For those of you considering laying laminate flooring in your future I thought I would give you a few tips.
First of all here is a great tutorial on laying laminate.
I will go through the instructions using the above tutorial as my guide and add my two cents along the way.
I would add to #2.Using a box cutter cut all the old caulking around your base moulding. Using a pry bar and hammer, carefully remove all base molding. This is not fun. But be very careful and take your time. You want to keep it in as good of condition as you can.
#2 I would recommend trying to find laminate with the underlayment attached. It makes less work. It cost us $100 extra but it was worth it to me.
#4 I did not do this but rather took off all the door mouldings. I wish I would have read this first! I highly recommend getting an electric flush mount saw to do that. Doing it by hand is a lot of hard work.
#5 Spacers are not necessary in my opinion just leave a little wiggle room.
#6 They say to use another piece of laminate to tap it flat. We actually have this tool and think it is great because of the handle.
You will need a tape measure, utility knife, chop saw (optional), circular saw, jigsaw, laminate tap tap (official name is a tapping block), pencil, rubber mallet, pry bar, hammer and pliers to remove molding, drill and bit to install transition pieces, paint brush, and paint to touch up, and caulking.
If your house has a basement installing the moulding pieces are easy because you are attaching it to a wooden subfloor. However, if you are on a concrete slab like we are you will have to replace the transition screws with concrete screws. Warning — you will go through a lot of concrete bits so buy 2-3 of them to be safe.
We had ALOT of transition pieces. In fact the laminate itself was only $697. We spent $200 in transition pieces!!!
After you are all done you will also need a nail gun (to make your life easier) to nail all the moudling back in place. Now is the time to repaint that moulding or at the bare minimum take a Magic Eraser to it to make it shine again. Then caulk all the moulding and touch up paint them. It is not a quick process but well worth clean fresh moulding.
Install Time: 20 hours
Re-nailing all moulding: 2.5 hours
Repainting time: 2 hours
Caulking: One hour
Shall we visit one more before and after picture just for good measure?