How to Install Laminate
To choose the right type of flooring for a room, it is important to first understand how the room will be used. Many homeowners use laminate floors for bedrooms and kitchens. The laminate planks have various styles that range from wood look to stone look. After taking the time to research and purchase appropriate laminate planks, the next step is usually installing them into the room of choice. This page from the team at 2nd Street Floors will provide guidance for the installation process!
Before doing any flooring installation on your own, it is always important to check with the manufacturer’s approved guidelines and confirm whether or not the installation is covered by warranty. This will help avoid any disputes related to manufacturer warranties.
For laminate flooring installation, we can separate the workload into 2 phases:
- Prepare the Flooring Area
- Lay Down the Boards
Prepare the Flooring Area
To get laminate boards acclimated with the room, place unopened packages in the room for about 48 hours as they adjust to the temperature and humidity. This helps minimize shrinkage or expansion that occurs when the boards react to the atmosphere. During this time, check moisture levels to confirm that the floor is dry. The sub-floor moisture content should not be higher than 1% from the Protimeter prong test scale. The humidity level should be between 45% to 65% relative humidity.
You will need a final checkup to verify that the sub-floor is perfectly level. Once these steps are completed, it is time to clean the floor from any miniscule objects that could be on the surface. After cleaning, lay down a moisture barrier for the floor. This barrier can be a plastic lining that will later be covered by the laminate. Avoid overlapping which causes the floor to rise.
The last step in preparing is to lay down the padding. Most padding and plastic will come connected together. If your padding and plastic are separate, cover the plastic lining with a foam flooring padding. The padding will prevent residue from rocks or sand and prevent creaking sounds when people walk on the floor. Do not allow overlapping on the foam.
Lay Down the Boards
With preparations done, you can now place the first board onto the floor. Putting it down on the top left corner, make sure it is finished side up with the ridge side facing the wall. Put the spacers between the end and edge of the board and the wall. Spacers can be bought or built on your own. Repeat these steps for the second board, placing it end to end with the next spot along the wall. Check to make sure that the row is even with the walls.
After finishing the first row, move on to the second row. Shorten the first piece of the laminate flooring board so that it will be staggered, compared to the first row. Secure the block with your less dominant hand and hit the block with a hammer with your dominant hand to close the gap between the first and second boards. Continue these steps until each row is completed the same way. Check every third or fourth row to check that they stay parallel to the wall.
For any planks that do not fit in the remaining space, trim them with a sharp miter saw to shorten the planks and a table saw to make them narrower. Be sure to place spacers along the edges of the room and remove them once the floor is done. To finish the floor, place baseboards, thresholds, or do staining.
And that’s all it takes! If you still have questions, be sure to call/email the 2nd Street Floors team of experts or contact your local contractor to help you throughout the process.
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