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Need advice on laminate flooring


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#1
alphynewman

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Has anybody installed laminate flooring before? any advice will be much appreciated. we are thinking of installing laminate flooring ourselves. 1. i was reading about how the moisture difference between the laminates and the sub floor should not me more than a certain amount. Is this step really necessary? To measure this difference, you need a "Pin type wood moisture meter" which costs about $300 (and HD does not even have it or rent it). I know I should keep the laminate flooring in the house for 2-3 days for moisture content to equalize. 2. My floor is not really even. I know of at least one dip about 3 feet in diameter. I am afraid of what other surprises am I gonna find once i rip out the carpet. The automatic leveling compound is expensive as hell. Is there a better/ inexpensive way of filling the dips? 3. Does the baseboard need to be removed prior to installation? Can I just slide the laminate under the baseboard? Will I have to undercut the door frames too? Can I just hide the edges of the laminate under a quarter round? 4. The laminate floor will be installed in 3 rooms that are adjacent to each other. Is there an advantage to breaking the floor into three sections, one for each room, separated by T transitions? Or can I just have a smooth floor from one room to the other? 5. Can I install laminate over linoleum (i.e. not remove the linoleum from the kitchen floor)? Thanks for any advice :)
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#2
Alan

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Take what I say for what it's worth. I've had laminate flooring installed once, professionally. Here's my experience. I'm not sure about moisture levels, but I'm in FL where the humidity can get very high. They installed this foam barrier between the slab & laminate. It looked like a big roll of styrofoam packing material. They also delivered the flooriing a couple of days before installing, I guess for the reason youy mentioned. The installers said it was important to fill any holes created when removing the tackless carpet strips (which I did). My floor is level, so that wasn't an issue, but I'd imagine the floor should be as level as possible. Carpet is forgiving....planks aren't. The flooring went up against the baseboard (minus a small space) and covered with quarter round. The floor will expand & contract with weather conditions, so leave a little room for that. I'd imagine that the flooring can be installed over linoleum. I'd ask the place you're buying it from for installation tips.
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#3
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#4
kar522

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I was listening to Lou Manfredi (-wub-) the other day...one of the things he has against the laminates is that down the line it's kind of hard to do repairs...with wood you can always sand it down and refinish...

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#5
Keggster22

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2. My floor is not really even. I know of at least one dip about 3 feet in diameter. I am afraid of what other surprises am I gonna find once i rip out the carpet. The automatic leveling compound is expensive as hell. Is there a better/ inexpensive way of filling the dips?



Type of subfloor?

Wood or concrete?

also, let me know which floor these rooms are on, 1st floor or 2nd?

how deep is your dip in the floor?

Edited by Keggster22, 17 May 2005 - 04:24 AM.

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#6
dejavu

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Has anybody installed laminate flooring before? any advice will be much appreciated. we are thinking of installing laminate flooring ourselves.

1. i was reading about how the moisture difference between the laminates and the sub floor should not me more than a certain amount. Is this step really necessary? To measure this difference, you need a "Pin type wood moisture meter" which costs about $300 (and HD does not even have it or rent it). I know I should keep the laminate flooring in the house for 2-3 days for moisture content to equalize.

2. My floor is not really even. I know of at least one dip about 3 feet in diameter. I am afraid of what other surprises am I gonna find once i rip out the carpet. The automatic leveling compound is expensive as hell. Is there a better/ inexpensive way of filling the dips?

3. Does the baseboard need to be removed prior to installation? Can I just slide the laminate under the baseboard? Will I have to undercut the door frames too? Can I just hide the edges of the laminate under a quarter round?

4. The laminate floor will be installed in 3 rooms that are adjacent to each other. Is there an advantage to breaking the floor into three sections, one for each room, separated by T transitions? Or can I just have a smooth floor from one room to the other?

