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How to Install Laminate Floors

Give your floors a new look by installing laminate flooring. Learn how with these step-by-step instructions.

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-Laminate flooring is beautiful and affordable. Here are five tips to show you how to install laminate flooring like a pro. First, get the right tools for the job. You'll need a handsaw, carpenter's square level, pencil, pull bar, pry bar, utility knife, safety equipment, spacing blocks, tape measure, hammer, rubber mallet, tapping block and finishing nails. Calculate the room's square footage to determine how much flooring you'll need. Do this by multiplying the room's length by its width. Purchase at least 10% more flooring to ensure you have enough. A melamine backing is important for moisture resistance and stability. To save time, look for laminate with under laminate already attached. An aluminum oxide top coat helps protect against wear. Once the laminate planks have acclimated to the room for 48 hours, begin installation following the manufacturer's instructions. Lay the first plank parallel to the room's longest wall. Begin in the corner and leave a quarter-inch gap to allow for expansion. Connect the rows of planks by aligning the tongue and groove then snapping them into place. Use a tapping block and a rubber mallet to close the gaps between the planks. You may need to cut some planks to fit. Avoid chipping when using a circular saw or miter saw by cutting the laminate face up. For finished edges, reinstall your baseboards with finishing nails or add quarter around the molding to cover gaps between the floor and the wall. Now that you know how to install laminate flooring, you can add this beautiful and durable material to any room of your home.