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F.A.Q About Installing Laminate Flooring
http://www.onlineweblibrary.comWhenever you set out on a remodeling program that includes putting beautiful new floors in, that is an exciting project.  But it is also an expensive project and one that can be a little scary.  Most people don't walk around with instant knowledge about how to install a new floor.  While laminate flooring has provided us with the ability to put in a lovely hardwood floor with less expense, less difficulty and less overhead in care and maintenance, there are still a few things to know about installing laminate flooring that are worth reviewing.

What should I do the first day my new laminate flooring arrives?

There is a little known fact about laminate floors that cause many problems if you are not aware.  You must allow the laminate flooring to acclimate to your home environment for at least a day, preferably two so the wood has a chance to shift in response to the humidity and temperate that will represent the installation setting.  That means that you should have the entire installation of laminate flooring brought indoors.

Don't store the laminate that you will lay for your new floor in the garage, the driveway or the back yard.  If you left it outdoors, even if it is in plastic protection, the potential for damage is large.  But to be absolutely certain the flooring is ready for installation day, it should reside in the same environment as the room where it will be installed.  It can be difficult to make enough room indoors for uninstalled flooring.  But its important to do this to be certain your installation will go well.

Do I install the new flooring right up to the walls of the room?

No, be sure you leave a small gap from all of the walls of the room.  That gap should be under a half inch so it is not noticeable.  Also allow for gaps between the flooring and any permanent installation in the floor such as plumbing or appliances that occupy floor space.  The gap allows "breathing room" so your flooring can expand and contract with humidity and temperature changes.  Without that gap, if the flooring expands, it could buckle and crack which would then call for an expensive repair of your new floors.

Can I install hardwood flooring over existing carpet?

The answer to this question varies by manufacturer.  But even if the hardwood flooring you bought allows for this kind of installation, the type of carpet must be flat, with a low pile, not a carpet that is lush and full.  If you were to install wood flooring over a springy carpet, not only will your flooring squeak, it will separate after the flooring is installed.  There really is no reason other than trying to save installation steps to install wood floors over carpet.  You are not going to see that carpet after all.  Also if the carpet is not perfectly clean, any left over food, hairs or moisture could compromise your new floors from the bottom up.  To be absolutely certain of a perfect installation of your expensive and beautiful new floors, remove the old flooring before you get started.

If my sub floor has squeaks when I walk on it, won't the weight of the hardwood planks fix that?

No.  If the sub floor is not perfect before you get started, fix it.   It could be the problem is with the foundation and how level it is.  You may need to take steps to make sure the slab is level, all old flooring is taken up, the foundation is clean and ready for a new instillation and the sub floor is properly made so it does not squeak or move at all.  Then and only then will you know that no problems will haunt the installation of your hardwood floor once you begin to lay down the planks.


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