laminate flooring install time

I was wondering if anyone out there who has done a laminate flooring install using the modern click-together stuff could shed some light on how long it took to install.
I realize every situation is different in terms of room dimensions and number/type of cuts necessary, but it's important for me to be able to get a good estimate of just how long this room I plan on installing the flooring in will take to complete.
I have a 375 sqare feet living room that has an angle in one corner due to a fireplace (there is tile in front of the fireplace that would need to be left in place). One one side of the room is a stairwell.
Currently there is carpeting there, underneath the carpet is of course padding and then plywood subflooring. The house is about 19 years old.
I would first need to rip out the carpet of course and then just reinforce the nailing of any squeaky subflooring. Then begin the laminate install (including the underlayment depending on the brand of flooring I get).
I did a 150sqft glue-together floor once a few years ago and it took me 3 days. I asked a fellow who installs click-together laminate floors for an estimate and he does flat-rate of $1.50 a square foot and said it would take him 1 day to complete, including carpet removal (which would cost another $75). His price is very fair but I'd much rather do this myself to save on cost since I don't plan on living in this house for more than 3 more years. The current carpet is so bad it must be replaced and we like laminate flooring. Hardwood is out of the question due to cost and I have dogs.
I stopped by a flooring store today and asked a sales guy how long it would take to install the flooring. I described the situation above, and he said 3 to 6 hours! I seriously doubt it would be that quick. There would be two people doing the install (myself and my brother). What I'm hoping for is to be able to do it in one full weekend (starting Saturday early morning and going until late Sunday evening at the latest). If I can do it in that time frame then I will do it myself. I am pretty handy, and my brother who will be doing it with me swears it shouldn't take more than 2 days but he's also the guy who told me we could finish my basement in 3 weekends and it took me almost 4 months of weekends (800sqft) so I'm hesitant to jump right in : )
Any advice, estimates, recommendations is greatly appreciated. I have not chosen a flooring brand yet - I will be doing so in the next week or two though. If anyone has any recommendations for a mid-grade laminate that would be great.
mark www.sixstringtheory.com
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Hello Mark, I am a tradesman in the welding trade...meaning that I am NOT a carpenter but can read a tape... I did my very first bedroom with the "Snap Crap" as my buddies call it. The bedroom was about 110 sq feet. After pulling out the old carpet and underlay and making sure there were no floor nails etc sticking up. It took me about 4-5 hours to do the entire floor. About the only obstacle I had was a walk in closet. I finished this job yesterday. Advice I can offer is . 1) Really concentrate on your cut. There is male and female ends to this stuff so make sure your cutting the right end off when you trim your piece. take your time...I know the guy said 3-5 hrs...but who is racing?...take your time and have fun with it. 2)Do some deep knee bends and some stretches before you start... I was so stiff the next morning from crawling all over the floor I could barely get out of bed this morning...ha ha 3)Wear knee pads...I didn't and I'm now soaking them in skotch from the inside out. 40 you and your brother should be able to Easily get it done in a day....BUT...do NOT work independently of each other. If you read the directions of your snap together stuff you will see that what you cut off one end will start your next run across the floor. Best just have one guy cutting and the other laying the stuff. once you get a rythm going you will be grease lightning... but remember to watch your cuts acording to the male and female ends and sides....
Any more questions I am at jim dot morris at sasktel dot net

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On 1/28/2005 4:35 PM US(ET), snipped-for-privacy@sixstringtheory.com took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

I did a 400 sq ft room, using the snap together laminate, in less than one day (started in the morning, and was done before dark), and that included a break for lunch and a couple of beer breaks (I already had the beer at home, so I didn't have to drive 5 miles to get it).
--
Bill

