Installing new floors

laminate flooring installation

If you are thinking of installing laminate flooring in your home, you're considering one of the most reasonable flooring choices available today. You'll be happy to know that today's laminate installations are quick and easy for handy do-it-yourselfers to complete. Due to their interlocking design, the flooring sections — which are now smaller and easier to handle than ever before — can be fitted together easily and installed over most existing non-textile subfloors without requiring glue or fasteners of any kind. In addition to making the initial installation easier, this innovative design also ensures that any future flooring renovations will be faster, simpler and less expensive.

For those who are less handy, Global Alliance can recommend high-quality flooring installation specialists who are ready and waiting to handle the job for you. Since flooring installations are their specialty, these experts can complete the job even more quickly, efficiently and skillfully than the most handy do-it-yourselfers, saving you the trouble of handling the project yourself while ensuring professional results. The process of installing laminate flooring has come a long way since this flooring option was first introduced to the industry, making this type of flooring a more attractive decorative choice than ever before.

How do floors panels attach to each other without nails or screws?

Depending on the manufacturer, laminate floor panels connect to each other in a variety of different ways. Some of them simply click or snap together, allowing you to join them by hand, while others need the tap of a mallet and a tapping guard to ensure a snug connection. Other designs utilize both of these options to keep your laminate floor boards firmly together. To fully understand how your new laminate flooring connects, read through the instructions that come with it and practice with a few boards prior to installation.

Can I install laminate floors anywhere?

While laminate flooring is incredibly versatile, and can be installed in virtually any room of your house there are a few instances and locations that should be avoided. Laminate flooring is fine to install in basements, bedrooms, kitchens, and other common rooms in your house that typically have dry floors, aside from the odd spill. It’s not recommended for areas that typically require wet mopping or are exposed to water and moisture on a regular basis. Areas like bathrooms, washrooms, porches, saunas, wet basements, and other outdoor spaces aren’t good locations for laminate flooring. It is possible to install laminate flooring in bathrooms if you’re certain that standing water won’t be lingering on the flooring. Additional sealing like a small beard of glue in the joints of the planks can help reduce the chance of damage, but the best way is to immediately clean up any spilled water.

You’ve mentioned laminate flooring can be installed over anything. Even carpet?

While laminate flooring is very versatile it should not be installed overtop of existing carpet or padding. These materials can have existing moisture that can lead to issues during and after installation. All carpet and padding should be removed prior to installation.

Is there any special preparation prior to installing laminate floors?

Laminate flooring can be installed overtop of just about any surface, but it’s important to acclimatize it with the area it’s being installed in. Store your new laminate flooring in the room it’s being installed in for 48 hours prior to installation. This allows for any changes in board thickness, width, or length to take place before the boards are placed.

What do i need to know prior to installation?

If you’re somewhat handy, installing laminate flooring on your own is fairly simply, but there are a few things to consider before you begin.

     Make sure the floor underneath, or the subfloor, is flat and dry.

     Soundproofing is important, so always use proper laminate flooring underpad or underlayment between your laminate flooring and the existing floor. This can be applied over virtually any subfloor.

     When installing laminate flooring on or near radiant heating it’s important to read the manufacturer's recommendations or to consult a professional.

     Ensure that boards don’t have defects or chips in them prior to installation.

My first row of laminate isn’t perfectly straight. Can I continue?

At this point in the installation it’s a good idea to start over. Ensuring that the first row of laminate in perfectly straight it essential to a professional-looking installation. If the first row isn’t aligned and the boards aren’t sealed and joined properly then the whole installation will be compromised until the end. by the end of the installation a small error will now be a glaring problem and it will be too late to fix it. Ensuring all planks are aligned properly, sealed together, and void of gaps will lead to a great-looking final product.

How far through installation should I continue staggering the planks?

Typically, each bundle of laminate flooring will come with at least 3 lengths of boards. To create a nice-looking finish it’s recommended to install a full-length plank in the first row, followed by subsequently smaller planks in the next rows. This should allow you to maintain a distance of at least 8” between joints in rows.

Do I need to use transition moulding?

Transition moulding is an important part of the finishwork your new flooring will require once the flooring itself has been laid. These key components of your home renovating arsenal serve a twofold purpose. First, they cover the gaps where the edges of two floors meet, such as in a doorway or archway between two rooms, protecting the edges of the flooring while making the prospect of stepping from one flooring surface to another a smoother and often safer one. Second, they give your flooring a more attractive, finished look by bringing together all the elements and blending them into a cohesive decorative whole. Transition moulding comes in various types, each of which is designed to serve a specific functional and decorative purpose.

Why is it necessary to use padding underneath my laminate floor?

Using some type of laminate underlay is an important part of the process whenever you install laminate flooring. Skimping in this area will only cause problems that will be inconvenient and expensive to correct later.

Because laminate is a floating floor—meaning it is not secured to the subfloor using glue, nails, or any other attachment method—there will always be a slight space between the underside of the finished floor and the top of the subfloor. There may also be imperfections or uneven places in the subfloor that will tend to create even wider gaps in certain areas. Minimizing these gaps by placing the right kind and correct thickness of underlayment on the subfloor prior to installing laminate flooring can be one of your keys to avoiding the following issues:

• Uneven or unstable flooring
• An excessively hollow sound when walking on the floor
• A tendency for ambient sounds such as those coming from your TV or stereo or sounds made through direct contact with the floor to be transmitted through the flooring materials to the room below.

The padding you add between finished floor and subfloor is designed to mute these sounds, making your floor’s acoustic properties more closely resemble those of a natural hardwood floor. They will never match the properties of hardwood exactly, but they can come reasonably close.

In addition to sound dampening, laminate underlay will also help stabilize the floor and provide cushioning. Some types also offer moisture control, while others provide antibacterial or antifungal properties, which are helpful when laminate flooring is being installed over a concrete subfloor.