laminate flooring

What skill level required to do laminate flooring? Can the average home woner tackle this job? Any tricks? Hints?
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On Wed, 16 Jul 2008 17:26:49 -0230, "Don & Lucille"

Hint: when you take he measurements, add another 10% material for waste :))
Trick: have someone that can make the cuts for you...beats getting up and down all the time.
Yes a homeowner can tackle this job. It may not go as fast, though!
Pick a material and see the web site for instructions on installs.
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first time you find a wet spill on the floor you'll be glad you did.
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h wrote:

Wet? I took a piece of laminate flooring and submerged it in a glass of water for over a month.
I couldn't tell it had ever gotten wet!
It doesn't discolor, swell, break, buckle, or deform.
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on 7/16/2008 7:41 PM HeyBub said the following:

What brand? I have Formica laminate flooring in one room and Armstrong laminate flooring in an adjacent room. Both on the same level. The Formica has held up well, even with my soft mouth Golden Retriever dripping water all over. The Formica flooring is about 20 years old. It is in a room that was accessible to the outside about 3 years ago before I had a sunroom installed outside this room. I have Armstrong laminate flooring in that sunroom, which is also accessible to the outside, and after 3 years, the edges of the flooring are curling around the two doors to the outside, all from wet shoes entering the room, and the GR dripping from the mouth when the water dish is in there. The Formica flooring is regularly wet mopped. I wouldn't dare wet mop the Armstrong flooring.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote:

Bought it at Lumber Liquidators, 78cents / sqft - cheapest they had. Here's the skinney: http://www.lumberliquidators.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId323 &
All I can think of is that the quality has gotten dramatically better than what you purchased in the last century.
I've said before, they ought to use this stuff to armor plate main battle tanks!
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You should probably file a warranty complaint with Armstrong.

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HeyBub wrote:

And we had a minor two day ice-maker leak that ruined one week old Pergo. This was relatively recently installed product purchased at one of the big box stores.
You do NOT want to get most laminate products wet.
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Rick Brandt wrote:

Since your post, I've done some reading; I think there is a compromise. SOME laminates are more sensitive to water than others.
There was one review where a woman had laminate in her kitchen and laundry room. Then her washer leaked. No biggie. After a couple of years, her kitchen and laundry room are still pristine. She damp (not wet) mops them routinely with water and Pine Sol. Another said the water from an undetected leak got down into the cracks and caused the joints of her laminate floor to deform and bump up.
I suspect, in the worst case, that laminate flooring should receive the same aversion to wetness as a regular hardwood floor. In the best case, laminate flooring could be considered the same as ceramic tile.
So, your milage may vary.
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wrote:

Laminate may have seven ply's. Each being hardwood.
I can tell you the wood KILLS my blades. Some boards have metal (granular) in them...
Find me some REAL hardwood. :-\\
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Don & Lucille wrote:

Yes, the average homeowner can do it. You want hints?
1. Remove the baseboards (there's a tool - a small pry-bar - at HD that helps with this task). Don't pull the nails out of the baseboards, cut them off. An alternative method is to use a punch and drive the nails THROUGH the molding! Here's a step-by-step site: http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/flooring/hardwood/refinish_1/prep_trim.htm
While the baseboards are off, use this opportunity to fill dings, clean, and repaint. Be sure to label them as they are removed.
2. A table saw is a big helper - you'll have to rip some boards. HD had a Ryobi table saw for $99. Worked swell.
3. You'll need a rubber hammer to tap the boards into place. But, no matter how hard you tap or how many curse-words you use, there'll still be a few boards that won't cooperate. Get yourself one of these:
http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=laminate+strap&Submit=Go
Installing laminate flooring is like a room-sized jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces are the same. It's kinda fun and the results are stunningly good.
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Easy to do a room in a day or less. Laminate is tough stuff. You need a miter saw with carbide blade for the cross cuts. Even a $99 one will do but take time to learn how to use it safely. .
Invest in knee pads. Get a kit with a tapping block and pull bar.
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Read the instructions that come with the laminate, it will contain most critical information to do the job. Get the installation kit with spacers, tapping block and a side puller. The edges could easily be damaged even using a tapping block so you need to developed a feel of how much force to use and at what angle to snap those boards in without damaging it. First row must be perfectly straight, otherwise you won't be able to snap the next row in. Get an extra pair of hands to lay long rows until you learn how to do in alone. Be extra careful cutting boards to wrap around doorways, especially in hallways with multiple doors. Helpful to have table and sliding miter saws. If you have areas with complex geometry, it will be helpful to trace it on a paper template and then cut it on the laminate with a jigsaw, than use a file or drum sander for fine adjustments.
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On Jul 16, 10:52pm, <Frank> wrote:

Certainly can be done by anyone with reasonable carpentry type skills. However, I agree with the advice to consider going with either an engineered wood or solid wood product. A lot depends on what room it's going in, what other homes in the area have, what the use will be, etc. I can see putting it in a basement room for an office or kids use. But if you put it in the living/dining room of a house in an area where many homes have real wood, then I'd say you're making a mistake. When you put up a house for sale, no one ever says it has laminate floors.
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On Thu, 17 Jul 2008 10:38:51 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

message
You may also want to take a look at the latest idea in engineered wood flooring. Click floating flooring. The prefinished planks click and lock together. This is a relatively new method (at least in the US).
I have done laminate and I finished installing 1600 sq ft of 3/4" engineered hardwood (nailed) a few months ago. The laminate was very much easier to put in and I did not need a quarter of the equipment I ended up needing for the hardwood installation.
As for difficulty of installation, that raised and interesting question for me when I tried to research what an "average homeowner" would have on hand for tools. It appears what many writers consider the average homeowner is quite far below what I would have considered average and is probably below what a fairly large fraction of people on this group would consider average. When describing the tools for an average homeowner, even a circular saw is hardly mentioned. No one mentions a table saw or power miter saw as part of the average homeowner's equipment. Could I do a laminate installation with a circular saw? Yes, but I would have to first build a sturdy jig to mount the boards, and I would still be scared to death using it. For a small laminate job, even a cheap table saw will take care of both ripping and cross cutting of the laminate boards. For even an "above average" homeowner, I would consider a miter saw a luxury for crosscut work, unless you are dealing with a big job or something special. For instance, I would not have considered doing 1600 sq ft of hardwood (including covering two staircases) without one. Going forward, I would also suggest you invest in a decent jigsaw.
As I imply, the size of the job is also an important factor. Installing a 150 sq ft of laminate is doable with hand tools and maybe nothing more that a jig saw, a lot of blades and a hand saw with a miter box. The job will take a lot longer than if you have the proper tools, but it can be done, and if you are careful, it will still look very nice.
The other factor is once you start getting the hang of this stuff and gain confidence, you start planning more advanced projects and will wish you had bought better power equipment, but that is another story.
You might want to take a look at my web site below. I just put it up a few weeks ago on my efforts at installing the hardwood flooring. Some of the more general techniques and information will apply to working with laminate, although as I said, the equipment needed is much less.
http://home.comcast.net/~dyrgcmn/OddEnds/HouseStuff/FlrInstall.html
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