Laminate wood flooring is often advertised as a do-it-yourself material, and many handy homeowners encounter few problems installing laminate in their homes. Typically, the key to a successful home installation project of laminate flooring lies in having the proper tools on hand before you begin to prep and lay the floor. If you lack the required tools, check if your local rental centre offers what you need to complete the job at hand.
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While smaller jobs under 500 square feet can typically be completed with a circular saw and hand mitre saw, larger projects will go much faster utilising a table saw and power mitre or "chop" saw; ensure all power tools have blades rated for laminate cutting. In addition, a utility knife with replacement blades will be essential to lay the underlayment.
You will need a level to prep the floor before you begin installation and a jamb saw to undercut any door frames. A small pry bar will be most useful as will a hard rubber tapping block and rubber mallet. In addition, you will need a tape measure, chalk line, laminate installation spacers and a carpenter's square to mark the beginning row location, lay the first row and maintain the required expansion gaps. If you are installing laminate on stairs, an air brad nailer and compressor will make the job go much faster and can also be used for installation of moulding after the floor has been laid.
Masking tape may be required to hold the underlayment pieces together and to prevent the spacers from slipping. In addition, you may need wood glue if you are installing around pipes or odd shapes; laminate installed in a bathroom, kitchen or laundry area will require 100 per cent silicone to seal the floor and maintain the integrity of the manufacturer's warranty. Stair installation will typically require construction adhesive.
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