The DIY Wife
DIY Laminate Flooring. The DIY Wife
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DIY Laminate Flooring

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Hi, all! I’m back again to talk about a huge project that me and the Mr. tackled a few spring breaks ago… Pergo laminate flooring. As you might already know, everything in our house was either missing (foreclosure) or contractor’s grade, when we bought it. Over the years, we keep updating small areas, on a budget. This particular spring break, we decided it was time to get rid of the ugly beige carpet in the living and dining room. First, carpet in a dining room is just wrong. Who wants that? Not me. Plus, with two dogs, the carpet was definitely worse for wear. Check out how we went about replacing it. 

Materials:

  • Pergo MAX Laminate Flooring in Sterling Oak 
  • Pergo GOLD Premium Underlayment
  • Moisture Barrier Tape
  • Miter Saw
  • Tape Measure
  • Laminate Flooring Installation Kit
  • Hammers
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Pencil
  • Paintable Latex Caulk and Caulk Gun
  • Desired Trim and Baseboards
  • Desired Paint Color for the Baseboards
  • Transition Strips for Doorways
  • Shoe Molding
  • Matching Wood Stain with Supplies (cotton rag)
  • Polyurethane
  • Crowbar
  • Pliers
  • Box Cutter (X-ACTO knife)
  • Self-Leveling Compound

Before

Let’s start off with a picture of what it looked like before.

Before Picture with Carpet. The DIY Wife

I wasn’t joking about the carpet…right?!

Research

If you know me, you know how I like to plan for everything. Of course, this project was no different. I started off by researching products and procedures. This was a huge project, and I needed to make sure that I had as many of the tools and products on hand before beginning. I know I always have to make at least one trip to the store mid-project to get something I forgot. I read a lot of information, but basically ended up following a tutorial by Lowes found here

Prep

After gathering the materials, we started by moving all of the furniture out of the space. We were replacing the carpet in the largest part of our house, so this was a huge task. It really helped to get some furniture sliders like these. Not only do they protect your furniture and save your back, they protect your floors too. They are definitely worth it.  After moving all of the furniture, we were excited to get started. We pulled up the carpet. By we, of course I mean he, as in the Mr. He did this all on his own. He cut the carpet into pieces with a box cutter, rolled it up and disposed of it (put it on the curb for garbage pickup). 

Bare slab picture

Level the Concrete Slab

It was looking pretty bare in here. Next, we needed to check and make sure that that bare slab was pretty much level. Please note, your house may not have been built on a concrete slab. Make sure you know what is under your carpet before you tear it up. The slab doesn’t have to be perfect, but you don’t want any huge dips. We followed a tutorial from Home Depot. You can find the details here

We used a self-leveling compound in the places that we needed to. Also, the laminate flooring that was installed before the carpet, was glued to the slab. Seriously…why? Especially with NO UNDERLAYMENT! I know this because it is still in all of the bedrooms. It is warping and has pulled up in several spots from absorbing the moisture of the slab. If you are going to put laminate on a slab. You need a moisture proof barrier- most underlayment is. If you use underlayment, make sure you seal the seams with a moisture proof tape. 

picture of the MR. installing some planks

After the slab is level, it’s time for the best part…installing the laminate flooring. We used Pergo MAX in Sterling Oak. This line has been discontinued, but you can find out more about the exact product I got here. It is tongue and groove and is super easy to install. We also ended up using the Pergo Gold underlayment to go with it. If you would like to get something similar, I would recommend looking at the Pergo Outlast+ line.

Installing the Laminate Flooring

Once we got started measuring and cutting it went really quickly. It only took us about two days to lay the laminate. I used the previously referenced Lowe’s article to help with cutting the planks, when I started. Before laying a row, make sure you aren’t going to end up with a sliver of a plank at the end of the row. After finishing the first row, I used the left over plank to start the second row. For the most part, this worked perfectly. Some rows, I had to adjust the starting plank though. It got a lot easier with each row. I was starting to feel like a pro once the entire area was installed.

Finishing Touches

I spent a few days finishing it off by caulking around the edges, installing baseboards, installing shoe molding and transition strips in the doorways. These are all DIY skills in their own rights. You can use the following popular tutorials to help you with each step:

One of the tutorials that helped me install the baseboards was a Better Homes and Garden tutorial to help me with the trim. You can find it here. If there was something I wasn’t 100% sure I could do by myself, I watched a video, read blog posts or How-To articles. Once I got over being intimidated and started installing the baseboards, it went pretty quickly. It turns out, I’m not all that bad at it. Caulking and finishing the trim is another story. 

Photo showing progress

 

Another installation picture...almost finished.

 

After

I think it turned out great, for a DIY. What do you think?

After picture...all done.

 

-Happy DIY-ing!

signing off- Kimberly

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