Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How To Install Hardwood or Laminate Flooring

Hi Friends,

It's not only trendy but environmentally friendly to convert to wood flooring versus carpet. An expensive undertaking but you can save tons of money installing it yourself or with the help of a friend. Repurposed wood is an excellent option to new wood flooring and it lessens your carbon footprint on the Earth. Another great options is the clearance section of your local home improvement store. If there is not enough of one finish, think outside the box and mix finishes. Unorthodox, maybe, but you will be surprised with the overall look and the amount of money you save for a look that is all yours.

Dramatic options for your space can be casual, comfortable, sophisticated and inviting. You overall goal is to create an interior that is big on style. Gone are the days of matching furnishings to carpet. Mix and match, not only styles, but colors. Combine vintage with modern, a myriad of possibilities awaits. Dress up your space or think about the casual philosophy on life in decorating that special room.

Welcome the opportunity to change your space seasonally with throw pillows, centerpieces and pictures; a new look for minimal cost. Neutral backgrounds (walls and furniture) lends a blank canvas to punch it up with color.

In closing, recycle whenever possible and have fun laying your new flooring.

Materials and Tools:
protective eyewear
measuring tape
rubber mallet
circular saw
tapping block
underlay pad
hardwood or laminate flooring
quarter-round shoe molding
Lay a protective barrier under the laminate boards.


1. Remove any baseboards in the room and take measurements of the area where you wish to install new flooring. Tip: When buying flooring, make sure to purchase approximately 10 percent extra, better to have it on-hand should you need it rather than have to run out mid-job.

2. Put on protective eyewear.

3. Install the underlayment. This will level the floor, give a cushiony step and protect against mold and mildew growth.
Start laying boards on the longest wall.

4. Begin laying the hardwood or laminate flooring along the room's longest wall. Leave a 1/4-inch gap between the hardwood or laminate boards and the walls on all sides, this allows for expansion and contraction due to seasonal humidity and temperature changes. If necessary, use 1/4-inch spacers.

5. Lay hardwood or laminate flooring away from the wall, staggering the boards so the seams don't match up. Use a mallet to tap each board into place.

6. For a tight fit, use a mallet and tapping block to secure the boards together. Once the entire floor is in place, reinstall baseboards.

7. To cover expansion gaps along the wall, quarter-round shoe molding may be installed. Attach the molding with a nail gun, being careful that the nails don't go through the new hardwood or laminate flooring.

Check back for more ideas and enjoy your new floors.

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Live well,