DIY Installation Tips

Laminate Installation

Laminate floors are among the easiest type of floors to install. They don’t require much use of tools and hardware – making them a great choice for DIY projects.

Main tools required:

  • rubber mallet
  • tape measure
  • table saw

General Guidelines

1. Measure & Prepare First Row

The flooring installation begins with setting up the first row along the length of the room’s wall. Assemble the length of the first row from one wall to the other, leaving a 3/8″ space at both ends.

You must then prepare this row by using your table saw to cut the tongue (the groove that sticks out) of the side that is facing the wall.

After assembling the first row, you will typically end up with the last piece at the end being too small to fit in place. Cut the last piece to a specified length so that it fits in and completes the first row.

2. Assemble all rows

Laminate is so easy to install because all it takes is fitting in grooves to lock in each additional row. Start your second row at the same end as the first, locking in your first piece of laminate from the second row. Make sure to always remember to leave that important gap from where the well to where the first piece starts.

3. Apply Sealant

Use a silicone sealant to create a watertight seal between the floors, at all edges. It’s often recommended to install baseboards in order to finalize the look of the installation and not have any gaps visible.

Full Step-by-Step Tutorial

Laminate floors are really that easy to install, and most jobs can be completed within a day or two. If you would like a thorough guide to a complete DIY flooring installation job, check out this video:

Engineered Hardwood Installation

If you feel comfortable with your DIY abilities, you may want to take things to the next level and try out a DIY installation of engineered hardwood.

Engineered Hardwood installation takes requires a few more tools and processes, however the finished product can be highly satisfying.

Main tools required:

  • Air compressor, Staple Gun, & Flooring staples
  • Mitre saw & table saw
  • Rubber Mallet

General Guidelines

1. Prepare Flooring Surface

Prepare the subfloor, removing any possible nails or staples left over from the previous floor. Thoroughly clean and vacuum the surface, making sure there is no left over dust or debris.

2. Set up tar paper

It’s important not to install the floors directly on top of the subfloor, but rather to first place a cover – such as tar paper. This will also ensure that moisture doesn’t penetrate below the new floors.

3. Install Flooring

Begin by placing the first row of floors along the longest wall in the room. Like other types of floors, Engineered hardwood has a tongue and groove system that lets you slide the planks into each other. You should set them up, so that the tongue side faces the wall and the groove side faces out into the room. After setting up the first row, drive staples into the groove side at a 45 degree angle, with a staple placed at around every 6 inch spaces.

After the first row is nailed in, continue to slide the next row into the grooves, and proceed to nail each row in the same way, until the room is fully covered.

Full Step-by-Step Tutorial

Although Engineered Hardwood floors take a few more steps and tools – such as the use of staples / nailes – it’s actually quite easy to take on as a DIY project. See this full video tutorial for more info on installing engineered hardwood floors:

Floating Installations

What is a floating floor?

A floating floor is one that doesn’t require the floor to be nailed or glued to the subfloor. The most common type of floors used for floating installations are laminate.

Benefits of a floating floor:

  • It’s the easiest to install – making it perfect for DIY projects.
  • It can be cost and time effective.
  • This installation methods limits the number of steps required and amount of waste created from the project.

Floating Floors – Commonly asked questions

1. Will floating floors move and shift?

If installed correctly, floating floors will not move and shift. The primary reason why floating floors stay in place is simply due to their weight. When locked in together, the collective weight of the flooring installation makes it planted firmly on the ground. To further prevent movement, it’s also important to use an underlayment laye made of a foam material

2. Is laminate the only type of floor that can be installed as floating?

Generally, laminate is the most common type that is used for floating installations. However, another common type that is suited for floating installation is Vinyl, as well as a few modern engineered hardwood varieties that are built specifically for this purpose.

To learn more about floating installations and whether it’s the most suitable method for your needs, see this video:

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