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Laminate floor installation – step by step

Laminate floor installation – step by step

Laminate flooring has become a popular flooring option for many reasons. It is affordable, durable, easy to install and can look really attractive. There are many options available today, many of which mimic more expensive solid wood, composite or premium exotic wood floors. Most of them even have textures that can mimic real wood or popular styles like “hand scraping.”

Sold in sheets, tiles or squares,

 Many feature a locking tongue and groove system that requires no adhesive or glue, making installation super easy and perfect for DIY. They are dirt and fade resistant and can often be installed over existing surfaces such as wood, vinyl or tile. One of the best features is that they are resilient to changes in temperature, humidity and other factors that can cause complications such as expansion and contraction. After installation, there is usually no waiting time and they can handle the traffic immediately!

As with all products, quality varies, so be selective when purchasing. The following factors should be taken into account when choosing a product:

• Thickness – A thicker floor usually means better quality, better durability and longer wear.

• Underlay material – Some products have a larger footprint in underlays, such as moisture or sound insulation. Otherwise, they can be added as separate layers during installation.

• Wood veneer – the decorative layer of some products has wood veneer.

• Warranty – Warranties vary by manufacturer, so choose the one that suits your needs.

Ready to learn how to install laminate? Here it is!

So assuming you’ve chosen the perfect product, here are the bread and butter of laminate flooring installation. Of course, this Can you stack laminate flooring to acclimate? information applies to most products, but you should always check your product for specific installation needs.

Tools and materials needed for laminate floor installation:

Laminate floor installation step by step

Step 1: Optimize the boards for 48 hours – As I explained in my article about linoleum, it is very important to allow the material to optimize. Place them at least 48 hours in advance in the room where they will change. Open the boxes and other packages and set the thermostat to normal temperature.

Step 2: Prepare the subfloor and remove the base profile. Make sure the subfloor is clean and carefully remove the base profile.

Install Underlay – If installing over concrete,

 Install a vapor barrier (thin sheet of plastic). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to purchase the correct thickness (usually 6 mil) and cover the seams by about 8 inches (if needed). If your laminate product does not have foam underlay, install the foam under the underlay, as many do. Run the subfloor along the furthest wall where you will start installing the floor (usually you start against the longest wall).

Cut the Joists – Much easier than cutting the floor around the joists! Place the miter saw upside down on the table top on top of the foam base (to get the right height) and make the cut. Cut it with a chisel or screwdriver.

Install the first row

 Lay the boards parallel to the longest wall, using 1/2 of each 12″ spacer to allow for expansion (“breathing space”). Then it’s covered with grout.

Install the rest of the floor – Install each row one at a time, making sure the tab fits into the grooves, and tap into place with scrap metal to protect the floor and ensure there are no gaps. For a natural look, by placing the rows next to each other, you want to cut the board first so that they are about 20 cm apart and not perfectly aligned, which looks awkward.

Place the last board – You’ll probably have to saw the last board because it’s too wide to fit properly (unless you’re really lucky).

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