Intro: HOW I INSTALLED a FLOOR WITHOUT EMPTYING THE ROOMS
The project: Installing an engineered hardwood floor in two rooms; a dinning room and living room, without emptying the rooms. Max and Remy approved of the finished job.
Where did I start? I took up the carpet. The house was built on a cement slab. I scrapped all the glue and gunk off the slab, popped up all the tackles and filled holes with a filler specifically used to fill cement slab holes. I checked for any depressions in the slab and leveled them with a leveling agent specifically used for that purpose. You don't want to lay a floor over a dip. You want a flat floor.
Look at as many videos on your specific project as possible. There are so many talented and professional people out there to make your job easier.
I can't stress enough, when attempting any project, read all instructions carefully, and follow them. I know--guys don't do that--and neither do they ask for directions--at least that's what Wifey tells me all the time. This from a woman who when I first met her told me she always thought North was the direction she was facing.
Tools: Use the proper tools. There are certain things you can Rube Goldberg, but the proper tools isn't one of them. A few for this project I found very useful were spacers to keep the flooring 1/4" away from the walls. Wood expands and contracts. Without a space it can't expand and will buckle. Of course I used a notched trowel for spreading the adhesive. Oh, and a snugger-I forgot the actual name of it. It was a long bar of rubbery plastic used to lay against floor boards and tap them snug against an already installed row. To cut a board, I used a chop saw aka miter saw. And painters tape to hold glued floor boards together until the glue set.
Step 1: PICK THE STARTING WALL
I determined the direction I wanted the boards to lay, and picked the longest wall. I moved the furniture out of the way to the other side of the room. I snapped a chalk line several board widths from the wall just past a protruding room divider similar to the third picture. The object now was to get glue down and install flooring up to this chalk line. That chalk line was straight and would serve as the straightness for the rest of the floor. I laid boards in rows and would cut the last board of a row to fit and then use the cut off piece to start the next row. I had almost no waste and wound up with an entire box left over--having calculated an extra 10% in flooring before starting the project, which was returnable. Then I put some of the furniture I had moved on top of the flooring which helped hold it down.
Step 2: RINCE AND REPEAT
Since I lived in the home I could work at my leisure. I didn't have to complete it in one day. I was able to add flooring, hold it in place with the painters tape, then move furniture on it and continue.
I used my small portable table saw to trim the final boards to fit the last pieces up to the wall and squeezed them against the exiting installed flooring with a pry bar. Oh, and tape--lots and lots of tape. Once dry, I removed the tape, cleaned up any glue I got onto the flooring and then installed a shoe molding. The furniture was replaced and I was done.