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Installing Laminate Flooring: A Step By Step Guide


Laminate flooring is an alternative to authentic wood flooring. Installing wood flooring in homes and offices can be an expensive project, depending on the type of wood you use, the size of your floor, and the treatment to be done on the wooden planks. Laminate flooring is made of synthetic materials that are mixed with natural fibers to resemble the natural grain, feel, and look of wood flooring.

Laminate flooring is not a new innovation in home and office flooring. Despite its recent emergence in the United States roughly a decade ago, laminate flooring has been used in Europe for over 20 years. The first company to make laminate flooring was a company called Pergo. This company made laminate flooring commercially available to architects, homeowners, and professional builders who were looking for a cheaper alternative to wood flooring.

Laminate flooring vs. wood flooring

Laminate flooring is cheaper than wood flooring. This is because the materials used to make laminate is easier to obtain than wood, which you need to harvest from forests. Manufacturing-wise, laminate flooring may take longer to produce, but they are more durable than wood flooring. This is because laminate flooring consists of three layers, much like a well-built sandwich. The laminate flooring layers are the surface wear, the core, and the backing. These three layers are forged together using extremely high heat and pressure. The result is a material that is highly-resistant to stains, moisture, cracks, and scratches. Laminate flooring is also more stable than wood flooring. Wood flooring is naturally porous and is greatly affected by weather and climate changes. Laminate flooring is sealed and resists shrinkage and swelling during cold and warm weather conditions.

Installing laminate flooring

Laminate InstallationThere are two ways to install laminate flooring. One way is to have a professional do it, while the other way is for you to install the flooring yourself. If you are an inexperienced builder, laminate flooring is best installed by professionals. Architect firms and builders normally have an expert team who has many years of experience in installing laminate flooring.

Once you have decided on a builder, these professionals will take a look at your house or office and take the necessary measurements for your laminate flooring. During this visit, builders will also take note of special equipment and machines that they need to bring during the installation.  An expert team of builders can install laminate flooring in a day. However, for do-it-yourself homeowners, installing laminate flooring can take as much as two or three days, depending on how efficient you work and the number of people helping you.

Tips when installing laminate flooring

Because laminate flooring is a floating surface, foam layer needs to be installed beneath it. Laminate flooring is installed individually, with each piece containing a tongue-and-groove edge.  Laminate is usually placed over sub floors made of plywood, concrete, or orient sand board (OSB), or on other surfaces like vinyl, parquet, or ceramic tile.

Make sure that your sub floors are level surfaces. There should be no holes, gaps, cracks, or uneven bulges that can push the laminate flooring upward. Before installation, clean your sub floors well. Sweep them thoroughly and scrub them with a mild soap and water solution to remove dirt and grime that can prevent the glue from sticking completely. Sub floors should be completely clean and dry before installing laminate flooring.

If you are installing laminate flooring bought from a professional manufacturer, be sure to follow the instructions included in the flooring kit. These kits may also come with other materials and tools that you need for a proper installation.  If you are not confident about installing laminate flooring on your own, ask assistance from a professional or from an experienced installer.


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