Learn how to install laminate flooring with this step-by-step tutorial and video. It's a great DIY that can give your home a massive refresh!
This blog post was originally published in May 2013 and it talks about our house build and the installation of our laminate flooring. I've updated it today with a video tutorial, below. We still LOVE our laminate flooring over 5 years later, and I'd definitely recommend laminate and this particular brand to anyone that's looking!
Watch my video to see how we install laminate flooring and to get a peek at another room we're renovating in our home this year:
We've just survived a really intense, really successful week of work on Our DIY House. Our biggest accomplishment this week? Finishing the installation of our gorgeous laminate flooring!
I can't say enough good things about our floor. It's amazing how flooring instantly turns a construction zone into a home, and this laminate flooring has done just that.
What I like about Allen + Roth, is that their products are really on trend but they don't break the bank. For example: my delicious laminate flooring. It's smokey grey-brown in tone with a ton of rustic texture. The planks are nice and wide, and they're textured to match the wood pattern on them. One of my favourite features of this laminate are the grey-black beveled edges that define each piece. The wood looks slightly weathered, but in a good, stately old French estate sort of way.
Just look at that texture (and Little C's chocolate ice cream beard)!
Why did we choose laminate flooring?
I didn't want anything else. Really! In my opinion, laminate floors are the best choice for family homes with young kids and/or pets. Laminate is very resistant to scratches and scuffs. It's really simple to install yourself (I'm not joking!) and great if you're on a tight budget like we are.
We installed all 2000 square feet of our Allen + Roth Provence Oak laminate flooring from Lowe's in about 5 full days. These days were broken up in several chunks of a few hours at a time. The team was varied - me, my hubby, my dad, my brother and a couple of friends all pitched in.
Here's how we installed our laminate floors:
The flooring came with very detailed instructions and pictures, PLUS a number to call for help. It was fool proof!
We made sure to stack our boxes of laminate on the opposite ends of the rooms we were starting on so that we could work towards them.
This flooring doesn't need an underlay, but we decided to use an inexpensive foam underlay just to hide any small dips and inconsistencies in our sub-floor. We simply laid the underlay down first and let it float (we didn't use any tape or staples).
We left a bit of space at the start and sides of our rows as the instructions suggested. This helps cushion any shifting the floors may make later on down the road. You can buy spaces made for this, or we cut small pieces of laminate to use as DIY spacers.
We decided to stagger our planks randomly (which actually isn't random at all because you have to watch for any repeating lengths or wood patterns). We simply cut planks into different lengths to start the rows with to make the staggered effect. (I used my new friend, the circular saw.)
Once the first row is done, we started the second. These boards click in really easily - the long side clicks in first. You simply lift it slightly and push it into the row before.
Then, it's the short join's turn. Using a hammer and a plastic block made especially for this purpose (it has a groove in it to prevent wrecking the tongue of the laminate), we hammered the laminate into the previous piece of the row.
We made sure every join was nice and snug. We currently have laminate flooring in our garage house and it's worn really well except for the joins that weren't hammered in properly.
We continued on like this, cutting the boards as needed to fit around closets and doors.
We used a circular saw, a table saw, and a really helpful hand-held Japanese saw to do the smaller notches.
One person can install laminate (and we did at times), but we found it went fastest with a team of two. One person can lay the laminate while the other cuts, or you can have two rows going at the same time.
We managed to have NO transitions or joins from room to room, which is miraculous considering our layout. Upstairs, we had to start in two separate rooms and hope the laminate met up in the same spot at the stairs. It did! That another bonus of laminate - each piece is perfect and square.
Hubby was pretty proud of himself as we reached the finish line (and aren't you jealous of his Hulk pants I DIY'd for him last Christmas?).
The smoky grey tones of our laminate look beautiful with our turquoise and grey paint colours.
We can't wait to get into our home and play, dream and LIVE on these floors. I am overjoyed with the finished product... and I'm more excited than ever for us to move in!
Next up is our kitchen, doors, tiling and trim. The list is getting shorter.
What do you think of our laminate floors? What type of flooring do you have in your home - do you love it?
(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lowe's Canada. The views and opinions expressed here are purely my own. Thank you, Lowe's, for making my flooring dreams a reality. In fact, the reality is better than my dream!)
This post is part of my "Our DIY House" series where I'll share with you my most exciting DIY ever - building a country house from the foundation up with my talented hubby! We're crazy, we're creative, we're on a limited budget and we're planning on having it finished in the Spring of 2013.