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Laminate Flooring project of doom!

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Old 03-22-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
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Angry Laminate Flooring project of doom!

My wife and I have finally given in and are replacing the institutional grade cheap carpet and linoleum that came with our house with some nice laminate flooring. We are redoing the kitchen, living room, hallway, and entry way floors. There was carpet in the living room and hallway and linoleum (black and white checkerboard, uhg) in the entryway and kitchen. We got a great deal on the flooring from Sam's Club, comes with a built in pad, so it's ready to go. The downside is they offer no installation options so we are on our own (aside of hiring someone I suppose). My ultimate goal is to have nice consistant flooring in all of the above mentioned spaces. And too look good afterward.

I am getting up the carpet, pad, spike strips, and staples without a huge issue. But when I got to the linoleum in the entryway, I found the quarter inch layer of wood under it. I guess I shouldn't have been to surprised and I was able to pry it up and get to the subfloor.. So then onward to the kitchen...I find that flooring also has the same layer under it, agian should have seen it coming. And THEN I find out that the home builders installed all of the flooring and slapped the cabinets on top of it. So the wood layer and the flooring all run under the cabinets. So What I'm wondering is that are my worse nightmares going to come true and the floor cabinets are going to have to come out? Do I just tear out up to the base of the cabinets and then do some really really precise cutting to remove the underlayment up to the cabinets? From what I have read, laminate is not supposed to go under cabinets, so removing everything would then lower my cabinets so I would be re-installing something anyway to raise them back up. Or...do I have to lay underlayment over the entire subfloor for all the rooms before I install the laminate?

Any advice, pointers, sympathy, bitching, or whatever would be appreciated! I have a habit of diving right into a job and learning whatever I can as a I crash and burn!
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:06 PM   #2
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The laminate flooring is a floating floor system that just lays on top and you need to leave a gap at the walls etc. So I would cut the 1/4" plywood or what ever it is off at the cabinet. You will probably need to use a sharp wood chisel and mallet or hammer. Put the flat or back side of the chisel facing the cabinet base and whack away. Don't whack the cabinets!

Another potential problem area is going to be the woodwork if any in door ways where you need to have the flooring run underneath door jamb and trim. You may find a rental center with the proper power saw to trim the jam or you will have to remove these items and trim them. Good luck, don't get discourage and don't let perfection get in the way of doing and learning!
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:12 PM   #3
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Laminate Flooring project of doom!

That is the correct way to have your floors done with them under cabinet's. when you build a house the floors go in before cabinet's.

You shoul be able to remove your "kick board" and have a little more access to the old flooring. Then just remove old flooring up to kick panels and if you have to use some 1/4 round(1/4 of a circle trim stuff) and put it around the edge of cabinet's to hide the difference.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:19 PM   #4
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There is a toe kick saw you can get that allows you to cut along the base of the cabinets.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:26 PM   #5
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And thinking about this if you remove your "kick boards" then get a saw to cut along the cabinet legs, then you should be able to run new floor up to it then just put the kick boards back on and never notice a difference.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniceptor86 View Post
The laminate flooring is a floating floor system that just lays on top and you need to leave a gap at the walls etc. So I would cut the 1/4" plywood or what ever it is off at the cabinet. You will probably need to use a sharp wood chisel and mallet or hammer. Put the flat or back side of the chisel facing the cabinet base and whack away. Don't whack the cabinets!

Another potential problem area is going to be the woodwork if any in door ways where you need to have the flooring run underneath door jamb and trim. You may find a rental center with the proper power saw to trim the jam or you will have to remove these items and trim them. Good luck, don't get discourage and don't let perfection get in the way of doing and learning!
Doorways are already proving to be a minor issue in removing the old flooring (My wife wasn't to happy when she saw some of the scuffs, looks like that will be the next project). I was watching a video on Youtube showing a small fine tooth saw they were using along with a scrap piece of flooring to trim them to a proper height. I suppose I will be searching for one of those with my next Menards run. The Toe Saw the other guy mentioned look pretty useful but it would kind of be one of those things that I wouldn't know what to do with after I was done with this project. I am seeing quality time with a chisel, mallet, and some quarter round in my future.

And also I did not know that was the proper way for home builders to do cabinets. See! I'm learning already!
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:33 PM   #7
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And that reminds me, what about vapor barriers? I saw something about that, and since I have a crawlspace directly under I was wondering if I needed one of those...
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdikkers View Post
And that reminds me, what about vapor barriers? I saw something about that, and since I have a crawlspace directly under I was wondering if I needed one of those...
You can. If you don't get water under house not as big of deal. All it really is is thick plastic taped/glued together, sealed to foundation block. If your doing the floor yourself you can deff do a vapor barrier.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:51 PM   #9
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Is there a ground seal / vapour barrier in the crawlspace ?
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:52 PM   #10
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My crawlspace is pretty dry and has good ventilation. I also have a plastic barrier down there over the dirt. So I hope that means I am good.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
Is there a ground seal / vapour barrier in the crawlspace ?
Oz.....

He has a craw space.....was WANTING a vapor barrier.

*vapor
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:55 PM   #12
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Laminate Flooring project of doom!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Millertime187 View Post
Oz.....

He has a craw space.....was WANTING a vapor barrier.

*vapor
Edit-After googling my spelling looks like your British tonite!

Well that's not a edit!
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdikkers View Post
My crawlspace is pretty dry and has good ventilation. I also have a plastic barrier down there over the dirt. So I hope that means I am good.
If its dry and you have some plastic down already I would say your fine
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdikkers View Post
My crawlspace is pretty dry and has good ventilation. I also have a plastic barrier down there over the dirt. So I hope that means I am good.
If you have a vapour barrier down in the crawl that is in good condition , you shouldn't need an additional one under the flooring
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:57 PM   #15
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You can use a multitool with the blade set at a 90* angle to cut along the kick plate of your cabinets. A lot quicker then using a hammer and chisel
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Millertime187 View Post
Oz.....

He has a craw space.....was WANTING a vapor barrier.

*vapor
I can read
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:00 PM   #17
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Somebody's got to give you a hard time!!!!
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:03 PM   #18
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Alright, so the crawlspace is dry, the vapor/vapour barrier is in pretty good shape, the demolition shall continue then. Flame on good gentlemen and I appreciate the input. It's probably going to take me awhile to complete this project since we are still trying to live here as well, but I will probably keep with updates and occasional pictures of the progress. Especially when the flooring goes in.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:04 PM   #19
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Alright, so the crawlspace is dry, the vapor/vapour barrier is in pretty good shape, the demolition shall continue then. Flame on good gentlemen and I appreciate the input. It's probably going to take me awhile to complete this project since we are still trying to live here as well, but I will probably keep with updates and occasional pictures of the progress. Especially when the flooring goes in.
Good luck to you sir'
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:17 PM   #20
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I've got a little way to go...

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