Laminate Flooring Installation Tricks

Written by angela roe
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Laminate Flooring Installation Tricks
Lay laminate flooring in the same direction that light enters the room. (Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Laminate wood flooring is a floating floor that is not secured to the subfloor or the walls. Instead, engineered wood planks are snapped together to create a floor that closely resembles a wood floor. Learning some tricks regarding laminate wood flooring will make the installation process less stressful and the final product look better.

Acclimate the Flooring

Bring the laminate wood flooring into the room. Let the unopened boxes sit in the room for a minimum of 48 hours. This allows the laminate to acclimate to the temperature and humidity level of the room. This acclimation prevents the flooring from expanding and cracking or shrinking and creating gaps after installation.

Start with a Level Surface

Reduce the stress placed on the laminate flooring by beginning with a level floor. Use a level to find low spots and fill with self-levelling compound, if necessary. Allow the compound to dry thoroughly or the laminate flooring will absorb the moisture and warp.

Let the Sub-floor Guide You

Use the proper underlayment for the subfloor. