My First Laminate Flooring Installation

Back in early 2003 I installed my first ever Laminate Floor. Before this I never did it before. I worked in a lot of new construction houses. I was installing mostly carpet an Vinyl Flooring. Occasionally, I would see another installer on the job site installing a Laminate Floor.

I seen the type of tools and supplies that were needed  to get the job done and I really wanted to give this a try some day. I opened my own Flooring Store in early 2003 and we really wanted to offer Laminate Flooring. I finally got the opportunity to take on my first Laminate Installation Project.

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We designated an area in the store to display our Laminate Flooring and that was where we wanted to also have a display floor, which would show off one of the brands of our Laminate. How hard could it be, I’ve seen it done and everyone says how easy it is to install.

We installed the Laminate, which did go pretty smoothly. Then we had the transitions to put on (these are what are used to separate two different floors or it would be used where the flooring would end) . This is where it really got ugly. We were installing over a concrete slab and I never installed one of these transitions before.

It got ugly quick

We used  Liquid Nails which is a construction adhesive and we got it everywhere. I used way too much and when it squirted out it became a mess fast. I cleaned it up and that about an hour and a gallon of Mineral Spirits later (OK, maybe not a gallon but it was a lot).

Another problem I was having is I couldn’t get the transitions to stay down, they kept popping up and I didn’t know what to do. I finally found some things around the store to put on top of the transitions to hold them down. Finally, I was done!




The Floor bubbled up

About a week later I noticed the floor was starting to bubble up. It looked like the Rocky Mountains running across my showroom. I thought this Laminate Flooring was junk. I had customers coming in the store looking for Laminate Flooring and they would walk over to my display area .

Immediately they would see the huge mountains on the floor and of course they would ask “what is going on here?”. It was obvious I had to fix the problem and quick. No one was going buy Laminate Flooring from me and they certainly wouldn’t want me to install it!

After the store closed that night I got to work. I moved all the displays out of the way and began to take the floor out. I ripped the floor out because I was convinced it was junk. I got to the very end and then it hit me . My heart sunk to my stomach and my stomach hit the floor.

Admitting my mistake

I realized at that moment I was the problem. You see, I didn’t leave a gap along the wall and when I put those Transitions on, I stuck them tight to flooring and all that extra Liquid Nails squirted under the laminate Flooring and glued the Laminate to the concrete.

The Laminate had absolutely no room to expand! That is why I had the huge mountains in the floor. The result was-I wrecked the floor when I took it up. I could have just moved it away from the wall, but I thought the Laminate Flooring was junk.  Because the transitions were glued they were destroyed. The whole thing ended up costing me a lot of money.

It’s been about ten years since that happened and I’ve installed thousands of square feet of Laminate Flooring since then. I look back at that and I can’t help but to laugh. I’ve been able to come up with different methods that I use to make this a lot easier and the results much better.

Installing Laminate Flooring can be easy if you have the resources to learn from. It still can be difficult, it really depends on how the layout of the room is. Sure a square room can be easy, but when a hallway gets added on to that it can be a lot more difficult unless you have the resources that  can guide you through. There  are some methods that I use that will really help guide you through this process.

Back in 2003 there wasn’t the resources to learn from like there is now, at  least I didn’t know about them. If you wanted to learn how to install Laminate Flooring, you needed to attend a work shop, learn from another installer or just jump into it.

How to avoid making this mistake and other mistakes

Now, we can go on the internet to do research and find videos, articles, blogs and forums that give us advice. Although this can be overwhelming because-

  • It can be a long process to find the right answers
  • There is a lot out there to sift through
  • A lot of it is just plain junk
  •  It can be hard to understand

I have put together Videos, Guides, Project Planners and several Checklists to help guide you through the process. I have really tried to keep this information Relevant, Easy to understand and of course it’s all in one place. Just check out Laminate University.

If you have any mistakes that you have made and you want to share them with all of us go to the comments below and get to it. All your comments are welcome.

If you have any questions you can contact me at Joe@sothatshowyoudothat.com or go to the contact me page.

Thanks for reading,

Joe

God bless you!

 

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