Laminate flooring is made of plastic/wood material that can be pressed and patterned to look like wood, tile or stone. It comes in 3-foot sections that are installed by snapping them together without using glue or nails. The resultant floor "floats" over the subfloor and is held in place by the baseboards. Because it is not attached to the subfloor, you can run speaker wires or telephone cables under a laminate floor by cutting a notch in the subfloor with a circular saw. If the subfloor is concrete, pass wires behind the baseboard on the perimeter of the floor.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Chalk line
- Circular saw
Mark a line with a chalk line along the path of the wire.
Set the circular saw blade to a depth of 1/2 inch.
Plunge the saw into the line as close to the wall as possible and cut along the line until you are as close to the other wall as you can get. Make another cut parallel to this one and about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch away, depending on the width of the wires that will be hidden.
Gouge out the groove, using a hammer and chisel. Use the chisel to also finish the part of the groove close to the wall that you couldn't cut with the circular saw.
Run the wires in the groove, using staples to hold them in place.
Chip out a small amount of drywall on the walls at either end so that the wires can be hidden by the baseboard as they emerge from the floor. Staple them to the bottom plate of the wall.
Install the floor and baseboard.
Hide speaker wires or telephone cable behind the baseboard if the subfloor is concrete. Cut a notch in the bottom of the drywall with a utility knife and run the wire in the notch, stapling it to the bottom plate of the wall. Then install the baseboard, being careful not to nail into the wire.
Tips and warnings
- Make a plunge-cut with a circular saw. Hold up the blade guard and hold the saw at an angle over the cutting line with the front of the guide touching the surface of the wood. Pull the saw trigger and slowly lower it until the guide is flat on the wood. Gently move the saw forward to continue cutting.
- Electrical wire should never be run under flooring as it is a potential fire hazard. If the floor joists are accessible from underneath, drill holes through the floor and through the joists and run electrical wire through them. If you can't access the floor joists, run electrical wire in surface-mounted conduit attached to the wall or baseboard.
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