5. Can I install laminate over linoleum (i.e. not remove the linoleum from the kitchen floor)?
Thanks for any advice :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I bought about $900 worth of Pergo from HD and got the blue padding that also has moisture barrier...the Pergo was 20% off + 10% coupon..
Watched the video and decided it was too much for me to chew. Got installation prices and ended up taking everything back. (we are selling anyway, so trying to cut corners)

If you want the Pergo video, I can mail it to you...

Edited by dejavu, 17 May 2005 - 04:48 AM.

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#7
momalisa76

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Where's moma?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


:wave: Hi HD :) you knew i couldn't resist offering my $0.02!

Has anybody installed laminate flooring before? any advice will be much appreciated. we are thinking of installing laminate flooring ourselves.


Okay, here we go :)

The installers were me (capable, but NO experience, esp w/ saws), my DH (can't see, but great @ conceptualizing and brute force -wub- ), and my dad (close to 60, lots of experience w/ saws, tends to overthink things and get paralyzed by indecision). None of us had ANY experience laying ANY type of floors.

1. i was reading about how the moisture difference between the laminates and the sub floor should not me more than a certain amount. Is this step really necessary? To measure this difference, you need a "Pin type wood moisture meter" which costs about $300 (and HD does not even have it or rent it). I know I should keep the laminate flooring in the house for 2-3 days for moisture content to equalize.


I'm guessing that your subfloor is wood then, since you said you need the "Pin type wood moisture meter". We installed over a concrete slab, and all we had to do was get a piece of plastic (i think i used painter's plastic, but i'm sure there's some special type you can get), taped it down over the concrete in 6 different places (we did 3 bedrooms, dining, and living room, plus 2 hallways and 3 closets. so had many areas to test to be sure) with duct tape, left it for 2 days, peeled it back to make sure there was no excess moisture or discoloration of the concrete, and we were good to go.

Yes, you do want to have the flooring in your house for 2 to 3 days, you also aren't supposed to open it until you are ready to use it, AND if there are any manuf defects, you need to claim/return B4 you install....

2. My floor is not really even. I know of at least one dip about 3 feet in diameter. I am afraid of what other surprises am I gonna find once i rip out the carpet. The automatic leveling compound is expensive as hell. Is there a better/ inexpensive way of filling the dips?


I'm gonna have to defer to kegger here...we didn't have any major dips, so i didn't have to deal w/ that issue. We did take a 4' long level and check all the rooms in multiple places to be sure.

One thing we did find is that, around doorways where the painters sprayed the trim and doors, there was a build-up on the floor that made it very unlevel. Ended up scraping the area to even it out

3. Does the baseboard need to be removed prior to installation? Can I just slide the laminate under the baseboard? Will I have to undercut the door frames too? Can I just hide the edges of the laminate under a quarter round?


What was there before? If it was just carpet, then no, the baseboard doesn't have to be removed. If it was laminate or something that had quarter-round on it, the quarter round needs to come up, but the rest of the baseboard can stay.

You *could* slide the laminate under the baseboard (provided there was the necessary 1/4" gap underneath), but....i would NOT recommend it. It's unecessary and makes things a LOT more complicated.

The door frames, on the other hand, should be undercut or it looks shoddy. You can get an undercut hand saw, or HD rents the power ones. Our neighbor lays tile for a living, and did all the tile in our house, so we just borrowed his...MUCH easier than by hand.

Hiding the edge of the laminate under the quarter round is EXACTLY what you need to do. Just leave a 1/4" gap between the end of the plank and the baseboard, and cover w/ quarter round. Another tip here...if you don't have an air compressor and finishing nail gun, beg, borrow, steal, or rent one. It is SOOOOOOO worth it!. We did a whole room in the time it took to do one wall by hand, and it looked MUCH better. I had NO experience w/ air guns, and I was the one running it. After I got over my initial healthy fear, I was good to go.

