These days no DIY or home remodeling enthusiast can afford to be without a handful of laminate flooring installation tips! Thankfully the ‘how to’ of installing laminate flooring on concrete or stairs has become much less complicated now that click-together brands are freely available. You can avoid a fiasco by keeping a number of basic laminate flooring installation tips in mind when tackling the project.
All the best laminate flooring brands such as Toklo, Lamton, Pergo, Wilsonart, and Armstrong offer superb advice and support. Be sure to tap into their home improvement expertise to ensure the successful installation of your floor.
Laminate Flooring Installation Tip 1 – Check The AC Rating Of The Floor Planks
The AC stands for Abrasion Class and gives an indication of the robustness of the flooring product when it comes to withstanding certain traffic levels, bumps, scratches or burn marks due to cigarette ashes. It also tells the homeowner that the planks have been thoroughly tested for the effects of furniture feet, and aspects such as resistance to moisture damage. Don’t even consider buying cheap, discount laminate flooring without this rating.Always ask about the AC rating of the brand line before you make your purchase. This little known symbol and digit represents one of the most important aspects of an installation.
AC rated ranges suitable for residential use comes with a house symbol, while commercial quality will display a building. The digit is an indication of the level of traffic and wearability:
- AC1 means the floor can be installed in the bedrooms of a residential home.
- AC2 gives the thumbs up for residential living rooms or dining rooms.
- AC3 will withstand fairly heavy traffic in residential homes or a light commercial setting.
- AC4 is tough enough for general traffic in offices and boutiques.
- AC5 is the brawny home remodeling option, aimed at heavily trafficked areas, such as public buildings or department stores.
The last two can also be used in residential areas, but has a rough texture not suitable for barefoot walking. Test the surfaces and pepper the sales person with questions to ensure that you get the perfect match for your needs, including the best quality underlayment.
Laminate Flooring Installation Tip 2 – Don’t Forget The Flow Of Light
If you really want to make a success of this gratifying do it yourself project, it is imperative to check that the walls are really as straight as you think they are. Using a wall as a guide, only to find out that it isn’t quite straight, can spell disaster. Many manufacturers recommend that you do three or four complete rows and let these stand for an hour or two. This will give you a secure base to continue working from.Make sure that you install the planks parallel to the direction of the light flowing from your natural light source. This will maximize the aesthetic appearance of your new floors and will display all joints in the best light, so to speak.
Use the wall of a long hallway as a guide for another parallel installation. Make sure that adjoining rooms are done in such a way that the line can continue smoothly and straight into the hallway.
Laminate Flooring Installation Tip 3 – To Glue Or Not To Glue
The floor itself will probably be what is called a floating floor. So, it won’t be glued to the sub floor. However, there often develops a heated debate when it comes to adding glue to the grooves of the click-together planks to ensure a higher level of stability. Many experts do recommend that you go through this extra trouble, as it will give you a sealed joint for extra durability and moisture resistance.
This will complicate the installation process somewhat, but it can be one of the best investments of your time. It is a good idea to speak to your supplier about this first, though. Get his input – he should have experience with the brand and its performance after installation. Don’t grab the glue gun, unless you have discussed it with him or her.
During bathroom or kitchen remodeling, sealed joints should give you added peace of mind. Humidity or moisture seeping into the joints always is a worry, as it will cause the core of the plank to swell. You don’t want to see unsightly buckling spoiling your hard work! Don’t use too much glue in the joints and always wipe away excess glue immediately with a damp cloth. Wipe in the direction of the joint.
How to install laminate flooring on stairs? Here you will probably need to fix the planks to the sub floor with glue. Check with your supplier to make sure that you know how to approach this task.
Laminate Flooring Installation Tip 4 – Practice On Left-Over Planks
Novices often complain about chipping as one of the most challenging aspects of the flooring project. There may be quite a bit of sawing while fitting the planks to your floor. You need to find a way to minimize chipping. Experiment with a left-over piece or two until you find out what works for you and your particular saw.
A hand held power saw may require you to turn the plank over, with the good side down. If using a hand saw, the opposite may be true. Some do it yourself enthusiasts find the use of a form of builders tape highly effective during the process. Chips are unsightly and will spoil the effect of your flooring efforts. Careful work will eliminate this headache right from the get go.
Laminate Flooring Installation Tip 5 – Core Density Is Crucial
While the thickness of the planks is often an indication of their suitability for a particular level of traffic and wear, this isn’t the only aspect you need to look at. You need to ask questions about the density of the core. This is the main factor that determines the floor’s resistance to damage from rips and indentations.
As far as scratches, stains and scuff marks are concerned, you need to ascertain the toughness of the wear layer. For example, urethane is known to be highly stain resistant. These two aspects combined will determine whether your flooring will last or not.
One benefit of a laminate product is that a section of the floor can be replaced if there is a serious mishap. The only way to have this option with carpeting, is if you install something like Legato Carpet Tiles.
BONUS Laminate Flooring Installation Tip – My FREE Ebooks To Help You
- 9 Crucial Laminate Flooring Installation Questions Answered – Tips For A DIY Floor (Right-click and Save)
- The Ugly Buckling: Mr Know-It-All And The Twenty Laminate Flooring Installation Secrets He Almost Knew
- The Ultimate Laminate Flooring Buyer’s Guide!
Do a bit of research to make sure you buy the best brand for your bucks. You want to add value to your home, not create an eye-sore. While your options now include from bamboo to cork or engineered wood, laminate remains one of the most popular do it yourself projects today.
This is with good reason. Not only is the cost low compared to hardwood, but if you keep supplier instructions and these laminate flooring installation tips in mind, you can be well on your way to a gleaming, elegant floor that is easy to maintain and a pleasure to use.