Installing Laminate Flooring + Studio Progress

I have made HUGE progress on my studio cabinets (AKA My Biggest DIY). In fact, they are painted! Want to see them? Then read my Sawdust Diary on Sawdust Girl!



One of the things we decided to do when we moved my studio up to the loft was to pull up the carpet.  Not only would be it easier to build the cabinets on a level surface but if I am going to be painting, sewing, mod podgin’, and all the other mediums that happen in a studio something easy to clean was essential.  I opted for a laminate surface.  We got the laminate flooring at Lowes and the color is Fireside Oak.  It was one of their in stock products.  For my 16’ by 21’ room it took 13 boxes and cost us right at $534 ($396 for the laminate and $138 for the underlayment).  I went with a mid to lower range laminate because much of the flooring was going to be covered up by cabinets and an island.

I think laminate is really pretty and does a great job of mimicking wood while being a ton lighter on the wallet.  It also is simple to clean and pretty indestructible with normal use.  I recommend a laminate that has more of a matte finish.  I often hear people complain about cleaning laminate when you opt for a super shiny finish.  People say it streaks easy.


So after I built the 9 cabinet shells for my studio we moved them out of the area and then laid the flooring. We could have waited to install the flooring until after the cabinets were installed but I wanted the flooring to run under the cabinets. You never know down the road if a future home owner doesn’t want the built-ins (GASP!) and removes them. I didn’t want them to have to piece in the flooring. So we installed the flooring the whole length and width of the room.

We usually opt for a laminate that has the underlayment built in but the price was right and since it was a rectangle room with no fancy cuts we didn’t think upgrading was necessary.

We first removed all the carpet, padding and tack strips from the room and also took off the baseboards. That isn’t essential if you are going to add shoe molding. If not, then I recommend removing the baseboards to get a tight fit.

Next cut your underlayment to fit.  Then you can add the laminate on top of it.  Installing laminate is like putting a puzzle together really.  It is a very simple DIY project especially in a room with no tricky cuts like this one.


You just have to remember to snap a whole length of laminate in at a time.  Then use the little tappy tappy to knock it in place.  It also helps if you have two people to lock the entire long piece in at the same time.


In one day you have a newly installed floor.


Here it is with the cabinets back in the room.


I am making major progress and I am ready to build the doors on the cabinets next week.  Check out Sawdust Girl to see the play by play and all the challenges I encountered!

Disclaimer: Lowes has helped pay for a portion of my studio remodel, including this floor.  All my opinions are my own.