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.
I even thought of pulling up the carpet and painting the plywood subfloor as I did in my previous house, but decided to wait to get new 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.
Goodbye wall-to-wall beige carpet…
…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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
…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.
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. :-)
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
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.