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ProjectCraftsDept: Installing the Basement Laminate Flooring

by - Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hooray! The flooring in the soon-to-be crafts room is in! On the last post, I shared with you some of our flooring options from Beaulieu Canada. What did we select? Smoked, a beige-taupe Oak laminate! 

Style-wise, we liked the white washed look of the laminate and the fact that the striations and knots weren't very pronounced. It will give the basement the light and airy feel I'm hoping for. The wider plank (these are 7.3") feels more modern as well. The laminate should also be very durable. It's at the high end for thickness (11mm), is resistant to spills and indentation, and easy to maintain.

Installation of the laminate went quickly and we lay down the flooring in an afternoon. Tackling a flooring project of your own? Here's how we did it:

Step 1: Install the subfloor

We used DRIcore subfloor panels on top of the concrete floor. Our floor is pretty level with no big noticeable dips. However, once the subfloor went in, we noticed a few spots with a bit of "bounce". You can see one area outlined in faint green marker in the photo below. Using a trick learned from a contractor, Sean drilled a few holes into the bouncy area and then sprayed in a little bit of insulating foam. He placed a case of flooring on top of the holes to hold down the subfloor as it hardened overnight. By the next day, the subfloor was solid and level.

Step 2: Lay the underlayment

This foam underlayment, ideal for laminate flooring, is designed to provide both moisture protection and cushioning under the floating floor.

Step 3: Map out the flooring

With some pre-planning, you can save yourself headaches down the road. Starting at the long wall and moving towards the entry door, Sean did a rough estimation of how many rows of planks it would take to cover the room. Ideally, you don't want any cut plank to be less than 2" in width. If the last row of planks is less than 2", you'll want to cut the first row of planks to make it narrower so that the last row will end up wider.

This is the same tip we use when laying tile. You don't want the first or last row of materials to be too narrow.

Step 4: Install the laminate

There are many types of laminate with different ways of "locking" the planks together.  Our Smoked laminate had an angle to angle locking system. Basically, we would install the short edge into the previous plank, tilt both boards upward, then push the long edge into the previous row. Lastly, we'd use a tapping block to ensure the fit was tight and there were no gaps between rows.

And just like that, #ProjectCraftsDept is starting to look like a real room!

The creamy paint and poor lighting in the room are making the flooring look more yellow than it is in person. Are you curious as to what the cabinets will look like? I'll be sharing that with you next!

Disclosure: This flooring project has been sponsored by Beaulieu Canada. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

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