While we're on the subject of needed tools...
KNEE PADS
Gloves w/ padding on the palms
Hammer
Rubber mallet (depending on the type of threshold you have to install you may or may not need this)
Utility knife
Drill (for the thresholds, possibility)
Saw (if you already have a jigsaw you'd probably do fine w/ this. We borrowed my dad's radial arm saw {which i was never allowed to touch when i lived @ home} and after much convincing, he showed DH and I how to use it. I can now cross-cut (floor planks), rip (floor planks), miter (some floor planks and the quarter round), and bevel (the thresholds that needed more than one to span them).
Good saw blade (I got the rigid 9 or 10" carbide 90 teeth blade @ HD. Cost about $65, but it lasted the entire 1000 sqft of flooring and is still good to go for the future)
BIG pull bar (HD $12 or so)
Install kit w/ tapping block, small pull bar, and spacers
Tape measure (duh...i know, but thought i'd mention it anyway)
i'm sure there's more, but that's all i can think of right now

4. The laminate floor will be installed in 3 rooms that are adjacent to each other. Is there an advantage to breaking the floor into three sections, one for each room, separated by T transitions? Or can I just have a smooth floor from one room to the other?


***the following is COMPLETELY my own opinion and goes against everything i've read, so take it w/ that in mind***

The basic premise about laminate flooring is that it's supposed to be easy to install. Something that people w/ little experience can do themselves. It is possible to have a smooth floor from one room to another...but it is HARD to do. They say that you need the gap to allow each room to expand and contract on it's own. I'm not really sure I believe that. But I know it sounds better than "it's too hard for y'all so just throw down some T-molding and be done w/ it".

If we'd done the t-moldings we would've had one from each kid's closet to room, one from each kids' room to the hallway, and possibly one from the hallway to the living room/dining room. Then also one from our BR to hallway and another from hallway to entry closet. It would've been easier, but the end result, imo, looks SOOOOO much nicer. It just flows from one room to another w/o any breaks and looks GORGEOUS!!!

Now, one ?? What will the flooring be butting up to? In 5 different places it butted up to tile, and in one place an exterior door. In all 6 places we used a carpet reducer and then sealed between the 2 w/ a special sealant.

5. Can I install laminate over linoleum (i.e. not remove the linoleum from the kitchen floor)?
Thanks for any advice :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


According to the video that deja mentioned you can do that. (BTW, I HIGHLY recommend that video, no matter what brand of flooring you install) We had carpet everywhere, so we had to rip it up to install. I still think it would be better to rip it up, but will leave that up to you. I know that when we had our kitchen and utility and bathrooms redone from vinyl to tile, our neighbor said that a lot of guys he knows just install the tile on top of the vinyl, but that he really doesn't think it's a good idea. So he rips and scrapes first.


Ok, are you completely overwhelmed now?

A few more things...

The laminate that we put down is the Dupont Realtouch Elite @ HD. Yes, it's the most expensive, but it also has the best wear warranty, and it *feels* more like real wood. Also, the foam pad is already installed on the back, so all we had to put down was the moisture barrier (blue plastic stuff) and then the laminate on top. Not having to deal the pad made it easier, IMO. Also, we called dupont multiple times w/ many ?s and they were always very friendly and knowledgable.

You *can* work backwards (in case you come to an area where you need to).

If you have them come out to measure, order ANOTHER 5 to 10% extra on top of the 10% they calculate. We were VERY frugal and careful w/ our boards, and if we hadn't ordered 5 more boxes we would've had 2 planks extra at the end (not 2 boxes, 2 PLANKS). Plus, if you have them delivered, more likely than not some are going to get damaged in transit, and, since you're not going to open them up until you're ready to install them, you're not going to know...

I'm sure there's more, but I have 3 kids hollering @ me that it's time to go to TRU. I'm sure I'll be around tho.

