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Wood Laminate Floor

wood laminate flooring

free floating
no glue necessary

Designer: Aleah Sherrod
Installer: Kevin Scott

Also see cover black paint

Also see refinish shower pan

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Easy To Maintain Wood Laminate

Need to replace a worn out carpet? I love the look of wood flooring. Wood laminate is easy to install, and very easy to keep clean (I just use a damp wet-jet type cleaner".


Floor Supplies

wood laminate pull bar Enough wood laminate to cover your floor
Pad for under wood laminate (you will need one with moisture barrier if this is for a ground level floor)
Transition kit (this comes in 6 foot pieces and is used where the new floor joins with another room's floor)
Crow bar to remove tack strip that holds old carpet
shop vacuum
good quality dust mask
screw driver
Small table saw or circular saw
miter saw for baseboards
Saber saw (for cutting notches in flooring if needed)
Heavy duty pull bar (used for hitting wood laminate floor pieces into place snugly - see photo)

Wall Patching Supplies (if needed - repair and paint walls before installing floor)

Putty knife
Dry wall joint compound
Dry wall patches (I use self adhesive patches)
Fine sand paper

Safety Notice

REMEMBER TO FOLLOW ALL DIRECTIONS AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS listed on product labels. Work in a well ventilated area. Use a dust mask and eye protection for all cleaning and sanding. Use gloves as needed.


remove tack strip 1. Remove baseboards, carpet and carpet pad. 
Go to our Cover Black Paint article for information on wall repair if you damage the wall board when removing baseboards or carpet. Use the shop vacuum to thoroughly clean dust and debris from the floor.  The photo shows the removal of carpet tack strip.

2. Following directions on cleaning product label, wash walls, window sills and any other surface to be sure the room is clean and ready for the new floor. This is not absolutely necessary, but if there is debris on the window sill that falls onto the floor, it will end up under the wood floor. It is important that your floor be clear of debris before the wood laminate is laid.

3. Decide on the direction your floor is to be laid. We chose to have the the floor run the length of the room (rather than across the width). We felt this looked better in the room. Also, the entrance is on the side of the room; one looks across the width of the room when entering. The wood runs across the line of site, rather than away from the person entering the room. Choose the direction you like best.

wood laminate pad 4. Use a stud finder to locate studs (for attaching baseboards later). Mark studs with painter's tape (blue tape pieces in photo on right).

Roll out wood laminate pad. Roll out one roll from one wall to another - this will cover a few rows of wood flooring. Refer to photo.

first row 5. Mix up the wood planks if you did not get laminate from one dye lot. This way, you will not end up with a stripe down your floor (where one dye lot changes to another). If the planks are slightly different colors, they look best when intermixed around the floor area. The photo shows the first row.

join ends 6. Work in sections. Lay an area of padding, then lay the wood planks end to end. Use a small piece of scrap wood and hammer to nudge the ends together securely. Lay the wood piece against the end of the last piece laid, then carefully hit the wood piece with a hammer. This makes the lines between plank ends less visible, plus holds the flooring more securely. The photo on the right shows an end piece of the second row being hammered into place. For rows two and on, hit the wood plank into place from both sides (long side edge and end edge).

wood floor threshold strip 7. Lay the last row so that it comes very close to the edge of the flooring that adjoins the room. In our case, the room outside our guest room was carpeted. We laid the flooring up next to the edge of the carpet at the door's threshold. Use a threshold kit to join the two different flooring types. A metal piece installed into the sub floor holds the threshold piece. The photo shows the threashold piece between the wood flooring and the carpet.

special cuts 8. Cut any special notches (such as around doors and wall corners). A saber saw works well for cutting any needed notches. These will be covered by wall baseboard; be sure the notches do not extend past the area where the baseboard will cover them.

Special Tips

cut notch Use the piece cut off at the end of the first row to start the second row. Repeat this with each row. That way, the ends of each wood plank will not line up exactly, making the seams between ends of planks less visible.

Remember that perfection is not needed at ends and sides near walls because baseboards will cover small gaps.

Don't panic if you make a mistake. Purchase extra and always measure twice! If you have laid a piece and later realize that it doesn't join as snugly as you'd like (such as a special cut piece in a corner), use wood filler - also called wood putty - to patch the area. We had one open place in a corner that was too large to be covered by molding. The gap was not seen until the floor was finished. It was too late to replace the board without causing a lot of work. We cut a tiny piece to fill the gap and a small crack was visible where the pieces were joined. The tiny crack was filled with wood filler. No one will ever notice, unless it is pointed out. Wood filler comes in many colors.

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