Laminate flooring is one of the easiest flooring to install. For a DIY enthusiast, you will save on the installation costs of getting it professionally installed. However, before you buy your laminate flooring ready to install, there are some tools you’ll require for a successful installation. Below are some essential tools you’ll need to install laminate flooring.
Laminate Floor Cutter
You can easily cut through a laminate plank using the right tools without chipping it. You can use several tools to cut laminate flooring, including a laminate cutter, hand, table, jigsaw, or circular saw. A laminate cutter, hand saws, table saws, or circular saws can be utilized to cut simple straight cuts. A jigsaw is a good tool for cutting angles or curves. When cutting laminate flooring, use a fine tooth blade to avoid chipping.
The Norske NMAP004 is an excellent flooring cutter that can work on laminate, engineered wood, fiber cement board, and vinyl siding. The cutter also ships with a bonus accessory kit with a pull bar, tapping block, 16 spacer blocks, and a mallet. With this flooring cutter, you'll get everything you need to install laminate flooring.
If you’re looking for a professional laminate flooring cutter, check out the Norske Tools NMAP004. It’s light, portable, and dustless compared to power cutters. It can also be adjusted from 0 to 45 degrees for better-angled cuts. Apart from laminate, the Norske NMA004 can cut engineered wood, Hardie planks, cemplank, and vinyl.
When using power or manual tools to cut laminate flooring, use a T-square to mark straight lines that are perfectly 90 degrees. When creating a pattern or cutting oddly shaped cuts, use a profile or contour gauge to help easily replicate the shape you need.
A utility knife is a good option for cutting bendable laminate strip materials and planks. It is great because it is sharp, and you can change the blades if it gets blunt after excessive cutting. If possible, avoid substituting a utility knife with a kitchen knife to avoid damaging the planks.
A rubber mallet is used for bringing the laminate flooring together end to end. While a regular hammer can still be used, a rubber hammer is great because the installation is quieter. The rubber mallet is used in conjunction with a tapping block or pull bar. Never tap on the laminate flooring without a tapping block or pull bar when using a rubber mallet. This could destroy the planks and end up with cracked sides and edges.
Tapping Block & Pull Bar
Although laminate flooring planks come with interlocking tongue-and-groove edges, sometimes it can be difficult to pop the edges into place. Instead of using a hammer or rubber mallet, which can crush the edges, a tapping block is used. A tapping block is shaped to conform with the edge profile of a laminate plank. When placed on the edges, it sits tight, allowing you to hammer a plank into place safely. Although there are commercially available tapping blocks you can buy, you can use a scrap piece of laminate plank.
Tapping blocks are great where there is space to tap on the laminate flooring. However, you’ll need a pull bar when pulling pieces end-to-end, where the planks meet the wall. A pull bar is bent on one end to hook onto the laminate plank and bent on the other side to allow the mallet to strike and drive the plank to the other. Pulling laminate pieces tightly together is a standard procedure, and a tapping block is essential.
Tape Measure and Marker
A tape measure and marker are essential tools in installing any flooring. This is because you’ll need to measure, mark, and cut as you install continuously. A standard tape measure and a pencil are ok. When installing dark-colored laminate planks, get a light-colored dry erasable marker. You can use a pencil or a dark-colored erasable marker when installing light-colored laminate planks.
When installing laminate flooring, you usually start from the longest walls. You should leave an expansion gap between the wall and the first plank to allow the floating laminate flooring to move freely. Spacers set the distance between the wall and the first plank. You can buy a pack of flooring spacers, like these ones, or use scrap pieces of laminate planks or wood as spacers.