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How To Install Laminate Flooring - Tips For Beginners
This article provides a step-by- step guide to your flooring job with laminate floors. If you think this job is frustrating, follow this and it will turn out a piece of cake.
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Before we start, make sure that you have all that it takes:
- Laser Level
- Hand Saw
- Measuring tape
- Knee Pads
- Moisture Meter
- Pull Bar
- Electric Chop Saw
1. Inspect the floor:
The floor conditions play a vital role in installing laminate floors. Remember that nothing else matters once your site conditions do not meet the standard in which the most-checks are moisture and sub-floor levels. This would be done more easily if you are a professional installer. However, you can follow this to check all the required conditions yourself:
- Humidity: The acceptable humidity standard should be ranged from 45% to 65%. A hygrometer can be a good assistant in testing this.
- Concrete or timber sub-floors’ moisture should not exceed 12%MC on a surface prong test, or below 3% on a common concrete moisture meter.
- Level floor: Sub-floor levels should not exceed 3mm over a 1m distance in any direction. This can be tested using a laser level. Then uneven floors should be leveled using leveling boards, plywood or self-leveling products.
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2. Acclimate laminate flooring:
Making the laminate flooring adjust to the temperature, humidity and other conditions of the installation room should not be underestimated since it will affect how much a laminate floor will contract or expand after the installation.
All you need to do in this step is leaving your laminate floor packages in the installation room in 48 to 72 hours depending on each manufacturer. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
3. Install the underlayment:
It is always recommended to install underlayment before laying the laminate floors. It is a thin, dense foam layer making it easier to walk on the laminate.
- Just roll out the underlayment sheets and butt the edges together, making sure they are not overlapping.
- Protect the seam using tapes.
- Trim the underlayment to fit against the wall.
4. Lay laminate flooring:
- Start with the first row: Lay the first laminate row on the floor with the tongue side way from the wall. Insert the end tongue into the end groove then rotate downward to assemble. Remember to leave a 3/8-inch gap at each side/end of the laminate panel to allow it to contract or expand depending on the temperature and humidity conditions.
- Repeat with the remaining rows: Start the second row where you start off the first. From the second row, use a different technique from what you have done with the first one. For subsequent rows, hold each panel at 45-degree angle and lay the long tongue edge into the groove of the planks in the preceding row, then slowly lay down the panel onto the floor. Continue until the floor is completed.
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Learning how to install laminate floors is not as complicated as you thought, isn’t it? Even though the steps require some skills that might discourage you at first, just remember the first keys are site conditions. Humidity and floor leveling are the first to be checked. Once they are not met, skills can do no favor.