probably be broken off with a cold chisel and a hammer blow. A tiny recess is no big deal.
Removed the baseboard carefully and it will go right back in, albeit a little higher. While it is off, put a coat of paint or poly on it so it will look fresh when it goes back.
Use a carbide tipped blade to cut the pieces. I miter saw is a big help. Laminate is tough stuff and will kill a steel blade in just a few cuts, a carbide by the end of the job (it can be re-sharpened). Be sure to get the first row in square and straight and the rest of the job goes easy. Stagger the seams randomly.
Door trim can be cut with a $10 dovetail saw from Home Depot.
Laminate is nice, but consider an engineered wood floor also. I used Mannington on my slab family room and hallway. I have Wilson Art laminate too, but the real wood is much richer looking.
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jerry snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Don't cut the bottom of the door(s) unless you have to. If they cleared the carpet, they should clear the new floor.
I'm not sure about laminate, but wood floors are subject to expansion and contraction due to moisture content. DO NOT butt them flush with the wall. Leave a gap for expansion which will be covered by the baseboards.
Clean the concrete. Clean it again.
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jerry snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote in

As mentioned elsewhere, use a carbide tipped blade to cut the pieces. Had a brand new high tooth count steel blade laying around. Figured I'd use it. It was literally making smoke after 10 cuts. Switched to carbide and it lasted the rest of the three floors. Many laminate surfaces contain aluminum oxide for wear resistance. Aluminum oxide is the same stuff used in automotive sandpaper for sanding metal.
There is a minimum width recommendation for the long edges against a wall. You need to calculate it out before laying the first board. You can measure one board but I found it to be very accurate (aka, came out exactly as calculated) to take like 10 planks, snap them together, measure total and divide by 10. Use this to do your calculations.
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If you are considering a light colored floor (ash, birch, etc) look at it carefully in a large enough sample. We put one down and from day one the joints looked very prominent. Finally I called the manufacturer, their engineer told me what color the floor was as I described the problem. They had had so many complaints that they were offering to buy that shade back.
To pull the last strips together or to work with diagonal cuts the installation kit you can buy includes a Z shaped bar that hooks near the wall and allows you to use a hammer to tighten things up if needed.

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