Your spouse talked you into it, and now you have two pallets of laminate flooring to lay. If you are researching the best tools for doing your job easier, you might stop right now and check out our list of professionals.
A professional flooring installer can make sure that your flooring looks great. They are also going to save you a lot of time, and get you back into your living spaces faster.
Professional help aside, laying laminate flooring is relatively simple. Having the correct tools can speed up the process and help you get a more professional look — even if it is your first time doing it.
When installing a floating laminate floor (one that is not being adhered to the subflooring with glue, nail or staples), the process is more straight-forward. You will mostly need a saw for cutting the boards, and a tapping block and hammer for clicking the laminate pieces together.
This tool is nearly as simplistic as it sounds. It has a small lip on it that helps to protect the tongue on the tapping edge of the piece of laminate. It is also nearly as wide as the laminate piece you are installing, helping to provide even pressure against the board as you tap it into place.
With a good hammer and high-quality tapping block, you can help minimize the damage to the ends and ensure that you get a snug fit.
The Pull Bar
Along the same vein as the tapping block, you want to invest in a pull bar. This tool looks like a wide, flat, crowbar. The Pull bar is essential for getting those final, end pieces to snap into place when you are working against a wall.
The end of the pull bar fits over the end of the last piece. With some steady, gentle, tapping, you can pull that piece into place, just as you would with the tapping block.
In theory, you could do the entire job with a jigsaw. Laminate is relatively thin and cuts quickly. Jigsaws are essential if you have pipes and odd wall angles to work around (such as when installing in a bathroom or a kitchen).
However, jigsaws don’t cut straight lines as well as some of the other options. Most of the cuts you will be doing are simple crosscuts to make a piece it shorter. Miter saws are faster for these types of straight cuts.
One of the neat things about using a miter saw is that there is a wide variety of cordless saws from which to choose. This variety means that you can always have the right tool near you for quick cuts.
With larger saws, you have to leave the area you are working to walk over to your saw and make the cut. When using a jigsaw, you can get the same cuts done with less walking.
If you chalk your lines carefully and make careful cuts, can do it all with a jigsaw. However, I would recommend stepping up to a table saw.
If you want a good in-between, look for a miniature circular saw. These small saws are still lightweight and handheld, but easy to move from one area to another while getting a straighter cut than a jigsaw will offer.
Table saws are the virtual workhorse of the construction industry. Almost every do-it-yourselfer owns one. They are affordable, and the portable table saws are lightweight and easy to set up near your working area.
With a table saw, you are going to have an extremely stable working area. You can easily measure and mark your piece of laminate, and then feed it through the saw. The table saw’s fence will guide your cutting, helping you get a straight cut every time.
One of the advantages of a table saw is that you can rip your laminate boards lengthwise to make them narrower. If you It’s pretty inevitable that you will need to rip a few boards, and you don’t want to be stuck trying to do lengthwise cuts with a jigsaw.
There are countless table saw options, but a portable table saw will be your best bet as they are designed to run on any 20 amp circuit, and can always be plugged in just outside of the room in which you are working.
Miter saws are about the fastest way to cut laminate. Their hinged mechanism makes it easy to get an accurate crosscut every time.
Since laminate is fairly narrow, you can mark it, slip it in, and pull the saw down for a quick cut. If you are working with a wider, luxury, laminate, you might need to invest in a high-end sliding miter saw.
The miter saw might be the fastest way to make accurate crosscuts. However, as with the table saw, it is heavy and large, and you’ll waste a lot of time walking back and forth between your saw and your working area.
One of the most innovative options is a flooring saw. These small circular saws are attached to a track system.
Similar to a tile saw these small setups make it easy to get straight, accurate, crosscuts while using a device that is lightweight and easy to set up near the area you are working. These make it easy to get an accurate, fast cut right where you need it. However, they are a little more limited for day-to-day use, which is why the jigsaw and miter saw is the preferred pick.
Regardless of the saw you go with, click laminate flooring is one of the more straightforward projects for a homeowner to tackle. For this and all of your home improvement needs, we have the techs that can make a difference.
For more great DIY tips and tool suggestions, visit ToolTally.com