Laminate flooring is a favorite among homeowners who want flooring that is easy to maintain. Unlike carpets that require more work, laminate flooring hardly needs to be vacuumed. Also, it is durable and can come in different shades and styles. This type of flooring was introduced in the US in 1982 and since then, usage has grown at a rate of up to 20% per year.
Before you start laminating your floor, allow two to three days for the laminate floors you bought to adjust to the climate. It is not advisable to purchase laminate flooring in the morning, take it home and immediately install it.
Installing laminate flooring is easy. Here are instructions on how to do it yourself.
- Prepare the floor. Any prior engineered flooring you may have been using should be removed. If you used carpet tile, ceramic tile flooring or padding, get rid of those. Make sure you remove all tack strips in the perimeter of the room. Be sure to scrape off any extra padding that may have stuck to the floor. Wipe the floor clean and vacuum it.
- Take off the baseboards from your wood flooring. Remove the baseboards all around the room. Make sure to get all the moldings too and remove all the doors.
- Repair the floor. If there are any loose floorboards or squeaking ones, make sure you repair them. Use a leveling compound to smooth the dips in the floor. Remove any nails or tacks that might have been left behind if there used to be a carpet or padding.
- Put in the underlay. The underlay usually comes in 36" or 42" wide rolls. Do not overlap the rolls as you roll them out, and use duct tape or wide, clear plastic tape to seal the seams.
- Lay down the boards. Once the underlay is in, you can now lay down the boards. Don’t forget to stagger the joints. And don’t forget to leave at least ¼” clearance at each wall so that when the season changes, there’s room for the board to swell.
- Connect the boards. You can then join the boards together. Insert the boards such that they will click together. You can use a hammer to gently tap on a block just to make sure the boards snap together. Don’t tap hard, especially on the laminate, since this will damage the piece.
- Put back the baseboards. If you have finished laying out the laminate flooring, you can start putting back the baseboards and the doors. The baseboards should be easy to put back and nail since you left a gap all around the perimeter of the room.
Laminate flooring looks beautiful in your home. It looks like you have a hardwood floor, but it doesn’t need as much care and maintenance. You can get these floorings at a discount during sales. Each type of laminate flooring may have its own particular instructions. Read the manual so that you are clear on what special installation procedures your laminate flooring needs.