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Old 12-20-2007, 11:02 PM   #1
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


Hi Everyone,

This forum looks great for the DIY'er! Anyhow, I'm taking on laying 700sq. ft. of Pergo Flooring over the holidays.

First off, I'll be pulling up carpet and installing the laminate over a concrete slab that seems to be level overall. There is one caveat, and that is the fact that I have ceramic tile in the kitchen and foyer areas, with carpet in between. My wife wants the laminate to flow without any transition strips to make the place look larger. Now pulling up the ceramic tile would be a nightmare, as I've done it before in a previous home, so I decided to use 1/2" cork to serve as a soundproofing underlayment, but to also bring the flooring flush with the ceramic tile so that the laminate will flow right over all of it. I verified this with a couple of flooring stores and everyone says that this method is sound and acceptable.

I have laid ceramic tile and real hardwood flooring before, but never laminate. So my questions are these:

1. What are the steps to laying the moisture barrier, cork, and final laminate. Any tips to make it go more smooth?

2. Does the cork underlayment have to be glued down? This is going to be a floating floor, so I'm under the impression that it does not have to be glued. How do the cork underlayment tiles keep from moving if they are not glued down?

3. Anyone know a good laminate install video that can be purchased? HD and Lowes has them, but they are in VHS format. Who has a VCR anymore?

4. Any laminate flooring install tips are very welcomed.

Anyhow, Thanks for the input!!

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Old 12-21-2007, 05:25 AM   #2
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


Lam is not hard to install. Open a box and go at it. Important tings are to allow the laminate acclimate for 2-3 days, to stager your joints, and leave a 1/4" - 5/16" space at all perimeter ends. I would lay the moisture barrier, tape all seams with moisture proof tape. Lay the cork as I go so it doesn't move around an get damaged. Also in room like kitchens,and bats it is a good idea to glue the joints with water proof glue, and also caulk the 1/4" to 5/16" gap with silicone to help keep water frog getting under if there is a spill.

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Old 12-21-2007, 07:44 AM   #3
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


Thanks for the tips Min. I would assume since I will be laying the moisture barrier down first, that the cork that is laid second is not glued. Is there usually an issue with the cork moving around? I'll be using 2'x3' cork tiles instead of rolls, as this is the only way that 1/2" comes.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:07 AM   #4
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


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My wife wants the laminate to flow without any transition strips to make the place look larger.
You still need expansion gaps for large area install. I have seen commercial install (a rug store) skipping expansion gaps in the center and things turn urgly.

Here's a video: http://kronotexusa.com/installation-video.htm, I guess other brands would have similar videos.
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Old 12-21-2007, 11:00 AM   #5
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


I think the most important factor is choose a good laminate... I have install two types of laminate in my life so far... the first one is so easy, even my wife can do it... the second type I choose to install is a nightmare, it requires 100% level subflooring and no any room for flessiblity and takes 5 times longer to install.....
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Old 12-21-2007, 12:26 PM   #6
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


Thanks for the tips guys. The video is most helpful! In regard to the 1/2" cork underlayment that I'm using, that goes over the moisture barrier correct? Also, do I leave an expansion space from the wall when laying the cork as well, or can it butt up against the wall?

I have two equal sized rooms (700 square feet in total) that are joined by a large entry way that is about 5-6 wide. The two rooms are a family room and great room. Do I need an expansion joint in the flooring when adjoining the two rooms or can i just run the whole thing with laminate?
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Old 12-21-2007, 12:28 PM   #7
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


There is no need to glue the cork. Just make sure it is tightly butted to each other when you lay it with the floor. You can tape it to help hold it in place.

I would lay the floor in one piece. Just make sure you have a good expansion space at all walls. Even one plank that is to tight can cause problems.

And yes the cork over the vapor barier.
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Last edited by MinConst; 12-21-2007 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:03 PM   #8
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


Some cork manufacturers have a click system which requires no glue.
But it must be a click system and not a standard tounge and groove.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:07 AM   #9
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


I've had installed about a half dozen laminate floors now.

I looked through both of those videos and found mostly that I have been doing stuff about right. A few comments:

1. That trick about using a small piece to hold the two boards at the same level before they are tapped together looked great. I wish I'd known about it when I was doing the previous installs.

2. I have used two different laminates in the installs I've done. Cheap brand from Lowes and cheap brand from Home Depot. The cheap brand at Lowes taps together like shown in the video. The cheap laminate from Home Depot uses a different system that requires interlocking ends and then sliding long side into place and then rotating it down.

3. The video glosses over several tricky areas. Maybe there's a trick that I don't know about but I get to places where I need to remove some vertical molding to rotate boards into place. Also I do a lot of work before hand to make sure I don't end up with boards that are two thin. Sometimes you have too many things to line up to and some boards end up being thinner than spec anyway and planning just minimizes the problem.

4. Call me a bad person but I aim for just a little more than .25 inch gap, especially if the space that the laminate is being put down on isn't too big. I also so far have just used the regular wall molding to cover the gap. I've been installing it new anyway. I use molding that I get at home Depot that is 9/16 inch thick rather than similar molding at Lowes which is only 7/16 inch thick.

6. Lowes is better in most ways than Home Depot on laminate floors. They have a more organized, more complete set of other stuff like transition strips and colored caulk and more complete selection of tools.

7. The instructions for the floors I've put in so far have specified 12 inch minimum rather than 16 inch minimum length specified in video. I've cheated on that a bit and have gone down to 11 inch minimum.

