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All About Laminate

Choosing Laminate Flooring

» Flooring Material
» Flooring System
» Finishing Up
» Design Decisions

Stuff You'll Need

» Calculating Flooring Needs
» Tools for Laminate Flooring

Getting It Done

» Preparing the Room
» Smoothing The Subfloor
» Dealing With Moisture
» Installing Flooring
» Working Around Obstacles
» Finishing the Job
» Reinstalling Shoe Moldings
» Dealing With Steps
» Maintaining the Floor

Additional Articles

» What is Laminate Flooring?
» Facts About Glueless Laminate Flooring 
» Flooring Underlayment - Types and Uses
» Measuring for Moldings/Trim
   

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Tools for Laminate Flooring

Most of the tools you'll need to install laminate flooring are pretty basic.  You probably already have most of them.  Any you don't have you can find at your local hardware store.  You might consider renting some of the more expensive ones that you won't use much.

You'll need some special tools, such as tapping blocks and clamps.  They're product specific; buy or rent them from your flooring dealer. 

To replace a badly damaged plank, you'd need some other tools.  It's usually a pretty tricky job, though, so hire a professional installer.

Preparation Tools

Pry Bar For removing shoe molding and other trim
Carpenter's level To check subfloor for level and high/low spots
Cold Chisel Works as a wedge to pry up old wood floor
Ball-peen hammer Heavy, large-faced hammer for hitting cold chisel
Large putty knife Use a metal knife for prep work
Floor scraper Removes residue from subfloor
Belt Sander With 60-grit paper, for smoothing a wood subfloor
Jamb Saw Cuts door jamb and door trim to create clearance for flooring
Trowel Smoothes leveling compound
Flat-head Screwdriver Wedge it under show moldings to loosen them



Installation Tools

Backsaw & Miter Box For cutting angles
Circular Saw For making straight cuts.  Use a carbide-tipped blade
Saber Saw For cutting curves, use a laminate blade
Electric Drill For drilling holes
Tape Measure For accurate Measurements
Plastic Putty Knife Apply putty with plastic knife to avoid scratching laminate
Compass Trace along wall to transfer irregularities to floor
China Marker mark holes and scribe lines
Utility Knife For cutting underlayment
Phillips-head screwdriver  
Coping Saw Cutting coping joints in molding
Hacksaw For cutting metal track to install laminate moldings
Flexi-curve Form around odd-shaped obstacles, then trace onto planks
Combination Square Measuring and marking cuts on planks
Nail Set Countersink nail heads in shoe molding
Claw Hammer Fastening show moldings
Caulking Gun Apply silicone caulk
Power Miter Saw Makes short work of angled cuts on trim



Specialized Items

Installation Clamp Keeps rows tight during installation.  May come with extension straps for clamping large areas (needed for Glue-installation only)
Installation Strap Extend across floor to keep rows straight and tight; use 2 to 3 per plank length. (needed for Glue-installation only)
Pull Bar Slip in place and tap to tighten joints
Spacers For maintaining expansion space around walls and other solid objects.
Tapping Block Slit in side of block fits over tongue on plank; tap gently to tighten joint.

 

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