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Today, we’re going to do one of my favorite projects, and that is to put down engineered wood flooring. Believe me, it is not as hard as you might think. Join me, as we put down engineered wood flooring.
First, let’s talk about what engineered flooring is. It’s basically plywood with a thin layer of the actual beautiful wood that you’re paying all this money for on top. The plywood is super stable, meaning it’s not going to expand and contract as much as solid wood. Look at this finish they put on here. You’ll never get this tough of a finish the tradition way. Now don’t get it confused with the laminate, which is the old floor that I pulled up. You can see laminate is just a picture of wood glued on to like pressboard. First thing we got to do, to get rid of that old floor.
Now we can put down this padding, which serves two purposes. Number one, it’s a moisture barrier and number two, it gives you a little cushion under your feet. Now this is an old house and this room is notoriously cold even with the heat that’s installed. I decided to supplement the heat with an electric radiant heat mat. WarmlyYours is the company and they will custom make it to any size you want. You’ll see, I just did the center of the room and that’s because I know around the edges I’m going to be putting built-ins and other sort of stuff that’s really not good to put right on top of the radiant heat. The only thing you have to do is hire an electrician to hook up the thermostat and you’re all set.
Now you’ll see here, I’m taking out the wood from different boxes and mixing them together. Sometimes the color is inconsistent from box to box, in this way, it will blend all together. We always want to start in the most visible part of the room, which in this case is right here. I made these little half-inch spacers that are going to go around the perimeter of the room, that’s just to give the floor a little breathing room in case it does expand a little bit. It will be covered by trim later. Start in the left corner. With this particularly flooring from Mohawk to glueless system, it clicks into place, so we want to start with the tongue out.
Now, the most important thing is to stagger your joints, got it? The kind of stair stepping I have here, you do not want any joints near each other. Now you can see how I’m kind of like laying it out first. Eventually you’re going to have to make a cut, and that’s pretty easy, just flip it over, leaving your half inch gap at the end, mark it, cut it, and snap it into place. Now the next problem is, we’ve got this thin piece here. In that case, we’re going to have to head down and rip a piece on the table saw. Just make sure you’re cutting the right side. I’ve screwed up many of time. Now, just keep going.
Ooops, oh back in there. What I’m about half way through with the room, I always like to measure the distance between the flooring and the far wall on each side, just to make sure that … not like way off. I think it was only off by about a quarter of an inch here, which is fine. We’re just about done, we need to fill this one last little strip, still keeping that half inch gap between the wood and the wall. Back down to the table saw, watch your fingers. Now the only thing left to do is put a little quarter around trim around the edge to cover that gap. Guess what? You’re done.