A task I thoroughly enjoyed!
I got a pleasant surprise yesterday: I actually had fun installing the Pergo laminate wood flooring in my bedroom.
The job was remarkably easy once I got the hang of it. I started on the far left end of the room, positioned a piece about 1/8 inch from the wall, and slipped the tongue at the top into the groove of the previous piece at about a 30° to 45° angle. Then I gently rocked it up and down until is snapped down into place. The next piece went pretty much the same way, but also required me to bring the left edge against the right edge of the previous piece and make sure that snapped, too.
Cutting was the most challenging part. Although most cuts were simple straight cuts I did on my miter saw, I did occasionally have to cut around door openings and the like. In some cases, I had to draw pictures of the final piece with measurements. I know that sounds weird, but Pergo pieces can only be installed in one direction and if you screw up a cut, chances are that piece will be unusable as intended. If you’re lucky you can use it for something else. But if you do something seriously dumb — like cut off both ends — the piece becomes garbage. I screwed up two pieces during this installation, which I don’t think is that bad, considering it was my first full room.
As I worked, I found myself thinking about the sign I’d seen in Lowe’s offering installation at a sale price of 99¢/square foot. I can’t believe people would pay that when it’s so easy to do yourself. Yes, having the right tools does make the job easier — I had a miter saw, a table saw, a special pull bar designed for floating floor installations, and a rubber mallet — but even a battery-powered circular saw with a good blade would have been enough. The way I see it, I had a rewarding DIY day, got to play with my power tools, and saved $288.
If you want to see the narrated time-lapse video, here it is. I figure that if you deduct the amount of time for the two breaks I took while working, I probably put about five hours total into this job. I’m looking forward to finishing up in the living room and hallway — probably next week when the kitchen is done.