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Goodbye Old Carpet, Hello New Laminate Wood Flooring

DIY Tips for Laying Laminate Flooring and How to Fit Laminate Flooring Around Doorways

One of the first updates I wanted to do to my house when we first moved in 3 years ago was replace the carpet in the master bedroom with laminate wood flooring. It was one of many projects we wanted to do to update the house. It ended up at the bottom of the long list since the color of the rug was neutral and was not in horrible shape. We decided it could wait.

Bedroom-before-adding-laminate-wood-flooring

Back in the early summer, the stains seemed to begin to overtake the carpet and I could no longer remove them. It was time to put a check mark on my project list next to new flooring for the master bedroom.  A few weeks ago I shared my plans for the room.

Today I can share the progress with you.

Goodbye wall-to-wall beige carpet…

Before and After Bedroom Flooring makeover

How to Make a Headboard Using Old Doors

…Hello wide plank laminate wood flooring from Select Surfaces in the color Urbanwood. I also got a new area rug. I will share more on that in another post.

Getting ready to install wood laminate flooring

I considered many flooring options from luxury vinyl plank which I love, to hardwood, but after looking at all the options and colors of wood, I decided on using Select Surfaces Laminate Elite. It is sold at Sam’s Club.

Why I Chose To Use Select Surfaces Elite Laminate Flooring

There were a few reasons behind this choice. The main consideration was that the floor in the bedroom is lower than the foyer flooring. Luxury Vinyl planking has a thin profile so that when we stepped into the room there would be an inch drop.

Select Surfaces Laminate Elite wood flooring in the color Urbanwood installed in a bedroom.

Installing hardwood isn’t quite as easy and affordable to install as wood laminate is, so as DIY’ers on a budget, laminate was our best option for the room.

In my search I found out that Select Surfaces Laminate Elite has extra thick 14 mm planks with a pre-attached foam backer under each plank that provides a solid underfoot feel.

The foam backer also reduces the amount of sound transmission and eliminates any hollow echo or clicking sound when you walk on it.

Floor molding transition strip between two different rooms.

It was also the perfect thickness to match the level of the brick floor in the foyer that connects to the bedroom.

Another important factor I considered was where the flooring was made. I didn’t want laminate made in China. Select Surfaces Laminate Elite is made in Germany.

Once the decision was made, my next choice was what color to use?  I looked at the color choices on the Select Surfaces website and then at Sam’s Club to see the colors in person.

Wood laminate floor in bedroom with white mantle and light blue walls

Select Surfaces Laminate Elite in the color Urbanwood 

I know my style and prefer darker floors with white walls.  There are plenty of dark wood floor color options. I wanted one with no red tones in it.  I found it in the wide wood-grained textured planks of the color Urbanwood. It has very little sheen and the realistic appearance of hardwood.

I have Ed to thank for doing the most labor intensive part of installing the new floor, including removing what felt like billions of staples. He has become pretty good at it after installing new flooring in four other rooms in the house.

My contribution was to help move all the furnishings in the room out of the way and to install and paint the shoe molding around the room after the laminate was installed.

DIYing the floor installation isn’t that hard if you have an electric saw and basic home improvement skills.

It does take time and effort and the need to move all the furniture out of the room or at least out of the way. Plastic disc furniture sliders make this easy.

We also had to remove the contents of two walk-in closets and the semi-built-in closet organizing system in each.

How to Fit Laminate Flooring Around Doorways So It is Seamless

Keeping the transition of the flooring seamless into our his and hers closets was important to me.

There are two ways to seamlessly fit laminate flooring around doorways. The first is making a template which I will show you in this post. The second is using this inexpensive gauge that makes detailed cuts fast, easy and professional. We didn’t have one, but I highly suggest getting one, they are not expensive and will save you time and frustration.

Steps needed to cut-laminate-flooring-to-fit-around-doorways

…a template so he could cut the planks around the door ways exactly in the shape needed.

No need for a piece of matching molding at the thresholds.

Laminate-Flooring-Molding-Kit

We did use one T-Molding strip where the floor meets the brick floor in the foyer.

How Easy Is It To Install Laminate Elite?

To make sure we would install the flooring correctly, we got the installation guide online and watched a video on the Select Surfaces website.  We have small cars and needed to rent a truck for an afternoon to get the 36 boxes of flooring home from Sam’s Club.  I looked at moving all the flooring as “functional fitness”. No need to go to the gym that day. :-)

How-to-install-laminate-elite-flooring-from-Select-Surfaces

Once we figured out which way to lay the planks in the room and how to cut the detailed cuts around the closet doors, laying the floor goes quickly.  Select Surfaces Laminate Elite has a Speedloc™ installation system that is easy and fast.  You place a plank into the grooves of another and it slides right in.  It is especially easy in the large open areas of the room, where little or no cuts are needed.

What We Needed To Do Before Installing the Floor over Concrete

If you read my previous post about my plans for the room, you may remember me telling you that the lake side of the room was once a porch where the floor is concrete. There was about a 1/2″ level difference and a rise that we could see even when the wall-to-wall carpet was over it.

