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Floor Installation Kit

Having bought pretty much the identical kit for $25 last time I put down some laminate flooring, I think this $6 flooring installation kit from Harbor Freight is a much better deal.

If you’ve never installed laminate flooring and are at a loss for why you need this kit: the spacers ensure you leave the proper expansion gap around the perimeter of the room; the tapping block prevents you from screwing up the locking edges of the laminate when you’re tapping it with your hammer; and the pull bar allows you to pull pieces together where you can’t swing a hammer.

The kit includes 20 PVC spacers, a 2-1/4″ by 7″ tapping block, and an 11-7/8″ pull bar. I can’t see any reason to spend more than $6 for this kit — how could someone screw up making these simple tools?

Floor Installation Kit
[Harbor Freight]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

 

7 Responses to Cheap-Ass Tools: Flooring Installation Kit

  1. der5er says:

    Plus, when you bend the tab on the pull bar, you won’t feel so bad about needing to buy another kit if it was only $6. Yes, the striking tab on the pull bar in the $25 set will start to bend flat when working on a large flooring project. Yes, I speak from experience.

  2. sdgdfsdfsqsdfq says:

    I’ve installed a lot of laminate and engineered hardwood floors. IMO, these things are worthless.

    If you want spacing along the walls, just use a piece of the flooring. Tapping block? Again, use a scrap piece of the floor.

    the pull bars do nothing more than mar the finish, or as the previous poster mentioned, get bent out of shape.

    Steady even pressure with fingers, toes, etc. is what works best for me.

  3. Slade says:

    This is 6 bucks that can stay in my wallet. Never found the need for tools such as these when I’m putting floor down…that’s what scraps are for.

  4. The spacers and the tapping block may be optional, because you can just use scrap pieces, but I’m not exactly sure how you get away without using a pull bar. I used one extensively when I put down flooring in my kitchen. My kitchen is irregularly shaped in the first place and then add going around base cabinets. I had quite a few locations where I was finishing a row underneath a toekick. I guess if you do a perfectly rectangular living room you could get away without one.

    Yeah, I don’t recommend installing laminate in the kitchen for the faint of heart, but I have to say that it stands up a lot better then I thought it would, better then the pre-finished hardwood in my hallway — the dog has already scratched the hell out of that.

    der5er,
    Never had your problem with the pull bar bending, but I used a rubber mallet. It seemed to work just as well and I had one less tool around to accidentally scratch the flooring.

  5. fred says:

    We do a lot of residential and commercial flooring installations. Pull bars work fine for some applications but spreader jacks like the ones made by Crain work better on some sensitive flooring materials.

    http://www.craintools.com/fs-laminatetools.html

    Some better pull bars have a pounding block welded on – so you don’t have to pound on the lip.

    We also have some slide-hammer type tools – but their manufacturer’s name escapes me. They have a felt-padded surface and a frame that contains the slide weight.

    Toolmonger also featured a slide-hammer for this purpose:

    http://toolmonger.com/2007/11/27/the-unfortunately-named-lam-hammer/

  6. Looks like an interesting kit. I may give it a try next time. I agree $6 sounds about right for this kit.

    http://www.videoflooring.com

  7. Ahmed says:

    Hello:
    If you’re doing more than 100 sq ft of laminate or engineered floating floor you’ll probably go through many of these $6 pull bars at the end planks, esp for engineered floors. Crain’s welded pound block will save you a lot of time and frustration:
    http://www.tools4flooring.com/crain-560-knuckle-head-pull-bar-p-335.html?osCsid=3c9a9c0303358f17793b281f71bf4277

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