Having laminate flooring installed is very different from other types of flooring material. For example, if you do not properly prepare your floors, it can lead to problems or damage being caused to the hardwood. If you follow these tips, it will help ensure that everything goes smoothly during the preparation and installation.
Understanding What A Floating Floor Is
Laminate flooring is often referred to as a floating floor. It is what makes it different from traditional hardwood, since the planks are not fastened to your subfloor during the installation process. Laminate flooring needs the room to contract and expand as needed, typically because of humidity levels and temperature changes. The shifts in the flooring are usually subtle, which means you will not notice them at all, but a floor can buckle or peak if they do not have the proper amount of room for movement.
Because of this, you'll need to remember a couple things when doing the preparation to your baseboard and subflooring.
- Never press wood boards tightly against your wall. They need ½ inch of space for expansion room. Don't worry; you can cover the gap using a baseboard.
- The baseboard should be attached to the wall, as opposed to the floorboards.
Adapting The Wood To Your Home
While laminate flooring does contract and expand, they won't create huge gaps or bow upwards if installed correctly. The key is to let the flooring acclimate to its environment prior to the installation.
You can do this by bringing the flooring into your home for 2 days before you plan to do the installation. The humidity in your home will cause the boards to swell slightly, and the boards will reach their final size before you do the installation.
Cutting Laminate Flooring
There will be floorboards that have to be different lengths to fit in a room. You should always account for the spacing around the room when taking measurement, which is why it helps to place a spacer between the board and the wall that you can remove later.
When cutting the laminate flooring, always start your cut along the bottom of the wood. It will help make the side that faces upward look smooth and clean.
Fastening The Floor Together
The tongue and groove system makes it easy to slide one board in to the other, but it may be challenging to do if you do not properly handle your floorboards. Before placing a piece, look over the board and pay attention to both the tongue and the groove for potential damage. If either part is damaged, it will make it difficult to attach the board. Use a rubber mallet to protect the floorboards during installation.
Does this process seem too difficult to do on your own? Know that you can always hire a professional like one from Claggett & Sons Inc to do it for you.