We just installed a click together floating cork floor. It is stunningly
It took some time to get the hang of installing it, but we figured out that
if you align the long edge and use a tapping block (a piece of scrap) to
snap together the short edge it worked every time.
As with so many things in life, the devil is in the details. I spent 2
hours trying to figure out how to address two door openings. But once I
placed the final piece and looked at what we now had for a floor I was
elevated to another place!!!
A few years ago I put in a Pergo floor. I bought the Pergo from Home
Depot. It was the 8mm thick stuff, which comes with a pretty good
warranty. Glued together, not snapped. I'm not partial to snap-
together floors, probably due ugly seams showing in some earlier
It was my first time putting in a Pergo floor, and it went well. I'd say
it's definitely in the DIY realm. Just get the video that walks you
through it, plan the job well, and handle any problems with a wry smile.
I did make one major "mistake" in the planning phase that added a lot of
time to the job. I wanted the floor to be the "Alpine Beech" pattern,
with a border around it against the walls in one of the Pergo tile
patterns that look like stone. Being a first timer, I didn't realize
that surrounding the "inset" woodgrain pergo with a perimeter of the
tiles meant I had to get the cuts EXACTLY right, down to a tiny fraction
of a millimeter. If I had just put the tiles on two ends, rather than
all around, it would have been no big deal, but the way I did it added
at least an extra day to the job.
We do an increasing number of laminate floors -- they're getting
really popular, no longer a "cheap substitute for hardwood". A
reasonably skilled DIYer should have no problem with the
Tools you'll need -- a flat bar for removing baseboards, a hand saw
for cutting back door casings and jambs, a dozen or so quarter or
half inch spacers to position the "gap" at the wall, a tapping block,
a tool (can't think of what it's called) for pulling in the outside
edges, a table saw with a good fence and a sixty tooth blade, and a
One important thing is to make darned sure the surface you're flooring
is FLAT. We've done homes where the subfloor from different rooms
met with 1/4 inch difference. Where you have that situation, you
can either feather it out .. or tear out the subfloor and fix it.
Installed Uniclic flooring in my office, snaps together, no glue. Installed
Mannington floors in my house, glue together. The Uniclic stuff is OK, but
it's a small room, and it seems to be holding up fine to daily office use.
The Mannington stuff is complete shit, looks fake, sounds hollow, joints are
opening up (and we used the expensive-as-hell glue that they sell for their
floors, found out it was just plain old Elmer's white glue).
I will NEVER install laminate flooring again in any house I own. Hardwood
floors would have been cheaper by the time I was done, and gaps in a T&G
hardwood floor don't look nearly as bad.
I installed a floor last year using Quick-Step Perspective, a snap
together laminate. I've been pleased with the result, it cleans easily
and is rock hard. I'm now laying laminate in the hallway and the spare
It's best to order samples from a dealer so you can check the patterns
and color, and also the durability of the flooring. I ordered samples
of five brands and beat them with a ball peen hammer and attacked them
with a carbide scribe before making my choice. Water and wear
warranties should also be considered. Quick Step Perspective has a wear
warranty, but no water, since it is beveled at the joint for appearance,
which traps water. The non-grooved versions of Quick Step come with a
25-year water and wear warranty.
The snap together flooring is not as easy to install as advertising
would imply. Snapping two planks together side-to-side is easy, but
when you have to join a plank on both an edge and an end, it takes a bit
of muscle (I only have experience with Quick Step). The condition of
the underlying floor is also important. It must be flat, stiff, and
reasonably level. I had to put down a 15/32" underlayment of plywood to
make the floor sufficiently stiff.
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