It’s not uncommon for Colby to come home from his work as a mill work salesman with a purchase from one of the local lumber yards he calls on. From grass seed to trim to plywood and even windows! But on Monday, he came home with the ultimate impulse purchase….pine laminate flooring for our kitchen.
I admit…it wasn’t 100% an impulse purchase. We had set out last weekend to replace the kitchen floor but axed that project in lieu of the closet rip out then put back together project. We even went in search of laminate flooring last Saturday but the lumber yard we were at didn’t have the right wood in stock. We really wanted pine but all they had was a darker, barn board. We decided to wait and special order the flooring later. But on Monday when Colby stumbled upon the flooring we were pining for (see what I did there…pining for pine laminate flooring…har har…so sorry) at another lumber yard and at a great price (only $0.93 per square foot) he couldn’t pass it up. So home he came with about $300 worth of pine laminate flooring and of course laminate flooring pads:
Before I delve into the whole “how to install laminate flooring” portion of tonight’s program, I should mention why we’re installing laminate flooring in the first place. As most of you know, Colby and I love wood, real hard wood floors. More specifically, we love wide pine floors. And given the nasty state of our kitchen which makes us want to gouge our eyes out so we don’t have to look at it, we had finally hit our breaking point. We’re in phase 1 of a two phase kitchen reno. In phase 1 we’re working with what we have and making minor changes to make it more attractive and more useful. A couple years down the road we’re planning kitchen reno phase 2 where we’re doing a total gut job/rearrange. Thus, we didn’t want to spend alot of money on the floor but wanted something presentable until we get around to installing new wood floors throughout the whole first floor of the house. So laminate flooring it is!
So let’s install this bad boy! First up, measuring:
Because our home is so crooked and un-square, Colby made a mess of measurements, checking to see if the walls were parallel. Thankfully they were close enough. This meant that Colby could line up the first row of floor boards with the wall under the windows. By the time he gets to laying the final boards around the cabinets, the flooring would still look parallel and even. So we kissed our old flooring goodbye (not literally for fear of catching hepatitis from its nastiness):
Ripped up the thresholds:
And began installing the laminate floor pad.
The pad is an important step in the laminate flooring installation process. It provides a barrier and a cushion between the two floors. Meaning when you walk across the new floor, it won’t squeak from the floors rubbing up against each other. Also important…vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! You don’t want to hear dirt crunching under your floors!
We also had to prep the closet trim that Colby had JUST installed a few days earlier. He trimmed down the trim with the multi-tool, leaving just enough space between the trim and the old floor to slide the new floor boards right underneath it.
Then Colby started laying out the boards, tongue side against the wall, starting from left to right, making cuts to the boards as needed to make them fit.
Snapping the boards together was really easy. They simply clicked together. To attach the flooring, you first attach the end piece by tucking the tongue underneath the previous board (unless you were starting the next row as shown below….then you just start with the long side of the board). Then push the board down until it clicks in. Then attach the floor board to the previous row by lifting up the entire current row of boards to tuck the tongue from the long side of the new piece underneath the previous row’s board, and push it down until it clicks in.
Then just tap it a few times with hammer, making sure to use a scrap piece of wood as a buffer to keep from damaging the tongue/groove seams of the flooring.
And just keep working along, cutting and installing, trimming pieces as needed and making sure to stagger the seams just like when laying hardwood floors.
After only a couple of hours we finished installing the first section of the floor. Not a bad way to spend a rainy evening at home.
And by “we” I really mean Colby. I tried to help but I just got in the way. Although I did make quite a lovely assistant and a great board runner. Nobody passes a floor board to the installer with quite the same amount of grace and beauty!
Colby and I are totally in love with this new flooring, even though it’s laminate. I think because it’s such a HUGE upgrade from the old, nasty linoleum flooring that was there. We keep going out into the kitchen to “visit” the floor. Sometimes staring at it, stroking it, whispering sweet nothings to it. She sure is a beauty!
Pssst…After a couple of evenings of flooring installation, that bad boy is all DONE! But you’ll have to tune in tomorrow to see the reveal. Trust me…you don’t want to miss it.