Many types of floors, including concrete, serve as a base for a wood laminate floor. Dry and level concrete floors make ideal bases for the laminate floor project. Determining the level of the floor is a relatively simple project, using basic carpentry tools and techniques. Determining the moisture level of the concrete requires professional materials analysis. The actual installation process for the laminate differs little depending on the floor base material.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Straight board
- Plastic sheeting
- Foam underlayment
- Circular saw
Check the level of the concrete floor. Lay the longest possible straight board on the concrete floor. Note any gaps between the floor and the straight board larger than 1/8 inch, which would need levelling. Apply a self-levelling thin coat mortar over the concrete slab to create a level surface. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the application of the mortar.
Check the moisture of the concrete slab. Install wood laminate flooring over concrete with a moisture content of less than 2.5 per cent. Actual moisture content requires laboratory testing. Practically concrete floors continue to cure and dry for at least two months after pouring. Follow the flooring manufacturer's instructions regarding concrete moisture concerns.
Place a plastic sheet across the cement floor as a vapour barrier. This prevents moisture from transferring from the cement to the wood laminate flooring.
Place a foam underlayment over the plastic sheeting. Use tape at the seams to hold the foam underlayment together.
Place spacers between wall and the first row of laminated floor boards. Place the first row so the groove of the board is away from the wall. Fit the tongue of the second board into the groove of the first board. Push the boards together. Continue adding rows of boards as you work across the room. Leave an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room.
Cut any laminated pieces to length with a circular or hand saw.
Tips and warnings
- Wood laminate flooring forms a floating surface over the concrete. The laminate boards are not fastened to the concrete flooring but rather the boards attach together. The whole floor can contract or expand with the changes of moisture content. The expansion gaps around the perimeter of the room accommodate this movement. The gap is covered by the trim boards around the base of the wall. The trim boards are attached to the wall rather than the floor.
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