Have you bought laminate flooring planks for the floor of your home? Are you thinking of installing now? Our advice is – let an installation professional do it. When you learn about the installation process, you will have an idea about the stress it may cause. Knowing the drill will cause less stress while the installation process is taking place.
Installing laminate flooring correctly is a skill that is developed with years of experience. So, calling a reliable installation professional will be an assurance for both beauty and correct installation.
Even though laminate flooring installation is a skill that professionals learn by working on many projects, you can obtain the basic knowledge by reading about it. Having a basic idea of the flooring installation will help you understand what the installer has to do to install your floor. Also, you can have a proper discussion with the installer about the installation of the flooring this will let the professional feel you are a knowledgeable person, so they will not try to cut corners while installing your floor.
As we have suggested, you should learn about the installation process. Here we will cover some important points to help you understand the laminate flooring installation process.
The most important fact to know about laminate flooring is, manufacturers can be different, the quality of the laminate products can be different, but the installation process almost always remains the same. When you check the manual of different laminate flooring plank manufacturers, this will become obvious to you.
Laminate flooring planks are simply laid on the top of the floor without being adhered to the sub-floor, and they join one another on their edges. The side seams are joined either by gluing or interlocking. Both processes are defined as a floating installation.
An important point to learn here is, laminate planks are not laid until they get acclimatized with the environment to the surroundings. Also, before laying the laminate planks, an underlayment is laid on the floor. An underlayment helps the floor to contract or expand during changes in the temperature. Next, it works as a barrier to moisture and sound as well. Sometimes, the installers use two kinds of underlayment. The first underlay is installed to protect the floor from moisture and the second underlayment is installed as a sound barrier. The seams of the underlayment should be taped downproperly. Next, the underlayment will be properly cleaned to make it dust and debris free.
Now, comes the turning of the laminate planks. The planks are laid and joined with one another via interlocking or glue. You will notice that the installer will leave 1/4″ gap between the flooring plank and the perimeter walls. The gap might confuse you a bit and you may think the installer made a mistake and you may want to point that out to them, but the gaps are there for a reason that laminate floor expands and contracts based on the changes in the temperatures. Once the floor is installed, the installation professional will hide the perimeter gap with a wall base.
As you now know, the laminate flooring edges are joined in two ways – one by gluing and the other by interlocking. However, most of the advanced laminates are required to be interlocked instead of glued.
The reason why advanced laminate planks don’t provide you with gluing option is because interlocking is more convenient than gluing. This comes in handy if anything goes wrong during the installation process. The planks can easily be dismantled and re-installed. If a particular plank gets damaged in during the course of the installation, the damaged plank can easily be removed.
However, there are still some laminate planks that are still joined with glue. After joining the planks, the installer uses clamps to make sure the glue holds the planks properly. Also, the installer puts in spacers that they remove after the glue gets dried.
Just before the floor is completely installed, the installer will add moldings to cover the gap between the perimeter wall and the laminate planks as well as install additional trim pieces as required in doorways. Bespoke moldings and trims enhance the appeal of your laminate floor. They accentuate the floor design.
Now that you have an idea about the laminate flooring process, you should learn some installation terms that will help you when you speak to the installer.
Some important terms are here.
Reducer Strip defines a smooth transition between two floors of different heights as well as damage caused to the laminate because of the traffic.
T-Molding is a term that defines a bridge between two areas of flooring having the same height.
Universal edge or square nosing is used when the laminate flooring edge is exposed.
Quarter Round is a term used for giving the floor a finished look and protecting the edges of your laminate flooring.
Having this information will help you a lot in ensuring the proper installation of your laminate flooring. So, remember all the information you have read here. One more thing, to save more time and money, remove the furniture from the area before the flooring installer comes.