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Old 03-28-2009, 05:38 PM   #1
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Laminate Flooring Project Questions


I'm about to install laminate flooring in our kitchen, living room, & hallway. The kitchen currently has vinyl and the living room & hallway are carpeted. I have several questions as I prep for the project and try to figure out how much time I will need to put down around 600 sq ft of laminate next weekend.

1) Is it possible to leave the baseboards on? The kitchen has quarter-round but the LR does not.

2) In the kitchen, we have a couple of dips where we can see/feel the vinyl move when we step on it. What's the best way to determine if it is level enough to lay on top of it? If it is not, will I need to pull up all the vinyl? How big of a job is that?

3) What's the best kind of saw to use to cut the laminate? I have read several different suggestions.

Thanks for all help. Any additional tips for a first-timer would be welcomed.
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:58 PM   #2
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Laminate Flooring Project Questions


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Originally Posted by mhaste View Post
1) Is it possible to leave the baseboards on? The kitchen has quarter-round but the LR does not.

It's possible, but would depend on how high the baseboard is setup off the floor, and what thickness of laminate you are installing. If you have enough clearance, it could be as simple as removing all the quarter-round and reinstalling it after the laminate install, this would require you to place quarter-round where you previously didn't have it. Remember that you need to leave 1/4" expansion on all sides for expansion.


2) In the kitchen, we have a couple of dips where we can see/feel the vinyl move when we step on it. What's the best way to determine if it is level enough to lay on top of it? If it is not, will I need to pull up all the vinyl? How big of a job is that?

If you can see and feel the dips in the kitchen then you will need to address this issue before you do any laminate work. If the flooring is moving, it will cause lots of problems on a laminate floor, being that the laminate doesn't have a secure sub-structure. This might require you adding blocking under the kitchen floor inbetween joists or adding another layer of plywood to the top (the second option is what I would recommend).

3) What's the best kind of saw to use to cut the laminate? I have read several different suggestions.

More important than the kind of saw, would be what type of blade to use. You will want a fine toothed blade for finish work. The type of saw depends on what you are cutting, if you are just cross cutting laminate I would use my mitre saw, if ripping a board use a table saw or a circular saw with a straight edge, and finally if you are cutting out for a floor plug or any type of non-straight cut I would use a jigsaw with a finish blade (bosch makes really good finish blades, that cause very little chipout).

Hope that helps and good luck with your project.
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:06 PM   #3
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Laminate Flooring Project Questions


Thanks for the help. Some follow-up questions:

1) By clearance, do you mean that the laminate needs to fit under the base board or does it need to be 1/4" from the base of the board? Is part of the 1/4" under the board?

2) The dips are not real noticeable but if you push your foot on just the right spot, you can see the vinyl move up & down. So you think new plywood is the best option? Why would a sister joist or other form of sub-support not be as good?

Thanks for the saw tips. I think I'm good there.
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:21 PM   #4
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Laminate Flooring Project Questions


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Originally Posted by mhaste View Post
Thanks for the help. Some follow-up questions:

1) By clearance, do you mean that the laminate needs to fit under the base board or does it need to be 1/4" from the base of the board? Is part of the 1/4" under the board?

The 1/4" should be measured from the bottom plate of the wall.

2) The dips are not real noticeable but if you push your foot on just the right spot, you can see the vinyl move up & down. So you think new plywood is the best option? Why would a sister joist or other form of sub-support not be as good?

It really depends on what the situation is after you pull up the vinyl and check things out, if there isn't adequate support under the original plywood, meaning the joists have been cut or are failing then sistering some joists with some fresh plywood would be the answer. However, in most cases I think one can get away with just adding another 1/2" of plywood. This becomes a problem though if the rooms that you are installing the laminate in run together with no separation, then you would have to have a transition piece because of the different heights.

Thanks for the saw tips. I think I'm good there.
I'm sure others will chime in as well on the best solution to your floor.
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:31 PM   #5
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Laminate Flooring Project Questions


So we need to pull up the vinyl? I was planning to install the floating floor on top of it unless there was a need to re-do something structural.

Also, forgot to mention that the house is 30 years old. Not sure if that would change anyone's advice.

Thanks!
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