Laminate flooring is a great option for almost any room. It’s exceptionally tough, making it suitable for high-traffic areas, but good-looking, so it isn’t out of place in the rooms where you spend your time relaxing. And it’s easy to install, whether a professional or amateur, with a little time, a bit of work and the right tools it’s simple to get a great-looking result. But what are the best tools for laminate flooring?
One of the beauties of laminate flooring is that it’s designed to fit together. So, really, you only need two types of tools for laminate flooring: those that cut it to size, and those that knock it into place.
Cutting it to shape
If you ask most people who have actually fitted laminate flooring, they will say you need a jigsaw. And with good reason, hard-wearing laminate flooring is also incredibly hard work to cut! While a decent jigsaw will cut through the laminate in seconds, you might find that using a handsaw takes a lot of effort. And when you have to make a cut, or even two, for every strip you need to fill your room, it will quickly wear you out.
If you do want to use a handsaw, go for the toughest, hardest wearing one you can. A laminate will quickly dull the teeth of most saws. And don’t worry too much about the quality of the cut: since the cuts will sit around the edge of the room, they will be covered by threshold bars, trim, or skirting.
Getting it into place
Laminate flooring is designed to fit tightly together. You obviously don’t want loosely fitted boards that can wiggle in place, or work themselves apart over time. But this means you need a few tools to help you knock them into place.
A rubber mallet is essential. Although it’s tough, a hammer should definitely not be one of your tools for laminate flooring. A rubber mallet means you can knock boards into place, without damaging them. The rubber will absorb some of the impact and, because of its size, spread it across a wider area, so you won’t end up with indentations.
You might want to get a tapping block, you can hold this against the board you are knocking into place, making doubly sure you won’t damage it. However, you can use an off-cut from other pieces of laminate, or even just a piece of wood, to do the same job.
One specialist tool you won’t be able to do without is a pull-bar. This will be essential for the end-pieces, those that go right up to the wall. You can use the pull-bar to hook around them, and you can either use the mallet on the other end to tap it into place, or, if you are feeling strong, try giving it a mighty heave!
With the right tools, laying a laminate floor can be easy. And it’s one of the most rewarding DIY jobs going, not only is slotting together the laminate satisfying, but the end result will also give you years of pride in a job well done.
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