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Hello Mark, I am a tradesman in the welding trade...meaning that I am NOT a carpenter but can read a tape... I did my very first bedroom with the "Snap Crap" as my buddies call it. The bedroom was about 110 sq feet. After pulling out the old carpet and underlay and making sure there were no floor nails etc sticking up. It took me about 4-5 hours to do the entire floor. About the only obstacle I had was a walk in closet. I finished this job yesterday. Advice I can offer is . 1) Really concentrate on your cut. There is male and female ends to this stuff so make sure your cutting the right end off when you trim your piece. take your time...I know the guy said 3-5 hrs...but who is racing?...take your time and have fun with it. 2)Do some deep knee bends and some stretches before you start... I was so stiff the next morning from crawling all over the floor I could barely get out of bed this morning...ha ha 3)Wear knee pads...I didn't and I'm now soaking them in skotch from the inside out. 40 you and your brother should be able to Easily get it done in a day....BUT...do NOT work independently of each other. If you read the directions of your snap together stuff you will see that what you cut off one end will start your next run across the floor. Best just have one guy cutting and the other laying the stuff. once you get a rythm going you will be grease lightning... but remember to watch your cuts acording to the male and female ends and sides....
Any more questions I am at jim dot morris at sasktel dot net
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You should be fine with a weekend, you may well do it in one day but if this goes the way most of my projects do SOMETHING will hold up the works and make you run over what the job SHOULD take. I did my 200 SQ ft kitchen a few months ago with the stuff ( I used Pergo American Cottage Oak, which needs no underlayment, the cushion is already attached to the boards) and it took about 2 days but there was a lot of odd cutting and angles and those weren't full days as I recall either. It's an easy job, it starts slow with planning and cutting those first few boards but then the middle of the room goes down like nothing, until you get to the other side and start cutting again. I used a miter saw and table saw for most cuts, a few oddballs had to be sawn out with a jig saw.
Have fun.
--

Mikey S.
http://www.mike721.com
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OK, roughly you'll have to:
(1) Rip up the carpet and pad. (2) Remove all the tack strips from the perimeter. (3) Scavenge all the staples that didn't come up when you pulled the pad. (4) Pop off the base moulding. (5) Use a jamb saw or dovetail saw to make enough room under any door jambs. (6) Fix squeaks. Check the subfloor for low & high spots. Prep as necessary with leveling compound and sander (hopefully, the floor is level enough that that's all that's necessary). (7) Sweep thoroughly. Sweep again. And again. Laminate will let you know if you left crap on the floor. (8) Lay underlayerment (9) Lay the easy parts of the floor (the square areas) (10) Futz around slicing the laminate to fit the non-square areas, dealing with the interfaces to the non-laminate parts of the perimeter, etc. (11) Replace the mouldings, refill the nail holes, touch up as necessary.
Figure a day for 1-7 unless you just want to slop the job and skip the leveling compound. Not recommended -- laminate doesn't like a non-level floor.
Another day to do 8-10. Of course, since you're doing this on a weekend, you'll be short a couple piece of transition that you need to finish the job, and the supplier will be closed, so figure on finishing up in the evenings during the week.
A couple-three hours to do #11.
Frankly, except for the carpet demolition, this is really a one-person job -- two inexperienced people will get moving too fast and not take time to worry about the transitions, which is where all the time gets spent.
Have your chop / table saw relatively close to the work area -- otherwise you'll waste tons of time running back and forth while you chop your angled cuts.
I'd allow more than a single weekend for "finished" -- you can get 95% done in two days, but that other 5% is the difference between a workmanlike job and a hack job.
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Better to use screws for this. Best to work from the underside, if open, to shim spots if needed.

