Professionals usually install hardwood floors, but click-lock laminate floors are so easy to install that virtually anyone can do it. Most of the cutting you have to do does not require the precision of a skilled craftsman, but some cutting tasks require more care than others. Fitting the floor around a door frame is one of them. If you don't do it properly, you'll end up with unsightly gaps that will detract from the overall look of the floor. There is a simple technique that makes it as easy as installing the rest of the floor.
Place a flooring board flat on the subfloor against one of the door jambs, and draw a line on the bottom of the jamb flush with the surface of the board. Remove it, and cut along the line with a handsaw. Remove the cut-off piece from the bottom, and discard it. Repeat the operation on the other jamb.
With a pry bar, pry the bottoms of the jambs away from the door frame until they clear the subfloor by about 15 cm (6 inches) -- enough to comfortably slide flooring underneath it.
Lay the flooring until you come to the piece that fits around one of the door frames. If you are laying the floor perpendicular to the jamb, measure from the end of the last board you laid to the beginning of the frame, then measure the width of the frame. Mark these distances on the board you're going to cut, beginning at the end that connects to the floor already in place.
Measure from the edge of a board in the last course you laid to the edge of the frame. Draw perpendicular lines with a carpenter's square from the marks to a depth equal to this measurement. The lines should originate from the edge that connects to the board in the last course. Connect the lines, and cut out the notch with a jigsaw.
Cut the notch in a similar way if you are laying the flooring parallel to the door. Measure from the edge of the last course to the frame, and measure the width of the frame to get the position and width of the notch. Then measure the distance from the end of the last board in the current course to the edge of the frame to get the depth. Draw the notch, cut it out, and install the board.
Measure the position and width of the notch in a similar way for the other jamb. If the flooring is perpendicular to the doorway, get the depth by measuring the width of the board, not including the tongue or groove. Place the end of your tape measure against the edge of the board already in the doorway, above the tongue, and make a mark on the wall beyond the jamb at a distance equal to the width. Measuring from this mark will give you the depth of the notch. Add 6 mm (1/4 inch) to the depth and to the side away from the already-installed flooring, so you have a gap for fitting the board. This gap will be hidden by the door jamb.
Cut out the notch, then push the jamb out of the way, and slide the notch up on the door frame until the other side of the board engages the one next to it. Slide the notch down, and the boards should click together. Tap the end of the board with a hammer and tapping block to click the other ends together.
Use a similar procedure to make the notch for the other jamb if the flooring runs parallel to the doorway. Measure the length of a flooring board, not including the tongue or groove. Hold the end of your tape measure against the edge of the board already installed in the jamb, above the tongue, and make a mark at a distance equal to the length of the board on the wall beyond the jamb. Measure from this mark to the edge of the frame to get the depth of the notch.
Measure from the edge of the last course of flooring to the frame, then measure the width of the frame. Use these measurements, plus the depth measurement you determined in Step 6, to draw the notch. Be sure to widen the depth and the side away from the floor by 6 mm (1/4 inch) so you have a gap for fitting the board. Cut out the notch with a jigsaw.
Slide the notch up on the door frame, fit the edge into the edge of the adjacent board, and lower the end so that they click together. Tap the board into the flooring that runs parallel to it with a tapping block and hammer.
Tap the jambs back in place and reset the nails with a nail punch. Fill the holes with wood filler.
If the floor runs parallel to the doorway, and the joint occurs close to one of the frames, one board may span the entire doorway. If so, you'll have to make two notches in the same board. In this case, it's best to remove the jamb altogether in order to install it.
Keep the tapping block off the tongue of the board when you are tapping it. The tongue is fragile, and if you damage it, another board won't fit tightly to it.
Things you need
- Pry bar
- Tape measure
- Carpenter's square
- Tapping block
- Nail punch
- Wood filler