Laminate Flooring Tools For Installing Laminate Flooring

Some laminate flooring tools may not look too familiar to you. Other tools needed for installing laminate flooring are fairly common. I would say as a rule that the more expensive the laminate flooring tools, the easier it is to install laminate. If you are doing your own floors and don't plan on using some of the specialized laminate tools afterwards, you could purchase a kit that usually consists of a tapping block a pull bar and some spacers for about 20.00 dollars. But if you plan on doing more laminate flooring you may want to invest in some quality laminate flooring tools. I use Pergo pull bars and tapping blocks, these tools were made to last. I have been using the same ones for years now with no complaints.

Tools Used For Installing Laminate Flooring

  • 10 inch miter chop Saw
  • The miter chop saw is good for cutting trims and moldings. As far as cutting laminate flooring It is hard on the blades.

  • 10 inch sliding miter saw
  • A sliding miter saw is better for cutting laminate flooring. The sliding action helps keep the blade sharp longer.
  • Table saw
  • Table saws are used mainly for cutting down the length of a plank, such as the last row of flooring being installed up against the wall. Most often this row will need to be trimmed down. If you are thinking of purchasing a table saw you don't need an expensive one, just a basic table saw. They usually have them at Home Depot or Lowes for around 100.00.
  • Jig saw or saber saw
  • Jig saws are used for cutting irregular shapes or curves. It can also be used for cutting planks like the miter saw.

    Specialized Laminate Flooring Tools

  • Tapping Blocks
  • Tapping blocks are used for tapping the laminate planks together. Tapping blocks are usually made of a hard plastic. When using the tapping block the edge of the block is put against the top layer of the laminate plank and then tapped. Do not put the tapping block against the locking system on the planks when tapping the planks together, this can damage the locking system edges.

    This particular tapping block I use has two different sides for thinner or thicker laminates. The handle can be inserted in either side.

    The tapping blocks come in various sizes. I prefer them to be smaller than the width of the laminate planks, this makes it easier in tight spots.

  • pull bar
  • Pull bars are used to tap the last plank together when it meets the wall. The pull bars that are sold in the laminate installation kits are basically just a heavy metal that is bent in the shape. These will bend over time. If you are installing a lot of flooring it may be better to invest in a better quality pull bar.
  • Spacers
  • Spacers are used for maintaining the proper expansion gap around the walls. The most common type are little plastic spacers that are placed against the walls as the flooring is installed. Another type are adjustable spacers for laminate flooring . This type cost more but gives you more control when the wall bows in and out. The adjustable spacers are also good to lock the floor in place when placed at the ends. This helps to keep the floor from moving around while being installed.
  • Hand jamb saw, non electric
  • This jamb saw is not very expensive and will work for cutting your door jambs. This new one I purchased at Home Depot for around 12.00. The only drawback to use this type of saw is it will not cut inside corners, an example would be where two door jambs form an inside corner. But if you are just cutting straight door jambs it works fine. Just make sure you cut them high enough because its hard to go back and cut small amounts off afterwards.

    Saws, Cutting The Laminate

    I have seen some people using a hand saw to cut the laminate, which is fine if your up to it.

    I use a sliding compound miter saw to cut the planks, with a carbide tip blade. The sliding action allows me to cut the planks across rather than straight down from the top. This helps my blades stay sharper longer. A quality sliding miter saw can cost anywhere from 400.00 to 700.00 dollars. I have noticed that there are sliding miter saws that are cheaper to purchase these days.(less then 200.00 at Harbor freight)These saws would work out OK for someone doing their own floors but may not hold up for a full time installer.

    A fixed miter saw only cuts down, which is harder on the blade because of the aluminum oxide finish on the laminate planks. I have seen these saws for as little as the 100.00 dollar range.

    There are new laminate flooring tools being developed all the time such as this new alternative for cutting laminate. Its kind of like a paper cutter. These cutters don't create saw dust and can save time by not having to go outside to make cuts. I have not used one of these yet. They can be pricey but I have noticed some versions that are less than 100.00.

    You could also use a jig saw, circular saw or table saw for cutting laminate flooring.

    Curved Cutting

    Jig Saw-Saber Saw

    Making a curved cut with a jig saw in laminate flooring

    There are times when you will have to cut curves, such as cutting around door jambs. You can also use the table saw for cutting on curved scribe lines which are slightly curved. Or just to rip down the length of aboard to fit in the last row along the wall.

    I use a jig saw for cutting curves . This would be a little difficult trying to do this on a miter or table saw.

    Jig saws come in a wide range of choices. The inexpensive brands don't give you the control you need in some cases. The less expensive models usually come with a fixed speed which can be difficult to make more precise cuts. Variable speeds work a lot better for this and gives you more control.

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