Good luck!
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#8
garsh

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I'll be in the market soon to add some flooring too. And the wife wants Pergo (or something similar). Anyone care to copy that video to an mpeg? :) It sounds like the flooring itself should be easy enough to do. I'm more worried about everything else, like the transitions from one floor to another. What should I do between the floor and carpet? What should I put between that floor & tile? I'll be doing a kitchen, so should I put it under the appliances (fridge, stove, dishwasher), or stop short? What is the right thing to do around walls & under counters? I like to do a lot of things myself, but other than a terrible experience laying tile in an entryway, I haven't done any flooring.
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#9
Keggster22

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i'm sure there's more, but that's all i can think of right now



BEER!!!!!! you forgot the BEER!!!! -bang-
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QUOTE (AMS @ 12-7-08, 5:49pm) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG the Bills suck.

#10
alphynewman

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thank you so much everybody :)

I'll be in the market soon to add some flooring too.  And the wife wants Pergo (or something similar).  Anyone care to copy that video to an mpeg? :)

It sounds like the flooring itself should be easy enough to do.  I'm more worried about everything else, like the transitions from one floor to another.  What should I do between the floor and carpet?  What should I put between that floor & tile?  I'll be doing a kitchen, so should I put it under the appliances (fridge, stove, dishwasher), or stop short? What is the right thing to do around walls & under counters?

I like to do a lot of things myself, but other than a terrible experience laying tile in an entryway, I haven't done any flooring.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I like garsh's mpeg idea too. What do you think deja..

Garsh, I am also apprehensive of the doorways, transitions and that dip i have. I think we must install fooring under the fridge and stove but not under the dishwasher or the kitchen cabinets.

Installers want to charge me $2 per sq. ft. labor, and extra for ripping up the carpet, hauling it away, etc. That easily comes to over $1300. I would rather do it myself than spend money on labor.

another q: there is an expensive underlayment, about $.75 per sq. ft and a cheaper one about $0.25 per sq. ft. Is the expensive one so much superior? How does the quality of the pre-underlayed laminate's underlayment compare to thses two underlayments? I wil worry about the underlayment only if I do not get the pre-underlayed laminate in the color my wife likes.

deja when did u get the 20% off deal on pergo? I gotta find myself a 10% off coupon too.
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#11
Keggster22

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What should I put between that floor & tile?


They have special transition strips for every occasion

so should I put it under the appliances (fridge, stove, dishwasher),



yes, if you don't then any time you pull the appliances out to clean you would take great risk chipping/denting the ends of the boards and also may look a bit funky as to the height of the flooring compared to everything else

What is the right thing to do around walls & under counters?


you can either undercut the baseboards or take them off and then put them back on if the heights don't transcend to the next rooms molding, remember to leave a 1/4 inch gap between any unmovable object (baseboards or actual wall) and then apply either quarterround or base shoe to all baseboards and under counters apply a baseboard that blends with the same type of cabinet and then under counter the quarterround or baseshoe would be optional
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QUOTE (AMS @ 12-7-08, 5:49pm) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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#12
Keggster22

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another q: there is an expensive underlayment, about $.75 per sq. ft and a cheaper one about $0.25 per sq. ft. Is the expensive one so much superior? How does the quality of the pre-underlayed laminate's underlayment compare to thses two underlayments? I wil worry about the underlayment only if I do not get the pre-underlayed laminate in the color my wife likes.



yes there is, one will be thicker than the other which will help for sound quality

(trick)

plastic sheeting and then intead of the rolls they have a fanfold 1/4" thick insulation that they use for outside siding applications, it is much cheaper than the roles for one, thicker and more durable for 2, and it actually quiets the sound of the floor better also, and is just as easy to put down except it is more like a styrofoam board instead of a roll but if you know how to use a razor knife it cuts just as easy
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OMG the Bills suck.

#13
Keggster22

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Free instalation video
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QUOTE (AMS @ 12-7-08, 5:49pm) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG the Bills suck.

#14
dewolfxy

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3. Does the baseboard need to be removed prior to installation? Can I just slide the laminate under the baseboard? Will I have to undercut the door frames too? Can I just hide the edges of the laminate under a quarter round?

