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Old 08-24-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
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Laminate flooring DIY


I am planning to install tongue and groove laminate flooring in some of my house and I have 2 questions.

1. The floor I have chosen doesn't really have a groove side (both locking sides of the board extend past the surface). Do I need to rip one side off each board that is going to border a wall on the long side so it can sit flush against the spacers?

2. What should I do in the case that I get to the opposite wall of the room and find that I only need a very small amount of board to reach the spacer (on the long side)? It doesn't seem right to rip a board to 1/2" or so to reach the edge.

Im sure I'll be back with more...

Thank you
Brian

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Old 08-24-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
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Laminate flooring DIY


I never use those tiny spacers, they keep tipping over. I just use a piece of ripped plywood and tack them up with a few finish nails.
There should be no piece less then 12" long. Just make the first piece shorter and the end piece will be longer.

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Old 08-24-2013, 08:39 PM   #3
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Laminate flooring DIY


That is a good point about the plywood, seems like it would be a lot more sturdy.

On the second question, I was actually referring to the other side of the room, where the long side of the board meets the wall. I am wondering what to do if, say, my gap around the edges needs to be 1/2" and after I place my last full width board in, there is a gap of 1" to the wall. If my spacer is 1/2", do
I rip a board to 1/2" wide and use it? It just seems too narrow to be using to me.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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Laminate flooring DIY


I only use a spacer on two walls to have something to tap against when assembling the flooring.
The ends can be just eye balled to leave a gap.
A simple way to cut the last piece in a row is to have it facing up and spin it around, mark it for length then install it.
I can do a whole floor without a tape measure except for my rip cuts.
If your ending up with a 1" gap at the end of the run you messed up and the first piece needs to be cut shorter so the last piece ends up being longer.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:18 AM   #5
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Laminate flooring DIY


freemanbrian12,

I think you have to be a floor pro to know what you meant with question 2.

Find the centerline of the width of the room and measure from that line to the wall. Divide the distance by the width of your boards (excluding the tongue/groove protrusions beyond the face). If the measurement includes a fraction of a board that is less than half a width of the board, then move the centerline exactly half the with of a board. This will give you a finished board on each side that is wider than half a board.

Now you can rip the starting row of boards to that size and begin your installation (provided you have completed all the other floor preparations, incl. undercutting door casings and jambs so the new flooring will slip under those and not need some ugly trim or caulking). Because your wall and every other wall in the world is probably not straight, you must use blocks along the starting wall to maintain a proper gap, as well as keep the first run of boards straight. I used small blocks of different thicknesses so that I could mix and match to keep the run straight. Some blocks are not much thicker than a matchbook cover, some are up to 3/8". You can stack blocks to get the perfect distance. You remove all the blocks when the job is done. You also use blocks on the starting end wall too, but use only blocks the thickness of your manufacturer's recommended gap.

Once the flooring is finished and all transitions installed, then install your base and/or baseshoe/quarter-round trims. These will cover all the gaps. Touch up the nail holes and dings and you're done.

I understood what you meant because I did flooring installations (and sales) for 35 years of so.

Jim
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:43 AM   #6
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Thanks Jim, I was thinking length of the runs and the O/P was asking about what I would consider width, where the rip cuts would be.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
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Thank you guys,
I am determined to do this right and do it once.

Could you explain the process of using the spacers of different widths a little more?

Would it be to snap a chalk line to serve as the gap spacing and use whatever spacer necessary to fill the gap between the wall and the line?

I believe this would work if I took at least 3 measurements from the centerline to the long wall, averaged the distance, subtracted the necessary gap, and snapped a line at that distance from the centerline. Sound good?
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:58 AM   #8
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If you put a straight board next to a crooked wall, the gap is not going to be the same all the way along it. That's why I had various thicknesses of spacer blocks. Alternatively, you could use a pair of dividers to trace the wobbly shape of the wall onto the boards and use a jigsaw to cut the boards. Then you would only need one thickness of blocks. But you still couldn't use long blocks, as someone else suggested, because of the shape of the wall.

I sometimes have to remind the DIY members of my own flooring forum not to over-think this stuff. Keep it simple. Follow the instructions and don't try to read anything new between the lines.

Jim

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