Newbie needs some Help with Laminate


Old 05-30-10, 06:00 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 4
Question Newbie needs some Help with Laminate

Hi all,
I have just recently bought some laminate flooring to start replacing the 30+ year old carpeting in my home. I AM STARTING SMALL. I have enough to do ONE room (my craft room) - less than 150 sq ft. Two reasons for that, one is that I've never done laminate before - but am not afraid to try new things, and two is that I can only afford to do one room at a time - not to mention being able to move furniture around to accommodate the new flooring.

My questions for you guys:
1. Can you point me to a couple of good websites that will help me get started? Yes, I know my way around hand and power tools and have availability of most anything I would need.
2. Since I am doing one room at a time, I plan that if I can't get the same laminate for each room that the hall where all the rooms meet will be a laminate tile - therefore totally different. Then it won't matter. My question is on what is the best orientation of the laminate planks in the rooms? This room is 10.5x13.5 with the door on the long side. There are several built in cabinets that also run along the long sides of the room. I was thinking that maybe the laminate should run lengthwise across the short sides (i.e. the length of the laminate be on the 10.5 width of the room). That would sure be easier to cut the butt ends to the builtins.
3. Or is the orientation a completely arbitrary thing? I was just thinking that the orientation that I am thinking of would make the room look wider than it is. Or is it a case of which orientation would result in the least waste?
4. I know about the 3/8" or 1/4" space around the edges of the room - I'm guessing that also means against the builtins. How do you handle the butting up to a metal track for a bi-fold closet? Or is that one area where you butt it up to the track and then how do you cover the small gap that would be there without interferring with the function of the closet door? I also know about the finishing touch of the 1/4 round that goes around to cover the expansion gap.
5. What is the most used thickness of underlayment? I have seen three sizes, and am leaning towards the middle sized or thickest.
6. Is there anything special to be done with the concrete floor after removing the carpeting and padding? The builtins are on part of the tackless strip and the plan is that they are staying there with the carpeting under them. So that will be fun to cut the carpeting at the builtins - sigh. I suppose that if I had to, there is one wall where they could come out, but it would be a true pain in the arse. There are only two sides of the room where the tackless will be coming up and a very small section on the other two sides. Should a vapor barrier be put down with the underlayment or should I try to get an underlayment that has one built in? This particular room is being done first because I had a very old pup (16+ yrs) that became incontinent and he at least did me the favor of using only one room for his personal potty. I know that the urine has made it to the concrete and it will need to be cleaned very well before putting the new flooring down. However, I couldn't change the flooring until after he had gone to the Bridge cause he was slipping and sliding on the little bit of linoleum that is in the house (and yes that will be changed too!)

Thanks guys! I appreciate any help that you can offer. I'm trying to learn what is needed before I get started - which I hope to be the weekend of July 4th.
Take care,
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Old 05-30-10, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Little Rock Ar.
Posts: 292

Well. I'm no pro but have laid it in my home and my neighbors house.... Direction, I would lay it in the same direction that the other rooms you do in the future would be laid..... Doing one room at a time, you may run into a problem if the laminate you put in the craft room is no longer available when you go to do another room later. You could end up with different laminate.......Pad, buy the pad that has the vapor barrier made into it.... Urine, clean and seal the problem area. You can do it, just do your research and ask questions. A lot of helpful people on this site. Good luck!!
Old 05-30-10, 10:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: usa
Posts: 272
jazmateta; okay girl here (ha). I will try and answer these without going back and forth to double check, so bear with me. You need to decide if you want the room to look bigger or smaller and that is determined by which way you run the planks. Best thing to remember, do what will look good, not the easiest, less waste or cutting. Since you are on concrete, need a vapor barrier which can come with the pad, a lot easier. The pad thickness usually will help with the noise, not really anything else. 1/4" away from all areas, use a t-cap at the closet doors, if it's the same height or shorter. I would suggest you removing the baseboards, install the planks and reinstall them. Does increase your man hours, but not cost. I don't really care for the 1/4 round. Potty issue, clean the concrete with what ever you thing will clean the best. Once dry you are going to paint all the stains at least 2 or 3 inches past the stain. You can use any paint, it does not matter because all you're doing is sealing the smell. Maybe oil would not be a good one, since it gets takes longer to cure. Wilsonart had a good video for installers. Check out Home Depot's diy library. I think I covered everything, if not, let me know. Hope I was a help,

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