laminate flooring - HELP
May 14, 2011 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Hi everyone, I am thinking of putting in (DIY) laminate floorboards from Bunnings (australia) into my open plan kitchen/living area. Does anyone have any experience with the the boards from Bunnings or any other useful advice, thoughts or opinions.

I am currently finalizing details of my new house that the builders will commence building in august. I hate tiles and so decided on floor boards. In a bid to save money i am going down the laminate and DIY path. My family is fairly handy so hopefully this wont be a problem. The bunnings ones seem fairly good and cheaper then what i can get from a flooring store.

Any wisdom that anyone wishes to share on this issue, would be greatly appreciated. Also would love advice on how people settled on a colour for their boards and whether they are happy.

Thanks so much
Nervous first time builder.
posted by katelizabeth to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have a friend who DIYed Bunnings laminate herself quite successfully. One thing I have heard people say is that they should either be avoided in kitchens, or they should be sealed after laying, because otherwise you get food treaded into the (admittedly tiny, but still present) gaps between boards.

We are doing laminate boards - not yet decided on Bunnings or elsewhere, but have chosen a colour already. We took screenshots of the various options and photos of our walls, furniture, trim, and curtains, and put them all side by side on the screen until we could see what looked best. Basically we have a lot of reddish colours in the house, so a reddish wood was overkill. The bedrooms we are doing are quite dark and small, so we decided lighter wood would open them up a bit.
posted by lollusc at 6:04 PM on May 14, 2011

Trodden. Not treaded. My god. In my defense, I am hungover.
posted by lollusc at 6:04 PM on May 14, 2011

You might try if you don't get many responses here. I have been browsing there for information on flooring recently, and have seen some good discussions and examples from people who have laid floors themselves.
posted by AnnaRat at 4:21 AM on May 15, 2011

I've just done laminate in a study - here's what I learned:

* the underfloor has to be flat - not perfect, but near perfect. you can build up small dents with layers of cardboard but any protrusions have to be removed or they'll cause you heartache.

* if the lock-together bits are at all wonky you can just cut the wonky bit off with a stanley knife (if it's a small imperfection). if it's big, just ditch that board, it's not worth trying to force it as you'll just wreck another board.

* take it slow - and don't let yourself get frustrated. one time i spent 30m trying to get a board to fit, swore, walked away, and when i came back later it went first time.

* edges are hard - if i were to do it again, i'd probably take the skirting up and try to hide the edges under that rather than use edging strips.

I once rented a flat with laminate in the kitchen & bathroom and it got quite warped with repeated washing though. And you do want to wash kitchen floors repeatedly... I'm not sure if they'd installed cheap stuff, or stuff not suitable for kitchen/bathroom use, or if they didn't seal it - but I'd be wary of using it in areas that need lots of wash. The stuff I used in the study explicitly says on the packaging "don't wash too much and only use a damp cloth if you have to".
posted by handee at 4:43 AM on May 15, 2011

Response by poster: Hey thanks everyone great pointers.

I will ask on that form. Seems almost perfect for a first home builder like myself.
posted by katelizabeth at 2:38 PM on May 15, 2011

I did DIY laminate in my living room. I chose the colour by bringing home laminate samples (6"x6" squares) from the store and then putting them next to the walls and furniture in the living room. That way I could see how the laminate looked in the actual light of the living room, and see the true colour of the boards and paint together.

The two of us who put in the laminate had never done it before, but I attended a very helpful free how-to session at the store before we started. A word of warning: stop and stretch frequently while you are doing the installation. We were both quite sore afterward from being hunched over for so long. I ended up with a horrible four-day migraine from the shoulder and neck tension I built up. So take lots of breaks and stretch often!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:56 PM on May 15, 2011

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