Flooring Tools

Find the best flooring installation tools

Each type of flooring material demands a specific set of tools for installation. You can save a lot of money by installing your floors yourself, and if you use the right tools, it can look just as good as a professional installation.

Vinyl and Linoleum Flooring Tools

Vinyl and linoleum flooring is remarkably simple to install. You won't need much in the way of tools, but do purchase a chalk line and level to make sure that you're laying your flooring properly. You'll also want to consult the manufacturer's directions and pick out the correct adhesive for laying the tile. Be careful, because the wrong type of adhesive may damage your vinyl or linoleum. A few other linoleum and vinyl flooring tools include a carpenter's square and a cutting device (e.g., a vinyl cutter, a utility knife or "snips") that allow you to make precise, straight cuts.

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Wood and Laminate Flooring Tools

If you're going to be installing either natural wood flooring or a man-made laminate, you'll need different flooring installation tools than those used for vinyl and linoleum. The specific tools are going to depend on the type of floor and the manufacturer, so consult your directions before purchasing wood flooring tools.

Most laminate floors use what is called "floating installation," meaning that the wood panels are not secured to the subfloor but rather "float" on a cushioned underlayment. These floors are the simplest of all to install and require very few, if any, tools. Some floating floors require wood glue, which is applied in the groove to secure the planks together. Other, newer models require no nails, staples or adhesives at all — the pieces are designed to simply snap together. Because of the sound the planks make when fit together, this type of flooring is often referred to as "click type flooring." Sometimes, however, a hammer or mallet is required to help tap the pieces into place. Lock and fold flooring requires absolutely no flooring tools — adjoining pieces are cut to lock together (a tongue locks into a groove) and then fold down into place over the underlayment.

Natural hardwood, on the other hand, usually requires hardwood flooring tools to install. Because natural wood expands and contracts with moisture changes, it cannot be made into a single block through gluing or lock-and-fold construction. Instead, it must be laid down in individual strips. Thus, tools such as a drill, a hammer, a mallet, a nail or staple gun and nails or staples are required.