It is easy to install laminate floors on your own and it is rather surprising why expert professionals are hired to do this uncomplicated task. Plastic laminate floor, as compared to ceramic tile or porcelain, is a “dry” installation where no mortar, grout, or adhesives are required. No saws or special equipment will be needed to cut the laminate planks and ordinary saws will deliver the goods. The laminate, unlike the solid hardwood floors that ought to be nailed down, will snap together. It happens to be “floating” flooring which is not attached to the underlayment or subfloor. In fact, installing laminate is similar to putting together a big puzzle. Therefore, you will most likely be able to floor the entire room within only 24 hours.
The following talks about how to achieve laminate floors you prefer:
Ensure that the walls are parallel
Make sure that the walls are parallel while measuring the size of the starter row. It might so happen that you are setting up laminate in a room which happens to be installed 6 Inches narrower at one end as compared to the other. This implies that you need to rip the last row which is tapered and this will appear unattractive. Unless one side in that room is covered with furniture, it will be sensible to split the difference and taper both the first plus the last rows so it is not possible to notice any of them.
Use the appropriate tape
One essential aspect to consider will be which tape to use. It is imperative to tape every single underlining seam. Although, it might be enticing to use whatever tape you get in hand, refrain from doing that. In fact, some house wrap tapes and packing tapes can be rigid and might emit an irritating sound while you step on them. It will be prudent to use the tape suggested by the underlayment company or you might purchase an underlayment featuring an inbuilt seam tape.
As per top flooring experts out there, underlayment ought to be installed perpendicular to the manner in which the planks are set up. Once the flooring is laid, there will be a less likelihood for the underlayment to “bubble”. Also, you might set up several underlayment rows for preventing them from getting torn while you walk on them wearing boots.
Begin with a smooth subfloor
It is not possible for laminate floors to function properly on any uneven surface. Make it a point to review the subfloor before beginning any floor work. Use a straightedge and walk around to come across an area over 1/8 inches in height. The common suspects are the subfloor seams.
The seams can be knocked down fast by a belt sander featuring a coarse-grit belt. However, you ought to hire a commercial flooring sander to grind down significant peaks.
A gentle and spongy section will be triggered in the laminate floor by a dip in the flooring. Most of the dips will be dealt with using a vinyl floor patch plus a trowel. Go for stuff that dries fast in case you would like to commence laying the laminate floor on the same day.
Stay away from any self-leveling flooring compound particularly on the older houses. An entire truckload of self-leveling stuff could be taken by a floor which happens to be out-of-level to flatten it out. In fact, the time is ripe for you to screw the plywood at any place in the beams where there is a squeak.
Use a laminate shear for cutting the flooring
It can become noisy and also dusty by cutting laminate using a miter saw. Also, you will feel inconvenient to work with the saw during your operation. However, it will be prudent to use a laminate shear for cutting the planks cleanly right where they will be set up. While the lower end versions are obtainable at most home centers nowadays, the higher end versions will be found online or at the flooring specialty outlets.
Begin to install flooring on the wall with the maximum number of doors
One of the critical problems you need to deal with will be to install the flooring around doorways. This can be simplified by beginning on the wall which has the maximum number of doors. Obviously, it is required to undercut jambs and also trim. It is much easy to start at a specific doorway than ending up at one.
Setting up laminate wood floors
You will find it tempting to come across the longest and the straightest part of the wall and slap down the planks. The issue is that, once you reach the opposite wall, you might even rip down a silver thin row of the floor. This will not appear attractive and will be difficult to set up.
Go ahead by snapping together a segment of 4 or 5 pieces, place it against one wall, and use a pencil to make a line on the external part of the connected component. Following this, slide the segment towards the opposite wall while using the pencil to line it up. In this way, walk across the room for figuring out whether it will be sensible to begin with a ripped row and also what should be its width.
According to the flooring experts, it is not an exact science. Rather, it is a fast way to obtain a good idea of the width of that ultimate row without performing too many calculations.
Use a sacrificial scrap along with a tapping block
It will be initially required to tap a plank into position or just secure an uncooperative plank together. It will be sensible to use a tapping block. However, you need to avoid any damage to the brand new floor and therefore you need to tap on a sacrificial scrap to prevent any wreckage on the new floor’s edge.
Snap in an entire row of laminate floor simultaneously
In case you go through the instructions on most of the laminate flooring which happens to be a big “if” out there, it is imperative for the parts to snap in one after another. However, it is not possible to install some flooring (the inexpensive ones) in that manner without breaking the planks. In case of any issue, try to snap the ends of an entire row altogether and then snap it in just like it was only a single long piece.