4. The laminate floor will be installed in 3 rooms that are adjacent to each other. Is there an advantage to breaking the floor into three sections, one for each room, separated by T transitions? Or can I just have a smooth floor from one room to the other?

5. Can I install laminate over linoleum (i.e. not remove the linoleum from the kitchen floor)?
Thanks for any advice :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


My answers (may have been covered by other people as well, but I didn't read the whole thread).

3 - there's a special tool you can get for undercutting the door frames. It's sort of like a rectangular trowel, but then it has a saw blade on the side. The people in the flooring department will know what that is. It is designed precisely for undercutting door frames

4 - you probably don't want to make it seamless, it's too hard to do that. the T transitions are easier

5 - yes, you can. The only thing to consider is the overall height change for the laminate. If you're OK with that, then just install over linoleum (that's what I've done). Tearing up linoleum is a major pain, it's usually easier to rip up whatever it's attached to and then lay down a new subfloor/etc. Best to just lay laminate on top of it.
Whatever is not nailed down is mine. What I can pry loose is not nailed down. - Collis P. Huntingdon

#15
dejavu

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thank you so much everybody :)
I like garsh's mpeg idea too. What do you think deja..

Garsh, I am also apprehensive of the doorways, transitions and that dip i have. I think we must install fooring under the fridge and stove but not under the dishwasher or the kitchen cabinets.

Installers want to charge me $2 per sq. ft. labor, and extra for ripping up the carpet, hauling it away, etc. That easily comes to over $1300. I would rather do it myself than spend money on labor.

another q: there is an expensive underlayment, about $.75 per sq. ft and a cheaper one about $0.25 per sq. ft. Is the expensive one so much superior? How does the quality of the pre-underlayed laminate's underlayment compare to thses two underlayments? I wil worry about the underlayment only if I do not get the pre-underlayed laminate in the color my wife likes.

deja when did u get the 20% off deal on pergo? I gotta find myself a 10% off coupon too.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



the 20% was a Sunday ad sale...about a month or so ago....

I don't know how or have the time to do mpeg/VHS...who wants to? I can mail the VHS to anyone..I will pay postage...I do not need the VHS back.
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#16
Keggster22

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I don't know how or have the time to do mpeg/VHS...who wants to? I can mail the VHS to anyone..I will pay postage...I do not need the VHS back.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



well, don't really need the video but if you're in it I'll reconsider ;)
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QUOTE (AMS @ 12-7-08, 5:49pm) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG the Bills suck.

#17
AMS

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Installers want to charge me $2 per sq. ft. labor, and extra for ripping up the carpet, hauling it away, etc. That easily comes to over $1300. I would rather do it myself than spend money on labor.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As with any contractor installation, if you do the tear-out yourself you can save that labor cost. Some things are beyond people's skill set (or desire to learn), but it is never beyond anyone’s skills to rip out walls, floors, carpets, etc. I'm a DIY, so the only thing I have not done myself here are glass block windows (cheaper to have a pro do that) and a fireplace installation, but for others the idea of demolition is a nice compromise between DIY and contractors.
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#18
momalisa76

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Be careful...once you start DIY, it's like an addiction. I feel so empowered w/ my new skill set that, not only am I eager to start working on the play/clubhouse for the kids we've planned, but I'm trying to talk DH into letting me screen in the back porch :D
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#19
HarleyD

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Be careful...once you start DIY, it's like an addiction.  I feel so empowered w/ my new skill set that, not only am I eager to start working on the play/clubhouse for the kids we've planned, but I'm trying to talk DH into letting me screen in the back porch :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

<files this info for the next hurricane>
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#20
WingsOverVA

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One thing to keep in mind is the sound quality of laminate Vs plank wood flooring. Much of it has to do with the backing on the laminate and the moisture barrier used. I have been in some houses where the laminate floor was so loud and echoed when you walked on it that the owners were contemplating ripping it out and replacing with carpet or real hardwood.
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#21
Keggster22

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Be careful...once you start DIY, it's like an addiction.  I feel so empowered w/ my new skill set that, not only am I eager to start working on the play/clubhouse for the kids we've planned, but I'm trying to talk DH into letting me screen in the back porch :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



<files this info for the next hurricane>



screw the canes, I'm filing it for future applicants -wub-
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QUOTE (AMS @ 12-7-08, 5:49pm) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG the Bills suck.

