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Flooring Faults and Fixes

By: Danny Lipford
Homeowner Laura Davis and Danny Lipford with completed laminate floor.

Homeowner Laura Davis and Danny Lipford with completed laminate floor.

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While installing some types of flooring—such as hardwood and carpet—are best left to professionals, laying laminate flooring is very DIY-friendly. In this episode Danny helped a homeowner install a floating laminate floor in a laundry room. The flooring used was Major Brand Petrified Forest Cedar from the St. James Collection.

Installing Laminate Flooring

The first step in installing the laundry room laminate floor was disconnecting and removing the washer, dryer, and water heater.

Next, a utility knife was used to cut through the paint between the shoe and baseboard moldings, and a flat pry bar used to carefully remove the shoe molding.

Flooring Tip:

When removing nails from molding, use pliers to pull the nails out of the back of the molding to keep from damaging the face.

Quick setting floor patch was used to fill a gap left by a damage piece of flooring. When mixed with water, floor patch hardens in less than 10 minutes, so it’s important to work fast.

A special underlayment pad made for laminate flooring was rolled out over the floor, and the seams in the pad were taped together before the flooring was installed.

Underlayment pads are used to:

  • Even out any imperfections in the subfloor.
  • Cushion the floor for a softer feel.
  • Act as a moisture barrier.
  • Make the floor quieter.
Installing laminate flooring on top of underlayment pad.

Installing laminate flooring on top of underlayment pad.

Rather than fitting the flooring around the door frame, the casings and jambs are cut off and the flooring slipped underneath.

To cut the bottoms of door frames for flooring:

  • Place a piece of the new flooring upside down on the floor next to the door frame.
  • Use a handsaw to cut through the door casings and jambs on the frame.
  • A chisel can then be used to remove the pieces of casing if necessary.

Since laminate flooring can expand and contract with seasonal changes, it’s important to leave a gap between the walls and floor around the perimeter of the room.

To install laminate flooring:

  • Cut the ends of each row of flooring to length.
  • Lock the tongue and groove end joints together first.
  • Lock the tongue and groove edge joints in place.

After the flooring had been installed, a threshold was cut to length and applied to the doorway to act as a transition between the two floors.

Once the shoe molding was nailed in place to cover the gap between the baseboards and walls, the washer, dryer, and water heater were hooked back up.

Watch our video on How to Install Laminate Flooring to find out more.

Before and after laundry room laminate flooring project.

Before (left) and after (right) laundry room laminate flooring project.

Cleaning Carpet

While you can clean carpet yourself, hiring a professional to do the job usually produces better results.

When hiring a carpet cleaner:

  • Find out the type of system used. Truck mounted systems are best.
  • See if moving the furniture is included in the price.
  • Make sure any stains will be pretreated before cleaning.
  • Since detergent can attract dirt, consider using just steam for cleaning.

Watch our video on How to Spot Clean Carpet to find out how to remove a stain from carpet using baking soda and water.

Other Tips from This Episode

Drilling screw through carpet

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Stopping Squeaks in Carpet Subfloor

To stop a floor squeak in a carpeted room, locate the squeak, separate the carpet fibers, and drive a trim head screw though the carpet and into the subfloor. It’s best to drive the screw into a floor joist, but it will usually stop the squeak even if it only goes into the subfloor. (Watch Video)

Marazzi Montagna Gunstock porcelain tile

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Wood Look Porcelain Tile Flooring

Montagna Gunstock porcelain tile from Marazzi combines the look of a hand scraped, wooden plank floor with the durability of porcelain tile, making it perfect for high traffic areas such as entry halls and kitchens. It can even be used in outdoor applications. Marazzi Montagna Gunstock porcelain tile comes in 6” x 24” pieces and is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Carpet Indentation

Ask Danny Lipford:
Removing Carpet Indentations

To remove indentations in carpet, place a damp hand cloth over the indentation, and apply steam heat to the carpet with a clothes iron. Remove the cloth every few seconds, and use a spoon to fluff up the fibers in the carpet. Repeat the procedure several times until the indentation disappears. (Watch Video)

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Flooring Faults and Fixes