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We are building a new house and I'm installing the laminate wood flooring. The builder suggested I cover the flooring after I'm done to protect it during the last few weeks of construction and with moving in. What would you suggest I use? Rosin paper, Kraft paper, or something more?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you don't have any heavy duty canvas type drop cloths, then use a couple of layers of red rosin paper. Tape the seams and around the perimeter to hold it in place. Keep an eye on it and tape or put an extra piece on any areas that get ripped. Red Rosin is much better than plastic as it is not slippery to walk on and is fairly tough for foot traffic.

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If you've got any work going on with tools where the floor has already been installed, it's not a bad idea to invest in a few masonite sheets (aka hardboard - they're a kind of mahogany looking cardboard about 1/8" thick - in the US bout $10/sheet). Put them down anywhere tools are likely to be dropped, since rosin and kraft paper won't stop the shock of impact from damaging the underlying floor. Well worth the extra few dollars to prevent serious dings to the new floor. – The Evil Greebo Dec 5 '12 at 11:28
Good thinking Evil – shirlock homes Dec 5 '12 at 11:35

A product that I recently saw in use on a commercial construction job at my office is purpose-made for this application. It's called Ram Board, and it's a super thick non-corrugated cardboard sheet that comes in rolls.

This should give some protection from impacts as well as scuffs. Tougher than rosin paper, easier to handle than masonite.

No idea what it costs, but I'd consider it if I had multiple trades working on top of my hardwood floors.

Ram Board Forklift

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Your local bodyshop has tons of cardboard they are more than happy to get rid of. Large boxes that hoods and body panels are packaged in. 3 or 4 hood boxes will cover a room.

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I have used Ram Board and it is excellent and waterproof (for some time). The edges can easily fold up to protect baseboards as well.

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