Have you ever been at a friends house and seen how beautiful their floor was? We wish we could afford to have someone install a hardwood floor in our house, but we just do not have the money. Well, here is a great alternative. Do it yourself with laminate or floating floor and pad. You can now purchase this to look like bamboo, pre finished wood, cork floor, tile, gunstock, hickory, or anything else we can dream up. You can usually buy top name brands at wholesale or discount flooring suppliers. When picking out laminate flooring, take into consideration if it will be a wet area, if you have pets, what style you want, and how much traffic you will have. The supplier should offer suggestions from there. I would recommend a quality flooring product. This is especially true if you are going with a specialty look alike cork, bamboo, tile, or pre finished hardwood flooring.
Lets prep our floor first, pull up whatever flooring is there now. Be sure to remove any nails or tack strip that may be left behind. Cut you door jambs to right height for material to slide under using jamb saw. You cut by laying a piece of flooring upside down on pad against door jamb and simply sawing it out, knocking the chunk underneath out with a chisel and hammer. We also want to take base trim off around all walls and tack 1/4″ strips to connecting walls to keep shimmed spacing so floor can float. Sweep thoroughly and lay padding down end to end using tape at joints so you will not slip or rip it. Now starting in the corner that is shimmed run end to end. You will see the ends are different on floating floor boards or laminate, one will show underside and one finished floor. Finished floor end should begin at wall. When going end to end you should be able to simply set top(finish) piece at angle and snap into place you should not need tapping block unless going under a door jamb. Now you should be able to simply snap this run together except if you run under jamb we talked about in previous step. If you run into this trim a piece with saw to slide under jamb and come to center of door or but up to threshhold. Now slide grooves on block onto plank locking tab or unfinished edge(remember we always start unfinished edges out) and lightly tap into place. Pull bar is used the same way up against the wall and tapping back towards plank end.
Now keep on running, you should be getting pretty good by now. The only thing slowing us down is wall cutouts or door jambs or working in any closets. When we get to the last run we will probably have to rip each piece to fit. This means we will cut across the long end of the plank. Get your measurement, make marks, and use straight edge to mark your cuts. You will probably have to snap these in at ends and use pull bar to tap in all the way down the board. Ok, were looking good. Pull all your shims out and re install your baseboards. Clean up, put furniture back in place, and enjoy your beautiful laminate floor installation.