Do NOT Copy

Do NOT Copy

Installing Flooring

With most of our outdoor work drawing to a close, we have moved back into the house in search of yet more fun-filled projects for Cheesehead and I to do. Okay, maybe not so fun but I'm excited to finally be getting so many things done. We have had the materials for about a year (some we've had longer) and I am glad to see so much progress being made.

All measuring was done long ago. When you measure it is best to round all measurements up so you don't run out of flooring when it's being installed. Flooring types have variations (some are very minor though) from one lot number to the next. If you can, try to get all flooring from the same lot number. Also keep any patterns in mind when ordering flooring. A specialist can help you decide how much extra you should have on hand.

When installing any type of flooring, you need to make sure that the subfloor is clean. If you have lumps of plaster or other stuck on materials on the floor, I would advise you to remove it. Our subfloor is a concrete basement slab so a flat screw driver worked great getting all of the gook off.

We took a broom to get the worst of the dust and other construction debris off the floor. I like to sweep twice to make sure nothing big gets left behind. To make sure the floor is extra clean, I take a swiffer type floor cloth over the floor until it comes out clean when I'm finished. With the fine drywall dust this may take several times, but it is well worth it when you are allergic to all of that nasty stuff!



When you choose your materials make sure it is durable enough to withstand the uses you have for it. I also like to buy the best materials we can afford, ask a specialist for these concerns. There were other peel and stick tiles that were cheaper than what we chose, but these have great built in grout lines and is much harder than many of the other floor tiles. It has held up well to heavy people and pet traffic in our other house, so we went with it again in this house. Composite flooring is easy to install too, if I can do it anyone can.

I have a couple of helpful tips to share with you.
1. Start in a corner and make a straight line along a wall.
2. I try to make as few cuts as possible with this stuff. Less for me to mess up.
3. Make sure all of the arrows face the same direction to help align all grout lines.



Doesn't it look great with the flooring we picked for the family room? I'll let Cheesehead make all of the cuts since I don't cut things very well apparently.



For the family room we chose laminate flooring. Not to be confused with engineered hardwood. We had that in our other house. Our ex-renter's pet really messed that floor up good with her long claws. Laminate should stand up to pets better. We chose some that could be installed on a cement floor below grade. Not all wood floors can be used below grade so make sure you are choosing one that is appropriate for where you will install it.

We didn't need anything under the peel and stick tiles, but underlayment is needed under laminate flooring. I should also mention that we checked several spots of the cement floor to make sure the moisture level was appropriate for our flooring choices. (We used a fancy tape and plastic method as suggested by the flooring employees.)

Our first step in installing laminate flooring is to start in the corner that has a flat edge and use spacers. (that's the black plastic things) Use plenty to ensure that the flooring is evenly installed. If you do not leave spaces the flooring will not be allowed to expand and contract the way it is supposed to be able to which could damage the flooring.



It fits together like a puzzle, the edges interlock with each other. You need to be careful not to cut off the wrong end of the puzzle piece when you need a smaller piece for the flooring area left to fill. The seams also need to be alternated or you could compromise the stability of the flooring material. It should remind you of a checkerboard pattern.

There are a variety of tools available to us to get the flooring pieces properly fit together. The tapping block is the tool of choice for Cheesehead in the wide open areas, it is grooved to prevent damage when tightening up the seams. It is used along several locations on both exposed edges of the laminate. This keeps the mallet from flattening the grooves needed to interlock the flooring.



For areas by the edges you need a different tool. I'm not sure what this is called, but it pulls the seems together in tight areas.

Half down, half to go. Hopefully the flooring will be finished on Cheesehead's next weekend off.

Thank you for stopping by. Please leave me a message and a backlink. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Cindy
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