I do also.
There

Two days sound easy enough. Do you have the right tools? Most important is a saw with a carbide blade. Laminate is tough stuff to cut and will use up a cheap blade, or make a good blade in need of sharpening. If you have access to a miter saw, that makes it very easy. You can get one for as little as $100.
You may be able to save some time by getting the old carpet up ahead and work on the squeaks. Cut it with a utility knife and roll it up in small sections.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Thanks to everyone who responded! This is very reassuring that everyone thinks I can get this done in one weekend. I'm excited to get started....now I just need to research and pick out a floor brand/color. I hope to have a brand/color picked out and purchased by the end of this week. I then have to make arrangements for the wife and kids to stay at the in-laws for those two install days, since this would be in our living room which is the main room of the house where all my kids' toys are and such. That is why keeping it to two days maximum install time was important to me. If the quarter round (I plan on just using white quarter round that matches my white baseboards, not the expensive matching stuff) and transitions take an extra evening or two that's fine so long as the flooring is laid down within the two days.
** Does anyone have any recommendations for a mid-grade (say, under $3 per sqft (preferrably under $2.50)) laminate? **
I'll update you all on my progress on this. Thanks again!
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mark (sixstringtheoryDOTcom) wrote:

$3
I did the kid's playroom a couple of years back in Uniclic quickstep laminate. Seems like it was in the $2.50 sq ft ballpark. No one would mistake it for real wood, but it sure can take a beating. Only downside is it's slick as hell if you're in stocking feet -- even worse than a poly'd wood floor.
Whatever brand you use, I'd recommending picking up the Pergo installation kit -- their tapping block alone is worth the price of the kit.
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I've seen it in a closeout store for as low as $1 a foot Looks like plastic crap. This is your living room, the most used and viewed room in your house. The room you look at every night, the room that your guests see when entering. If you can spend a few bucks more, it will be worth getting something you will like to look at ten years from now.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

? I'm not looking for something for $1 a sqft. Most of the laminate stuff is between $2.00 and $4.00 per sqft from the name brands (and the non-name brands). I don't see much difference in the look between the more expensive brands and the cheaper ones. If I were going to stay in this house for more than a few years then I'd go with hardwood but since I plan on selling the house in a couple of years I don't want to go overboard price-wise. I went out today and saw some decent quality stuff for under $2.50 a sqft. A lot of it seems to depend on where I decide to buy from. I went first to a small flooring shop, a local place. The guy working there didn't know the first thing about laminate and was the typical sleazy sales type (though at least he was honest and told me to come back when the guy that does know about laminates is in later this week). I installed a glue-together laminate a few years back in a much smaller room so I'm not totally clueless. I checked out Home Depot and they have the Pergo Presto @2.29 per sqft and then 20% off that for in-stock finishes until Feb 23rd. Seems like a great deal and pending some more research I will probably go with that. I know that Pergo isn't WilsonArt, but considering my needs (3 years) I think this is an excellent deal. Any other suggestions?
mark www.sixstringtheory.com
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mark (sixstringtheoryDOTcom) wrote:

Here's a site I was visiting today to see if I could use a laminate floor, on my rolling kitchen floor [alas I don't think I can], which has many brands/samples/prices to review for comparison to what you've seen.
It also has Rating charts by Customers, contractors and the web author. I thought it was very useful information, and wish I could have bought the WilsonArt pattern I found.
This is the home page:
http://www.ifloor.com/cat_9/Laminate.html?cidA131&wcw=google
This is the page with the Ratings, near the bottom of the page:
http://www.ifloor.com/articles/lam/lam.brands.html
bj
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I did my kitchen 18X20 with a center island,walk in pantry broom closet, corner sink cabinets.I used Quick Step brand, took me and a helper (wife) 2 1/2 14 hr days to complete, it was a bitch.
I would rip up the carpet first and see if the wood floor is level.
I bought mine form Internet Floors got a great deal, would do it again buy from them.
Tom

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200 sq foot kitchen with island took professional installer 2 days to put down Pergo over the existing sheet goods.

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Alan wrote:

Was this glue-together stuff? I had a 150sqft kitchen done by a Pro (after I had done it myself and after laying down the entire floor noticing what appeared to be dried up dirty glue on the edge of a plank smack dab in the middle of the room....turned out it was a defective board...called the vendor and they had a contractor replace the entire floor for me under warranty). It took him 1.5 days and this was for cheap glue-together Ikea flooring.
mark
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" One thing that should be mentioned in this thread. KNEE PADS Get a pair and use them.
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