#22
dewolfxy

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As with any contractor installation, if you do the tear-out yourself you can save that labor cost.  Some things are beyond people's skill set (or desire to learn), but it is never beyond anyone’s skills to rip out walls, floors, carpets, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I second that idea. You can save an awful lot by doing the demolition yourself and leaving the finishing work to professionals. I do minor home stuff myself - electrical, patching walls, caulking here and there, etc, but leave the bigger stuff to people I hire. For many people that's a good compromise.
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#23
Keggster22

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while yes you can save on the demolition part, please remember one thing when you do the demolition, try to get the area as clean and well done as you would want if you were going to do the actual finish work yourself, remember that if it's not finished properly or completely while the worker may not say anything and just finish the demo him/her self they won't be as happy and if the worker isn't happy it could have an effect on the finished product after its all done A happy worker is a good worker I say ;)
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QUOTE (AMS @ 12-7-08, 5:49pm) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG the Bills suck.

#24
HarleyD

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As with any contractor installation, if you do the tear-out yourself you can save that labor cost.  Some things are beyond people's skill set (or desire to learn), but it is never beyond anyone’s skills to rip out walls, floors, carpets, etc. I'm a DIY, so the only thing I have not done myself here are glass block windows (cheaper to have a pro do that) and a fireplace installation, but for others the idea of demolition is a nice compromise between DIY and contractors.

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We did all our demo. Drywall, carpet, cabinets, sinks, bath tub, toilets, doors, frames....etc.
The only thing that I finally gave up on was the vinyl floor. I ended up paying the tile guy to get it up and it took 3 of them half a day. -duh-
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#25
Keggster22

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The only thing that I finally gave up on was the vinyl floor


usually when someone has this I try to push for flooring that can go over the top, if it's just edge glued it's no big deal, but if it's full glued that stuff is killer
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QUOTE (AMS @ 12-7-08, 5:49pm) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG the Bills suck.

#26
sullise

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Might be something on my newest website DIY Home Repair on laminate...
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:)
OBAMA IS BANKRUPTING AMERICA!!!
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#27
Keggster22

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<shamefulplug>
Might be something on my newest website DIY Home Repair on laminate...
</shamefulplug>
:)

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hmmmm, need some help?
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QUOTE (AMS @ 12-7-08, 5:49pm) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG the Bills suck.

#28
bizema4

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My $.02 ... We did our kitchen floor at our old house and purchased the pergo-like flooring that needed to be glued from Ikea, and the white underlayment. I believe it was $600 to do a fairly large kitchen. 2 weeks ago we did 2 kids' bedrooms 14 x 17 (?) rooms and the cost for the flooring and underlayment was less than $500 and the edges were the click together kind that had been pre-glued. We took off old baseboard and re-installed, same thing with the thresholds. Each room took a full day to do. We bought it at Ollie's Bargain Outlet which is kind of an Odd Lot type place. They did have some variation that already had the underlayment attached to each piece which I thought was intriguing but not worth the extra $ in my opinion. The underlayment's easy to work with. The one issue we have with our old stuff is that there are a couple of gouges from where a corner of the fridge landed when we were moving and we now need to find where we put the leftovers and try and pry and re-install that one plank which doesn't look very fun ... so unless the tenants complain it's staying :p
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#29
sullise

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hmmmm, need some help?

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That's the forum...doesn't seem to be taking hold...:(

I get 150-200 uniques a day, but I guess no one wants to chit chat..lol
OBAMA IS BANKRUPTING AMERICA!!!
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#30
florep1

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Bumping, as I need this info -hiding-




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