Laminate Flooring - Flooring Questions
1.20 How do you remove laminate flooring that was put down and glued to the floor?

Q. I have this horrible laminate flooring in my house but it's hard to take off the sub-floor because the laminate is glued to the floor. I have been taking it out with a screw driver and hammer and it kinda damages the sub-floor. Is there a way to take out the laminate with little damage to the sub-floor?

A. That is a very tedious job. You will be sitting there forever with a pry bar though. You can also buy a floor scraper for about $20 at any hardware store. Generally found in the flooring dept. Take my experience though, all depending on what you re-cover with (ie. tile, carpet, etc) if you are going with tile, you need to have a glue free surface. Plywood is inexpensive and easier to remove that your laminate, Not to mention the time and aggravation you will save.

1.20 How do I get laminate flooring to work when my steel door can barely "clear" vinyl flooring?

Q. I'm looking at putting laminate flooring in the kitchen but our steel door leading out to our garage can barely "clear" the current vinyl flooring when it opens, so I know it wouldn't be able to open with a taller laminate floor. I don't want to spend a lot of money on a new door or make any major renovations. Any suggestions?

A. Another option if you can't cut the door off is to put the laminate only up to the outside of the door reach and leave the vinyl as a circular entry type look. It's done with carpeting all the time by outside entry doors, usually so you can have a scatter rug on the vinyl. In your case, you don't have room for a scatter rug.

1.20 How often do u mop your laminate flooring?

Q. Just want to know how often people mop their laminate flooring or how often you should? also what with? I currently mop my laminate flooring and tiled flooring around every 2-3 days sometimes more often, i use hot water with either all purpose cleaner or floor cleaner, and every now and then i use diluted bleach but i dont use bleach too often.

A. Use the floor "WIPE" type mop as they dont hold any water but contain all the cleaning stuff

1.20 Kitchen renos, does the flooring need to go under the cabinets?

Q. I've seen this on a show once where they put the flooring (laminate) flush up against the cabinets, rather than doing all floors first THEN putting in cabinets. I think it was just for their demo purposes, but i'm wondering if that's okay to do? or will it look bad?

A. Over the years this question has come up with many of the home owners I have remodeled kitchens for. There are a few rules of thumb to take into account. First whenever you have the opportunity to install new cabinets where a new laminate floor is going to be installed there are problems with installing the floor under the cabinets. Most newer laminate floors are meant to be allowed to move. With varying degrees of humidity and fluctuating room temperature changes, expanding and contracting can take place and if you lock the floor under the cabinets, you will prevent the floor from doing what is natural. It would seem then that the solution would be to install the flooring up against the cabinets. However keep in mind that whenever you install the floor up against the cabinets, you will loose countertop height. That is, if your countertops were set at 36" off the floor and you install a 1/2" flooring up against the cabinets, now your countertops will be 35 1/2" from the new laminate flooring. This may not seem like much, but if you are tall, every little bit height counts. The solution that I have always used was to install plywood the same thickness as the flooring under the cabinets and then install the flooring up against the plywood edges. Now you will install a shoe mold or other molding over top of the new laminate floor, but make sure you attach the molding to the cabinets and not the floor. This again, will allow the flooring to move without restriction. With the molding installed up against the cabinets it will cover up any signs that there is plywood under the cabinets. Another thing to note is that when you install the flooring it is best to give it a little clearance from the walls and cabinets and again make sure that when you install the molding, nail it to the walls, baseboard or cabinets and not to the flooring. You can find out more about flooring installations and techniques, by clicking on the following link. Plus, check out some great flooring videos on the subject as well by clicking on the following link. I hope this will help you out. Rick

1.20 Any way to fill cracks in laminate flooring?

Q. I laid some laminate flooring in my child's bedroom, and there's two small gaps where the planks didn't quite meet each other (about half-a-millimetre wide). It's not a huge deal but I would like to fill it with something if such a product exists (obviously something waterproof that won't fall apart when I clean the floor). The flooring is white so you can see the gaps when you enter the room, despite how thin they are. Any suggestions?

