10 Money Saving Tips For DIY Laminate Floor Installation
Saving money is at the heart of our nation’s concerns today. And I like many Americans am always looking for faster and cheaper solutions to improving the quality of my home. So today we will be discussing 10 money saving tips for your next DIY project, laminate floor installation. This beginning to end strategy for saving money when installing laminate flooring is a must read for anyone considering a floor remodel on a budget.
Tip 1 – Measuring
Many of the big chain stores love to send people to your house to measure your floors for you, but be forewarned this is not free! They will typically only do this for an additional charge.
Measuring the area can be a little difficult because you really have to have an idea of what special cuts you will need to make to install the flooring as well as the wasted amount that everyone has due to cutting the boards to lay flush with the wall. The easiest way to get your measurements as close as possible to what they need to be is as simple as adding 20% to the measured area. This way works because you can always return any unused boxes if the company allow for it. And you never want to run out because the floor that you put down mostly may not be in stock at that dealer when you go back! So it is better to be safe than sorry in this case.
Tip 2 – The Tools of the Trade
You don’t need a lot of tools, but you will need a few. Make sure that you have access to a table saw for making the cutting and ripping of the planks a much faster process. A saber saw will also help if you have a lot of vents in the room that will require special cuts. You will also need a tape measure, a hammer, a pencil, and a small hand square.
Tip 3 – Laminate floor installation specific tools
There are two tools that you will have to buy rather than rent if you want to make the process a whole lot easier. One is a tool that allows you to gently tap on it with a hammer to snap boards together. This is merely a time tool that will allow you to get the job done much faster. The second tool is a bar that will fit over the edge of the laminate board, that extends back away from the edge and is turned up so that you can tap it and pull the boards into place that are to close to the wall, making your other tools ineffective due to lack of adequate space.
Don’t forget to get spacers!
Tip 4 – Repair your existing floor or underlayment
Uneven or poor condition floors are terrible to install on. If you have bad subfloors you have no option but to fix it. You can use ¼ inch plywood boards as underlayment, this will give you the flattest surface. Take your time and do it right. Just nail the underlayment down with a hammer and nails.
Tip 5 – Don’t choose for now, Choose for the Future!
If you jump in a grab the first laminate style that you see, you will not be happy in the long run. The durability of laminate flooring gives the potential of lasting years. Take your time you will need to be happy with the floor for a long time.
Tip 6 – Start on the walls that requires less cuts
Early mistakes can hinder someone from having the confidence to finish the job. These first few rows can be stubborn to the beginner. So pick the wall to start on that you will not have difficult cuts to make.
Tip 7 – Rip your final row
Rooms are almost never the precise width for an exact number of laminate boards, so make sure to plan on the fact that you will probably have to rip the last row of the boards. Ripping is the process of cutting the boards lengthwise. This process can be difficult but don’t get frustrated you will get better as you go.
Tip 8 – Being careful is a necessity for complex cuts
Cutting boards to fit around cabinets and doorways requires precision cutting and patience. Just lay the plank into place and then position it correctly to the spot that it will fill. Sketch the shape of the opening onto the plank. Use a mark that is easy to see such as an “X” to indicate the portion of the plank that will need to be removed and then just make the cuts.
Tip 9 – Get the big obstacles out of the way
It is far easier to start and finish with a clean slate. Find anything to remove ahead of time if you can. This includes doors, frames, and cabinets. If you can take it off before you begin I would suggest you go ahead and do it.
Tip 10 – Don’t get discouraged, your pace will improve
Don’t give up and call an installer! This will defeat the purpose of everything, which is to save you money. After awhile you will begin to notice that you can get 3-4 boxes on the floor in an hour. This will help when it comes to the pesky cuts that you will need to make. It will even out, I promise!
Well there you have it, my 10 money saving tips for laminate floor installation. I hope this helped and I can’t wait to hear about how your DIY project went. Until next time, Happy Flooring!