|Laminate Installation Checklist – Read This Before You Start|
One of the things that attracts many people to buy laminate flooring is the ease of installation. There is no question that laminate is far easier to install and take care of than pure hardwood floors. And they look just as great and give years of durability just as well as hardwood floors as well. Nonetheless, there are some things to keep in mind when installing your laminate hardwood floors . By putting together a checklist from the manufacture's instructions and from advice from experts in flooring installation, your chances of a highly successful installation are excellent.
· Before you start the installation once your laminate flooring is delivered, give the flooring a few days to acclimate to your home. Its a simple matter to just bring the laminate into the home and allow it to reside in the room where it will be installed for 2-3 days. In this way the flooring gets adjusted to the humidity and temperate of the room so there is no shifting or bucking of the flooring after the installation is done.
· Make sure there is a gap between the flooring and the walls or other items like stairs or air conditioning vents so that the flooring has room to shift and move without hindrance. If you make the installation too tight, the floors could buckle when the wood expands with temperature or humidity changes
· Never install laminate flooring in a room where there is a drain. Also if you are installing directly onto concrete that itself is directly over bare earth, place a vapor barrier on the concrete before you lay the laminate in place. Make sure the seams of the laminate are also taped with moisture resistant tape so no moisture can come up from underneath and cause your floors to warp.
· Never install laminate over carpet unless the manufacturer explicitly states in the installation materials that it will work. If your laminate can be installed over carpet, usually you will find specific instructions on what kind of carpet is allowed under your flooring. But it still is not a good idea to leave old carpet under your new floor because dirt or moisture in that old carpet could become a problem after the floor is in place. So be safe and take up all old flooring before you install your laminate flooring.
· Never use a hammer on the groove end of your laminate flooring. If you must tap the flooring into place, use a soft rubber mallet and cushion it with padding.
· If you are installing base board or some other material on top of the laminate flooring, do not drive nails through the laminate. Nails will restrict normal expansion and contraction of the laminate which will cause cracks in the laminate down the road.
· If you are installing the laminate onto a sub floor (which is recommended), make sure the sub floor does not squeak and is perfectly stable. Installing the laminate will NOT fix problems with the sub flooring.
· Start the installing of the flooring with the side that has the groves and always end at the walls.
· Don’t use a hammer to tighten joints. Use a tapping block so you don’t damage the surface of the flooring.
· Make sure the flooring is flat and smooth before laying the laminate flooring. If your base floor is flawed, fix it before putting down a new floor.
If you take these simple precautions before you lay your flooring in place, the end result will be a floor that is beautiful and stable and one that will last for years. This simple check list will help you avoid the major mistakes that so many DIY installers make that cause headaches down the road. By following them, you can be assured of years of enjoyment of your beautiful floors with very little maintenance issues to plague you.