A. I think your small crack will look better than the filler. I had the same problem and spent several dollars on different kinds of fillers none did good job. You will need to start at closest wall and take up and reinstall. The second time around it will not be as difficult for it to snap back together. Easy way would lay small rug over crack. Good Luck

1.20 Which requires a professional: house painting or laminate floor installation?

Q. Our new house desperately needs new floor and new paint. My husband and I can't take enough days off from work so we decided to hire a professional to do one of these jobs (we'll do the other one ourselves). He thinks we should hire a professional to get the paint job done (we have a two-story house with 4 br and 3 bath). I'd rather hire someone to install the laminate flooring and tiles. Which one of these two projects do you think should be done by a professional?

A. Do the laminate and tiling yourselves. Laminate you can stop and start at your own pace w/o worry of a big clean up and it won t matter where you leave off. Tile projects on average can be done in a weekend with proper planning or even a weekend and grout at nite or the next weekend. Painting a 2 story is slow and can be dangerous. Its hard on the legs being on a ladder and you just shouldn t stop any place. And the clean up to maintain brushes and stuff. Any questions you can e mail me through my avatar. GL

1.20 Do I have to remove the toilet to put down laminate flooring in the bathroom?

Q. Right now there's vinyl flooring there and I want to put down this laminate that looks like stone. I just don't know if I have to remove the toilet to put it in or do I cut around it and caulk? I want it to look as professional as possible. I just don't want it to scream "AMATEUR".

A. If you are going for the pro look you will certainly want to pull the toilet to install your floor. When you go to reinstall the toilet you will more than likely need to add a spacer flange as well as a wax ring w/ horn to the original flange to accommodate the new floor height. Make sure you follow the laminate flooring manufacturer's installation instructions for wet areas. Regards, Indy

1.20 How do you get dog urine smell out of laminate flooring?

Q. I've tried lots of different things. I'm not a do it yourself person for replacing the floor section that is bad and don't have the money right now to have a professional do it. I need help! It stinks so bad!

A. Try bleach

Laminate Flooring

 Flooring - Laminate Flooring Laminate flooring is gaining ground as the most popular flooring choice in the country. After enjoying years of popularity in Europe, laminate floors are making a mark in the American market. These floors are inexpensive, easy to install and offer the good looks of a hard wood floor with none of the high maintenance features. Laminate floors don't use any solid wood in construction, but instead are made of a number of materials that are joined together strongly, and finished to give a wood-like appearance.

Laminate floors are generally classified based on their AC ratings. These ratings are given to a laminate based on several tests that determine its resistance to staining, scratching, denting as well as burns. Laminates are also tested for other factors, like swelling and the impact of furniture. AC ratings generally reflect the laminate's application - whether residential or commercial, traffic intensity (light, moderate or heavy) and durability. Before installing a laminate flooring, make sure the sub floor is well laid out. An even sub floor can make it difficult to lock the planks together. If you have an old floor that you would like to replace without tearing out the existing floor, then a laminate floor allows you to install a new floor without the need for stapling and gluing.

AC ratings for your laminate floor ensure that your floors are highly resistant to scratching and stains. Even then, use only colorfast carpeting on your laminate floors, and avoid moving heavy furniture across your floor. After installing a laminate floor, the panels shouldn't be sealed. Laminate floors also don't take well to sanding and refinishing. Laminate floors are resistant to denting and scratching, but still need some degree of maintenance to maintain their looks. Always look for an AC rating that determines the traffic intensity that your laminate flooring can be used for. For instance, for a heavy traffic area in the home like the kitchen or foyer, look for an AC rating of at least 3. Protect your laminate floor by using carpets near entrances, and avoid dragging furniture across your laminate floor. Any carpets used should be of high quality with colors that don't run.

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