Installing laminate flooring is a reasonably quick and easy way to add a stunning, durable floor to your home. Today's laminate flooring has become so advanced that most people find it difficult to tell the difference between a laminate and hardwood once installed. This guide highlights the essential information required for your laminate installation.
The most common method of laminate installation is Glue-less Floating Installation where the boards are clicked and locked together above the sub floor. Please ensure you have ordered enough flooring for cover for wastage.
Allow your flooring to acclimatise in the installation area for a minimum of 48 hours. The product must be stored in a flat postiion with no excess weight on top and inside the product packaging in which it was delivered. It is important to follow the advice of a professional fitter but The longer it is left to acclimatise the less likely you are to encounter issues later with heat expansion or contraction.
PREPARE THE SUBFLOOR
- Laminate can be installed above wood and concrete subfloors.
- All subfloors must be structurally sound and level. Remove all existing underlay, carpet or uneven flooring.
- Laminate should be installed parallel to incoming light sources. Your flooring should be installed parallel to the longest wall.
- Ensure all moisture tests are carried out according to manufacturers recommendations.
- Your laminate must be left to acclimatise to the installation environment (usually for 48 hours).
- Ensure subfloor is level and clean. Use a self leveling compound to level all uneven areas.
- Remove all doors and moldings and vacuum floor before installation.
- Use a suitable underlayment – This can be found in our accessories page.
GLUELESS FLOATING INSTALLATION
Most of the laminate floors available on the market today use a glueless (click and fit) installation method.
INSTALL THE FIRST ROW
Extra time should be taken when installing the first row of your laminate as it is vital that the first row is straight even if the walls are not.
- Start at the longest wall and measure out your expansion gap (usually 1/4”) in several places and draw a chalk line.
- Arrange the laminate with the groove towards the wall but do not lock together yet. Spacers should be placed between the laminate and the wall.
- When happy with the fit, click and lock the first row of laminate together ensuring that there is no space between the locked boards.
- Once you have reached the wall, measure, cut and lock the last plank into place and add a spacer.
INSTALL THE MAIN PART OF THE FLOOR
- Start the second row with a partial board (approx 8”-10” in length).
- Proceed to click and lock the laminate boards together as you did with the first row and work your way across until you reach the last row.
INSTALL THE LAST ROW
- Measure out your expansion gap (usually ¼”) and draw a chalk line.
- Arrange the last row of laminate with the tongue or cut toward the wall.
- When satisfied with the fit, click and lock each plank together with the rest of the floor.
Once you lock the last board in place, you can remove all spacers and begin using your new laminate floor.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE AREAS
Laminate flooring can be installed in a variety of areas as well as on stairs or around fireplaces.
INSTALL ON STAIRS
Normally, laminate should only be installed on enclosed stairwells so that the walls hide the unfinished edges of the laminate. When installing laminate on stairs, the laminate should always be glued down and never floated as this poses a safety hazard. A stair nosing should then be glued to the edge of each stair to cover any unfinished edge and for a clean finish.
INSTALL AROUND FIREPLACES
There are two different methods which can be adopted when installing laminate around brickwork:
- Install the laminate underneath the brickwork, this will cover all the expansion spacing.
- Install the laminate flush with the brickwork and use an end profile to hide any expansion spacing.
PROFILES AND NOSINGS
- Twin Profile – For transitions between a floor and interior/exterior doorways and transitions between similar height flooring.
- Ramp Profile – For transitions between two floors of different height, e.g. laminate to vinyl.
- Nosing Profile – Used on steps and staircases to provide the proper overhang.
- End Profile – Used for similar height floors and also used around brickwork (such as fireplaces).
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Leave at least a ¼” expansion perimeter. A greater gap may be necessary in humid climates.
- Allow laminate to acclimatise in installation environment. Never store outside, in garages or in direct sunlight
- Underlay is highly recommended when installing laminate to protect the laminate from moisture, for padding and to provide a sound barrier.
- Joints should be staggered 2-3 times the width of the board for an even looking floor.
- Inspect all boards thoroughly before you install them and cut away any damages.
- Cut into the prefinished side of the laminate to avoid chipping the finish.
- Use a tapping block to move the laminate boards into position. The laminate will become damaged if hit directly.
- All cutting should be done in another area to keep the installation area free from sawdust and woodchips.
- Keep tools on a piece of cardboard on top of your laminate so not to scratch the surface.
- Work should be carried out from your subfloor not your newly installed laminate.
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