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How Do I Choose the Best Laminate Tools?

Article Details
  • Written By: Amy Rodriguez
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 11 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Choosing the best laminate tools depends on your subfloor type and the specific flooring plank construction. Extra laminate tools may be needed to remove carpet from the subfloor, as opposed to a vinyl-covered floor surface. Additionally, laminate flooring can either be interlocked with a tongue and groove plank construction or simply glued together. Both laminate attachment types use different tools for the best final flooring appearance.

Hard surfaces, such as vinyl or linoleum, do not need their previous flooring type removed. Carpeted areas must be detached with a pry bar or large screwdriver. Any residual carpet installation pieces, such as wood attachment points and staples, must be removed with a hand scraper to reveal a smooth subfloor surface for laminate installation.

Interlocking laminate flooring uses a tongue and groove attachment strategy, negating the need to glue the flooring together or to the subfloor itself. The initial laminate flooring planks need to be measured with a measuring tape to match the room's overall dimensions; you can choose an industrial tape that has small measurement increments for an exact room size. A power saw, such as a circular saw or jigsaw, will make cutting the planks faster and more precise, compared to a hand saw.

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One of the main laminate tools is the tapping block. This heavy, rectangular block is used to strategically remove gaps between the installed planks. You should use a mallet or hammer to gently strike the block against each plank's edge. The tapping block's surface area will absorb some of the striking force to prevent plank chipping, while efficiently removing any spacing between laminate pieces.

Some laminate flooring planks are installed in a similar manner to hardwood pieces. The subfloor must be thoroughly cleaned of any debris, such as dust or wood shards, with a vacuum or broom. You will need to apply glue to the subfloor for adhering the laminate planks. This form of laminate installation can be more difficult, compared to the interlocking plank types.

Spacers are laminate tools that may be overlooked for their usefulness; however, they are an integral part of a successful flooring installation project. The spacers are normally square or rectangular plastic pieces placed between the wall and the flooring's edge during installation. After the floor is complete, these laminate tools should be removed. Their main purpose is to create an expansion area for the flooring, allowing the laminate planks to expand and contract with temperature changes and prevent warping.

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