My Experience with Flooring
Ok I have to admit I am the daughter of a wonderful, helpful, talented and amazing carpenter father. So I am truly blessed. He has taught me many things about home renovations over the years but the best and most fun is changing our ugly carpet to new Laminate floors.
Why Laminate? You ask. So we have a Miniature Australian Sheppard who likes to throw her own tennis ball down the hall and proceeds to chase it. Sasha is a very busy and hyper dog. Having to sand and refinish every six months was just not practical.
Ok so back to the floor I can’t stress how important it is to prepare, prepare, prepare. I learned this the hard way. First think about baseboards are you keeping them? Can you pull them off without wrecking them? I liked mine and couldn’t pull them off because I had siliconed the tops, so I worked around them and installed quarter round to hid the gap you need to have for the floor to expand with the seasons and not to buckle.
Tools you’ll need
- o Small crowbar
- o Tape measure
- o Utility knife
- o Hammer
- o Pliers
- o Chop saw
- o Jig saw (for around heating vents and corners)
- o Caulk line or long level and pencil
- o Spacers
- o Nails for baseboard and quarter round
- o Lots of patience
Next my 10 year old son (Yes I am fortunate the have a 10 year old Mike Holmes for a son). He used a small crowbar to remove the carpet in sections all the while pointing out defects in the installation of said carpet. I didn’t have the heart to tell him his father had installed it. Better he learns from grandpa and continues to be surprised that there are people out there that claimed to be professionals. We rolled the carpet and bagged the underlay, then drove to the dump to dispose of it properly.
So with the same crowbar and a hammer my little Mike removed the spiky nail boards that hold the carpet tight to the walls. Ours were easy to remove, remember his very professional dad did install it. My just as talented daughter removed the staples that held the under pad down with a pair of good strong pliers. By now you’re wondering what I was doing right? Well someone had to prepare dinner and supervise. I was also packing garbage and I am the one with the driver licence
I was also in charge of making sure the floor was really well swept. It’s very important to make sure all debris is removed or it could make your floor not lay flat. We opted not to use underlay as it was an added expense not necessary in our situation. I recommend you get the proper underlay for you application. There are kinds for basements or floors over crawl spaces but, since I was installing on the main floor over a heated basement I chose not to use underlay. Make sure your floor sheeting is in good shape, no holes, or missing nails. We did find what looked like a secret compartment; unfortunately it had no gold or money much to the disappointment of the kiddies. Make sure to fix any squeaks before laying the new floor.
Here are some More tips
The more expensive the laminate the better durability and easier install. Use quarter round to hid gaps around walls if you don’t remove the baseboards. Remember to leave a little gap so the floor can expand in humid weather. Mark a straight line on the floor with a chalk line or a long level this will help keep the floor boards straight. Measure 5 times and cut once. Use the cut offs to start the new row. Remember to stagger the seams.
In the end I am super happy with our floors. They look great and much healthier. They really look like real wood and cost the same but, they are low maintenance for a high maintenance family.
Good Luck with your renovations and if you decide you want to move and do it again
CALL ME for a free no obligation evaluation of your house