Installing laminate flooring is considered to be an easy process. You don’t need special substances like when installing the tile flooring, although you might need to level the floor before installing laminate. It’s easier than installing hardwood since you don’t have to nail it down.
Overall, it’s a dry installation process and laminate planks are designed to interlock. Even though installing a laminate floor is an easy task, it’s still a good idea to learn more about the process. In this article, you will find instructions for beginners.
What Materials and Tools You Need?
The installation method is of click-in type, which means you have to put two planks in the right position, and push them until they click. But you still need some additional tools and materials.
Here are the tools that will come in handy:
- A level tool.
- A rubber mallet (that’s optional).
- Pull-up bar or a tapping block.
- Utility knife.
- Measurement tape.
- A straight edge tool.
- A rafter square.
- A saw (could be a jigsaw, handsaw, or circular saw).
- Table saw (optional, could be any usable surface).
- Chalk box or a washable marker.
Most people already have these tools in their homes, so there won’t be any problems finding them. And you also need some materials:
- Chosen laminate flooring.
- Special foam underlayment material for the laminate floor.
- Scrap wood spacers.
And that’s it, you won’t need any other additional material!
Installation Process: Instructions
Before installing the new laminate flooring of your choice, you have to remove the former floor. If the floor is not perfect, it’s important to level it before installing the laminate. To see whether it has no bumps and pits, use a leveling tool. If there are bumps or pits, you need to even out the surface.
You also need to remove the baseboards. Upon leveling the floor and removing the baseboards, clean the surface of the base floor. It has to be clean and dry, without dust or any dirt. It’s possible to install laminate over the old flooring, such as vinyl, but only on the condition that the floor is flat and smooth, without pits and bumps. Use a special foam underlayment as a base for your future laminate flooring.
And now let’s proceed with more detailed instructions.
Testing the Flooring Layer
To lay the floor perfectly, lay several planks to make sure they fit perfectly. Don’t lock the planks just yet. It is recommended to lay the floor without measuring and calculating if it’s a small room. If the room is bigger, it’s best to measure the space for each row of plans and to make marks with a marker or chalk on top of the foam underlayment.
Installing the Foam Underlayment
Underlayment consists of a thin layer of foam and it is advisable to use it before installing the laminate. Best Flooring Honolulu recommends laying the underlayment after leveling the floor (if it wasn’t perfect). This thin layer of foam is extremely helpful when it comes to absorbing various sounds and providing thermal barriers.
It’s very easy to lay the underlayment since it is produced in rolls of sheets. Roll the sheets and place them so that the edges are stuck together, but not overlapping. To make the task easier, you can purchase special underlayment sheets with edges covered with a special adhesive. When the underlayment is covering the base floor, just trim the edges near the walls by using a utility knife.
By using a saw, trim the tongues of each plank that will touch the wall. It’s easier to trim the tongues rather than the grooves. Choose the longest wall and start laying the first row of planks. Trimmed edges should be pressed against the wall. Make sure you leave enough space between the plank and the wall, each manufacturer states the distance. Use spacers of scrap wood to maintain this distance.
Place the first plank, make sure the groove is faced out. Work from right to left. Then place a second plank and lock it with the neighboring one. Then place other planks locking them with neighboring planks. You may use the rubber mallet to tap the planks so the joints are carefully closed.
The last plank of the first row most likely will be too long. Measure the length necessary to finish the first row and carefully trim it with your saw. The cut-off piece is used as a first plank in the second row.
Finish the Other Rows
Each last plank in all the following rows will have to be cut. The cut-off piece will begin each next row, so it will become the first plank. Moving from right to left side, place the planks until you hear the clicking sound.
It is recommended to place each plank in the second and the following rows at a 45-degree angle while inserting the tongue into the groove. Then simply lower the plank so it will fit perfectly. Tap slightly the plank into the neighboring plank with a hammer and tapping block.
The Last Row
You have to trim the last row of planks so it fits in. Measure the length necessary to finish the last row, keep in mind the distance needed to be maintained between the flooring and the wall. Trim the planks, and install them by using the same technique.
It’s extremely easy to install laminate flooring, especially if you are using quality materials. In the Best Flooring Honolulu online store you can find the best laminate, that is sold at a reasonable price.