To make this area level, we had to chip away concrete and then added floor leveling compound to level the joint between the concrete floor and the sub-flooring.

When installing laminate flooring over concrete, you must lay down a moisture block using vinyl sheeting. This is inexpensive and sold in the flooring department at most home improvement stores.  Once down and smooth, the laminate goes right over it.  After the planks were installed, I went around the perimeter of the area and cut away the excess sheeting, then installed the baseboard shoe molding.

What Direction Should Laminate Flooring Run in A Room?

There are a few factors to consider when trying to figure out what way to lay the laminate planks down in a room.

The first is hard to determine, but most brands of flooring say it is better to install laminate flooring perpendicular to the floor joists in the room. Often the subfloor can be slightly un-level due to high points running along the joists and low points halfway between the joists. If your laminate flooring is parallel to the joists, it will simply follow the dips and peaks of the subfloor. However, if it is perpendicular to the joists it will be more likely to span any dips and appear more level.

The second is if there is a big window or door that brings light into the room, it will look better if you run the planks vertically so that the end of each plank meets the door. This way the light follows the seams in the wood. If the planks go across the light the light stops at each joint and makes the seams along the planks show up more.

The third way is the visual way and that is what we chose. Since my bedroom can be seen from the foyer I wanted the planks to be vertical from this point of view. when you enter the room it is a narrow space where our closets are.

If we laid the planks horizontal to the door to the room they would all be short in this area and not look very nice. Running them vertically simply looks better and there was much less cutting needed

Master Bedroom Urbanwood Laminate Floor

How to Clean Laminate Wood Flooring

The easiest way to clean laminate wood flooring is to dry mop dust from the surface and then use a mop with an absorbent pad to clean the floor. I use a Bona Mop with their original cleaner, but any brand of spray mop will do. It is all the floor needs. Don’t use heavy-duty cleaners as they can strip any sheen on the wood and leave streaks.

Getting the flooring done has been the biggest change we made in the room. I am so happy with how it turned out. Even with all my DIY and decorating experience, you never really know exactly how something will look until you complete it. I couldn’t be happier and even though it takes time and effort, the fact that we did this ourselves not only saved us a ton, but adds a sense of pride every time I step into the room.

I still have a few more changes to add to the room, one is to create an accent wall behind the bed.  I ordered the wallpaper that I showed you two weeks ago. Once it arrives, I will make it a priority to get it installed before I transition to holiday decorating mode.  I will keep you posted.

After photo showing how new wood laminate flooring looks in blue and white bedroom

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41 Comments

  1. What a transformation! I’m curious now that some time has passed since the installation, how has the flooring held up? Do you have any regrets about the flooring?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Jessica – I like the Select Surfaces flooring a lot. It has held up beautifully. I love the wide planks and feel of wood. If I have any regrets, it is only that dark color wood floors show dust more than lighter wood tone. :-) I simply use a dry Swiffer mop over it when I start to see dust showing up.

  2. Hi Diane! The laminate wood flooring you installed looks great! My condo has wall to wall carpeting and I had been thinking about replacing the carpet with wood flooring. After reading through your post on your laminate flooring project, I think replacing my wall to wall carpeting with laminate wood is a great option. I am not much of a DIY person, so I would probably hire someone to install the floor.

  3. Diane, your floor turned out beautiful! I plan on putting the “wood” planking in my kitchen in grey and your tips on how to lay it out are greatly appreciated!

  4. It looks just stunning!
    Well done to both of you!
    I am curious how you decided on which way to layout the planks.
    Was it for aesthetic reasons?
    The numbers worked better? Less cuts?

    1. Hi Kat – Good Question. I will add it to the post. There are a few factors to consider when trying to figure out what way to lay the laminate planks.

      The first is hard to determine, but most brands of flooring say it is better to install laminate flooring perpendicular to the floor joists in the room. Often the subfloor can be slightly un-level due to high points running along the joists and low points halfway between the joists. If your laminate flooring is parallel to the joists, it will simply follow the dips and peaks of the subfloor. However, if it is perpendicular to the joists it will be more likely to span any dips and appear more level.

      The second is if there is a big window or door that brings light into the room, it will look better if you run the planks vertically so that the end of each plank meets the door. This way the light follows the seams in the wood. If the planks go across the light the light stops at each joint and makes the seams along the planks show up more.

      The third way is the visual way and that is what we chose. Since my bedroom can be seen from the foyer I wanted the planks to be vertical from this point of view. when you enter the room it is a narrow space where our closets are. If we laid the planks horizontal to the door to the room they would all be short in this area and not look very nice. Running them vertically simply looks better and there was much less cutting needed.

  5. I love your flooring & the width of the planks. When we remove the carpeting from our bedrooms, I’ll have to remember to check out Sam’s. Your room looks beautiful!

    1. Thanks Linda – Sam’s sells quite a bit of home furnishings. I usually go for food, but am always pleasantly surprised at what I find there, especially seasonal decor.