Place transition strips below the doors
It will be a good idea to leave a small gap if you are setting up flooring which continues via doorway. This will help to obtain a transition strip in between the rows. Place the gap below the door such that the transition strip makes sense visually. You will be able to treat every single room as an isolated project with the help of a transition strip. In this way, your layout will get better flexibility.
The manner in which you ought to end the flooring at the doorway
In most occasions, you will not be able to avoid ending up a doorway. In such cases, it becomes somewhat tricky since you need to glide the flooring below both jambs.
Below, we have mentioned how to take care of it while using a small portion of trim carpentry.
– Lift to fit
Plan to make it seam in the midst of the doorway. The first piece has to be notched and cut to fit and then it must be slid under the jamb completely. The second piece likewise has to be notched so it will only be short of the doorstep while it is in position. The flooring has to be raised so it can get around the corner and also beneath the casing. Following this, it has to be snapped in.
– Slide over both the pieces
After connecting the two components, both must slid over so they are able to cover the ends of the flooring.
Take care of any heavy furniture on the laminate floor
Laminate floors are known to contract and expand with fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Therefore, it is important to focus on the furniture present in the room before beginning any lamination task. It is possible for any heavy fixture such as a pool table to pin down the laminate making it to either become separate while contracting or push up while expanding. However, you will face trouble once there are two heavy furniture pieces across the room facing each other which traps the laminate floor. You will need to opt for a different floor material or lose anyone of the furniture to prevent any unwanted trouble. Generally, a laminate floor can move properly under the weight of a fully stocked fridge.
Safeguarding your knees while installing the laminate floor
You usually wear hard-shell pads for your knees while landscaping and roofing. However, you need to wear different knee pads while installing the floor. This is because inappropriate pads can cause harm to the floor in the long run. Pads meant for installing laminate floors ought to have a soft rubber material or cloth on the business end. In fact, one will feel comfy while putting on gel-filled knee pads since they are the most comfortable out there given that gel can distribute the weight uniformly.
There are certain things you need to be aware of before starting your laminate floor installation. First, be sure to go through the manufacturer’s guide before starting the installation process. A laminate floor will be a long-term fixture in your residence and therefore, it is important to install them in the proper way.
Below are essential points you should do and also must not while installing a laminate floor.
1. Go through the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
2. Figure out the flooring pattern and direction before beginning.
3. Allow the laminate floor to adjust to the room temperature for 48 hours before installing.
4. Ensure that your subfloor is level, clean, prepared and also structurally sound.
5. Accumulate all the tools required by you for installing the laminate floor.
6. Install the appropriate laminate underlayment (in case it isn’t attached to the floor).
7. The seams of the underlayment must be taped together while laying them.
8. Inspect the planks to verify whether there is any damage.
9. For making the installation process easier, use a top-quality laminate installation kit.
10. Leave a minimum of ¼ inch expansion gap in and around the perimeter. Also, leave half an inch for the larger areas.
11. Make sure that the joints are 12 inches to 18 inches away from each other for structural support.
1. Laminate should not be installed on any floor featuring a drain.
2. Laminate must not be installed on an uneven subfloor.
3. Do not install a laminate floor in an area where there is a possibility for it to be exposed to high or low humidity or constant dampness.
4. The laminate floor must not be installed outdoors.
5. Do not install a laminate floor on top of any residential carpet.
6. Do not install any double-layer laminate underlayment. An excessive amount of padding will compromise the integrity of the joints and also the locking system.
7. Never run the laminate floor lengthwise over 30 linear feet without any transition strip.
8. Never continue the installation process through an opening less than 48 inches in width. It is important to use a transition molding.
9. Never cut the laminate in the identical region where you will install it. Make it a point to keep the installation area free from any debris and dust. (Underlayment, flooring, and subfloor).
10. Never cut into the back of the laminate floor since it will cause chipping in the decorative upper layer.
As a conclusion, all of these guidelines mentioned above should make your laminate floor installation process easy and fast. While purchasing the floor, ensure that you likewise purchase thresholds, base molding, and quarter round at the same time.
In this way, you will be able to save your money and also time. Remember, laminate floors are available in a wide variety of shades and will satisfy your decorating requirements. If properly installed, you can spend your days appreciating the elegance and splendor of the laminate floor in your residence.