8. The video didn't deal with the issue of finishing next to patio doors or things like raised fire place mantles. I used a transition strip to finish next to patio door and I glued quarter round next to fireplace mantle. These techniques worked but I'm not sure what a professional does.

9. Mostly I've used the recycled cloth with a plastic layer type of underlayment similar to what seemed to be shown in the video. The stuff is difficult to cut. So far the best solution I've found is to score it in place with a utility knife and then cut it with a good pair of scissors. The solid plastic underlayment is much easier to cut, much faster to install, is cheaper but may not be as good at evening out problems in the floor and sound dampening.

10. The video didn't show what I think is the best way of marking the board length for cutting. I like to lay the board upside down, push it next to the wall make a mark for cutting where the board meets the already in place board.

11. Sometime for one reason or another it is necessary to lay boards starting on the opposite side they recommend. That seems to work ok.

12. At least some professionals use some kind of shear for cutting the board. This looks like a great idea to me but the shears are very expensive.

ETA:
13. Be careful to test for uneveness in the concrete. It is very possible that some work with leveling compound may be required to flatten floor may be required before the install can begin.

Last edited by davefoc; 12-29-2007 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:15 AM   #10
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


Hi Anyone,

I have seen PICS in the Internet of companies that does the flush wood tile transitions. However, I cannot find any company in my area that can do this beautiful work. It is exactly what I have in mind. I am very creative and I know I could do it myself if I have the right guidance. I need to remove the carpet. Everything else around is tile. How can I finish the wood Installation against the tile with this look? Is it just tile adhesive in between? Should I use glued to concrete wood or floating wood would be OK?

Please advise!!
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:39 AM   #11
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


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Originally Posted by juanyas View Post
Hi Anyone,

I have seen PICS in the Internet of companies that does the flush wood tile transitions. However, I cannot find any company in my area that can do this beautiful work. It is exactly what I have in mind. I am very creative and I know I could do it myself if I have the right guidance. I need to remove the carpet. Everything else around is tile. How can I finish the wood Installation against the tile with this look? Is it just tile adhesive in between? Should I use glued to concrete wood or floating wood would be OK?

Please advise!!
Any floating floor than needs expansion gaps would not work. Most laminate is click lock, and is floating/expansion type. You would need to use a flooring material that is glued to the substrate, and does not need expansion gaps.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:50 PM   #12
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


You'll go through circular saw blades (I used 140T) like crazy even if you use carbide blades, & in my experience, they stop cutting once they get dull (& burn the cut edge & become dangerous). I read somewhere that since most cuts are going to be hidden by molding, etc., a lot of people don't worry about chipping & use either lower tooth count blades (40T) or if I do any more, I may try using a jig saw - I used that for complicated cuts & it seemed to work fairly well, other than the chipping of the laminate right along the cut edge. I went through 3 blades in 180 sq ft - mostly cutting across the 7" width; when I had to cut the last row along the length, I used one blade just for that row. I used Mohawk flooring - it has an AC 4 rating & is NALFA certified (which means it meets California CARB phase 2 standards (for formaldehyde offgasing, plus a number of other standards established by NALFA). I also paid a premium for the Quiet Walk underlayment (also NALFA certified), but it was well worth it - very quiet & nice field under the laminate. Formaldehyde offgassing can create serious health problems & the US does a poor job of regulating this, so NALFA certification is well worth looking for (I don't feel like I paid extra for it - the Mohawk product I purchased was very competitive in terms of pricing, especially considering its AC rating).

Take your time & make sure you get the flooring panels fit very tightly together. Be careful the pull bar doesn't damage the finished side - I used plastic or paper under it & you also need to be sure it doesn't damage the edge - even a tiny chip (<1 mm) is noticeable in the finished floor.

One reason I can think of for not having too short of a strip at the start of a new row is that it moves when you tap in the next full length strip & you lose the gap between the flooring & the wall (that was my experience -spacers didn't help me because my sheet rock is about 1/4" off of the subfloor). It might depend on details of your flooring - I'm assuming you're using a click & lock system (not a glue system).

Be sure to wear whatever mask the manufacturer recommends when cutting & cut outdoors.

Last edited by lazzlazz; 06-25-2013 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:53 PM   #13
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


I can't see that dates on these posts , Is the thread from 2007?
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:07 AM   #14
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


Use a 24 tooth framing saw blade in a table saw , It pulls the teeth down on the laminate , it won't shatter the top of the laminate very much this way and the 7 inch framing blades are way cheaper ,Next screw the spacer to the wall , Below the trim into a stud with stud finder if necessary , 1/4 Plywood will work ,Glue the plastic vapor barrier to the concrete with spray rummer cement , It seems all brands work for concrete plastic adhesion , Never had any of them not work , Just let the glue tack up good , When you press together they will stick .
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:01 AM   #15
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Laminate Floor Install - Advice?


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Originally Posted by tacomahardwood. View Post
Use a 24 tooth framing saw blade in a table saw , It pulls the teeth down on the laminate , it won't shatter the top of the laminate very much this way and the 7 inch framing blades are way cheaper ,Next screw the spacer to the wall , Below the trim into a stud with stud finder if necessary , 1/4 Plywood will work ,Glue the plastic vapor barrier to the concrete with spray rummer cement , It seems all brands work for concrete plastic adhesion , Never had any of them not work , Just let the glue tack up good , When you press together they will stick .

Tacoma..... Intereesting thought.... glueing vapor barrier down.... what are you accomplishing in doing so..... wouldn't it be alot of $10 sparay cans also.

Maybe worth it, just not sure what we're accomplishing?

TIA

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