Installing laminate flooring is a simple, straightforward process. Laminate floors are sometimes called ‘floating floors’ because they are not directly fastened (glued or nailed) to the sub-floor. Installing laminate flooring is easy for some people and hard for others. If you consider yourself a handy person, someone who can do simple carpentry, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Laminate flooring is easier to install then hardwood flooring and offers a similar appearance. The “planks” are made from medium-density fiberboard (MDF) sandwiched between plastic laminate. The top laminate looks like random-grain wood, but its plastic composition makes it scratch- and stain-resistant. They come with a click together tongue and grove or a glue together style. I recommend the click together style as it is easier to install, less messy and has no draw backs. Installing laminate flooring is a relatively easy way to add a beautiful, durable floor to your home or office.
NOTE: I do not recommend using laminate flooring in damp or potentially damp or wet places, like kitchens, bathrooms or basements (though in some basements it might be ok). This is because laminate flooring is very susceptible to moisture damage, though some might be specially treated for these locations. If the sub-floor is bare concrete and you suspect that it is or might become moist I recommend you use a different kind of flooring. You can test for humidity by taping a 24” square section of clear plastic to the concrete slab, forming an airtight seal. If condensation or discoloration appears on plastic after 24-48 hours, the moisture content is likely too high for most wood products.
You can make your house a home, stick to a budget and get a warm wood look.
Below are the essential things you’ll need to know during your laminate installation.
1. Planning and Preparation
You should make sure that you have someone to help you when you are installing laminate flooring. Though you may be able to do it yourself it is always easier with a second set of hands and more fun too.
a. Preparation is key, and its devastating to run out of material mid-job. Take the few extra minutes to prep and lay out properly, and it will save you a tremendous amount of time. Be careful not to forget to measure the closet spaces as well. It is also generally good practice to buy a 10-20 percent overage on your materials. This is done to insure that there is plenty of material in case you make a mishap, or some gets damaged. It is also a good idea to keep several pieces after the job is completed, in case anything should happen down the road and you are required to repair the floor.
b. Laminate flooring must acclimatize to your home. You do this by placing the boxes in the room where you are going to install the flooring for a minimum period of 48 hours before using it.
Note: This is the number one mistake made by most people including contractors.
c. Plan the installation so the width of the last row will be at least 2 inches. You may need to cut the first row to width to achieve this. Also check that the wall where you begin is parallel to the wall where you will end and the room is relatively square. If the wall is not straight chalk a straight line at the edge of the first board to keep it straight.
d. Take off baseboards and moldings all around the room and remove any doors in the room.
e. Fasten down any loose or squeaking sub-floor with nails or screws and use leveling compound if you have to, to get rid of any dips in the floor.
f. If you have taken up carpet, make sure you remove any nails or tacks or the tack strip that might be left.
g. Then make sure the sub-floor is absolutely clean, even a small pebble can interfere with your flooring.
next time laying the floor.