  6. Holy WOW! I would go on with more “wows”, but there have been so many of them before me that mine would just get lost! I can’t really add anything new so I’ll just say DITTO TO ALL THE ABOVE REMARKS. You guys really are amazing. Love this floor. Anxious to see the wall paper…..wallpaper? Hmmm, I really am curious to see this!

    1. Hi Sharon – Thanks so much. It was a lot of work and took time, but now that it is done, so worth the effort. I am going to hang the wallpaper this week. I hope to get the walls sized today. :-)

      1. I’m really excited to see this, Diane! I was just thinking how much I wish I could “touch you”, so something might rub off on me! LOL, I need more hours or days in the week.

        1. Hi Sharon – :-) You are so sweet. Believe me when I say I get tired. I don’t work at nights I try to read and relax or watch TV/Netflix. I work business hours since doing blogging projects is my job. I don’t have to leave home to work somewhere else so I do have that advantage over most DIYers who have 9-5 jobs and do home projects in their spare time.

  7. Diane, this looks amazing! Kudos to you and Ed for a job well done. Do you have a link for the fireplace mantel that your tv is on? I would love to see how you put that together.

    1. Hi Carolyn – The mantel is a free-standing mantel that is from Ed’s fathers childhood home. It has many stories and has been used in a few different ways. When we realized we couldn’t use it as an mantel over a fireplace we used it as a bar in our dining room in our first house, a sideboard in our house in PA and now to hold a TV. To make the brick facade behind it, I hinged 3 pieces of plywood together like a fireplace screen and attached fake bricks to the front. It simply sits behind the mantel. You can read more about it in this post I wrote when I first started blogging: https://inmyownstyle.com/how-i-decorate-my-mantel-for-christmas.html

  8. Many THANKS to Ed!! Without his expertise, it would have been more expensive. You have such a handy husband, Diane. I’m sure you know that. Your choice of the flooring, and adding the toe kick was superb! Kudos to you both!!

  9. wowzer Diane, wish my flooring would die so I could replace it with this! Great job and thank you again for the inspiration

  10. The transformation is lovely, the photos are great but in person stunning. Great job, by a great team.

  11. Diane this is so beautiful and you guys did a great job installing the planks. The change to your room is amazing and so much cleaner look. I have debated on removing my ceramic tile and replacing with real wood but the cost is prohibitive at this time. (the whole house is ceramic tile with the exception of master bedroom, office and two baths…they are a lighter honey colored bamboo) Your vinyl looks just like real wood and I love the darker color.. I will be checking out this option.
    [email protected]tain

  12. Diane! I love love love this flooring. Once again you have inspired us all. What a beautiful transformation. I have hideous beige builder grade carpet in our bedroom, hall and steps. I hate it! Hubby is handy so I won’t need to use too much persuasion. I like the Driftwood but like you will check it out at Sam’s. I agree with you too about manufacturing. Germany makes the flooring that much more of a plus. Thank you for this post.

  13. Love this! where did your dresser come from? The side of it is beautiful! I’m sure the front is as well.

  14. Love the floor!!! Did I miss about the headboard for the bed…love that too!! Where did you get the roman shades for the windows?. I do not like curtains but would love these. Thanks Kathy

  15. Wow, once again, I am struck by how handy your Ed is! That looks like one big job to take on. It really does look great, you always go the right way where it comes to projects! We put in cork floors in our kitchen, and I love them, but our carpeting is as worn out as it can be, so I’ll be thinking about Select Surfaces Laminate Elite flooring! and maybe a couple of calls to Ed for more advice! :-)

  16. Hi Diane:

    Wow another hit out of the park. Both you and Ed are so talented. Love the floorings. Great work. Love the new rug too.

  17. This looks so lovely! Can I ask where you got your dust ruffle for the bed? It is so cute with the Pom poms!

    1. Thanks Lori – It is nice to have it done after weeks of having the room in the transition phase and a mess. Now we get to enjoy Ed’s hard work. :-)

  18. Hi Diane! Your new floor looks great! What are your thoughts on continuity with other wood or wood-like floors in the home? I actually prefer the look of your new floor over some wood floors. But how to make that work when part of the house is already wood in a medium tone? Thanks!

    1. Hi Barb – :-) I have the same thing going on in my house. My studioffice, hallway of darkness, laundry closet and powder room all have dark luxury vinyl planks. The foyer is dark brown bricks. The kitchen and living room is real hardwood laid in a herringbone design. It is stained with natural stain that looks orange. I want to have this refinished in a darker stain… someday. Even with getting this done, none of the floors will be the same, but what I am striving for is to make them have darker tones so that visually they flow together.

      For your flooring, I would look closely at the tones and colors in your medium toned wood. Try to find the darker tones and use those colors for any new flooring you plan to add or refinish. Most wood has a variety of colors, take a photo with your phone. This may make it easier to see the colors in the wood. It could be the color of the grain that you choose. Knowing that the color is in any new wood you install will make the visual flow look cohesive.

      Another way to get a cohesive look when you have a variety of flooring that connects is to use the same area rug in each room. They can be different sizes, but when your eye sees the rugs, the flooring takes a back seat. I hope this helps. XO