By David Shipley
A great looking new laminate floor can completely transform the look of a room.
A few weeks ago my wife and I and some friends ripped up and replaced the berber carpet in our spare bedroom and home office and replaced it with 12-mm caramel oak laminate floor from Goodfellow Inc.
We hadn’t planned on renovating the rooms this soon as our home is only six years old, but after adopting a greyhound and between our two cats as well as fostering a good friends’ cat while he attended RCMP training, both carpets had “issues”.
But the surface damage to the carpets was nothing compared to the hidden dust and dirt inside.
Each of the two rooms is approximately 110-120 square feet. We had looked at a variety of laminate styles from Goodfellow including some darker hickory-looking variants.
In consultation with Topmar staffer Dawn Mckay, we fell in love with the caramel oak style, which Topmar also had in stock and on sale. With Dawn’s help, we figured out the right number of boxes of laminate flooring we needed and the correct number of underlay rolls.
Out with the old
To prepare the two rooms for the Saturday renovation day, my wife and I began earlier in the week by removing all of the furniture and items. For good measure, we also took down all of the pictures, posters, clocks and shelves from the room.
To remove the carpet, we had to of course take of the baseboard trim. One mistake we made was in how we tried to remove the air nails that had been in trim.
By pounding some of them out, we ended up creating holes that we later needed to cover up with wood filler and touch-up paint. A much better way to tackle it came from a friends’ suggestion – using a set of pliers to pull the thin air nails out through the back, avoiding creating holes in the front.
We also realized we didn’t have to remove the trim along the entrance ways to the room as the carpet and underlay was nearly the identical height of our new laminate floor and underlay.
The carpet itself was relatively straightforward to remove, but the tack boards and staples proved to be a time-consuming task. It was critical to either pull or pound in the staples to avoid creating an uneven surface for the new floor.
A thorough vacuum with the shop vac also helped prepare the room for the new floor.
In with the new
The Goodfellow 12-mm laminate flooring we selected was easy and straight-forward to put down. While the first few rows took our small team a bit to get established, once we had a pattern worked out the first room came together quickly. The only tricky parts of both rooms were the closets.
Putting the baseboard back on was made much easier with the help of a friend’s air nailer. If you’re tackling this kind of project, I’d highly recommend this approach and if you don’t have access to one, Topmar has one available for rent.
We also made great use of specialized flooring tools that helped ensure the floor pieces were well-seated into each other. Though honestly, following the easy instructions generally resulted in a great connecting between pieces.
A chance to redecorate
Once the new floor down, we took the chance to really look at how we wanted each room to look. In the study, we replaced a desk I’ve had for almost 14 years with a brand-new writing desk from Sauder’s County line collection, along with a new matching-five shelf bookcase.
On the bookcase, instead of packing it full of books as we had in the past, we only kept out our most treasured books and decorated it with memorabilia from various trips or accomplishments.
We also cut down on the number of items on the walls, given each item on the wall more space to breathe and creating an overall style for the study.
While we have no plans to change the paint colour in the study, we are looking at new colours from the Valspar paints collection at Topmar to compliment the new floor in our spare bedroom.
- Goodfellow Inc. laminate flooring
- Laminate flooring tools
- Air nailer and air nails for baseboards
- Pliers to remove old nails from baseboard
- Wood filler and touch-up paint for the baseboards
- Soft foam knee pads (seriously recommended!)
- Sauder writing desk and bookcase