The First Rule of Self-Installing Laminate Flooring: Do Not Self-Install Laminate Flooring!

The last thing I want to do is decimate the entire DYI home improvement industry.  So, I feel compelled to clarify the title of this column.  It should read, “Do not self-install laminate flooring UNLESS you a licensed professional contractor with decades of experience specializing in installing laminate flooring.”  There, I feel better now.

Unfortunately, I decided to self-install my laminate flooring.  Here are a few tips I learned as a result of this enormous mistake –

Tip #1: Installing flooring is a young man’s game.  If you’re older than 16, forget it.  There is one exception to this rule: If you are under 25, exercise three to four times a day and regularly compete in triathlons, go for it.

Tip #2: I am probably being too kind to myself here, but I’ll throw out this number – I’m roughly 20 pounds overweight.  So, each time I climb up off the floor, it’s like someone put a 10-pound bag of sugar on each of my shoulders before I stand up.  (The good news is that during the installation process, you’ll only have to climb up off the floor about one million times.)

Tip #3: Buy a pair of the best knee pads you can find.  If a division of the Rolex company makes knee pads, take out a bank loan and buy a pair.  If they cost $10,000, they’re a bargain.  I’m not kidding.  Kneel down on a hard floor without knee pads and scoot around for thirty seconds.  You’ll be reeling in pain. 

Tip #4: Give up now.  Do not consider, even for another moment, continuing down this tragic path.  Heed my words!  I’m speaking to you from the future!

Sadly, no one gave ME this golden advice. The good news is that I only had to spend eight days crawling around on my knees. The added good news is that I only shaved 10 to 12 years off my life. On the bright side, I do get the self-satisfaction of admiring all the mistakes I made along the way. Mistakes that shine up like beacons to me from every vantage point in the house.

If you do proceed with your ill-conceived plan, and you manage to navigate the painful path to self-installing your new laminate flooring, yet another daunting challenge awaits – Self-installing the floor trim.

I’m speaking from the heart here, people.  Let me pass along the first step to self-installing your floor trim: 

Do NOT self-install your floor trim!

Please add a comment!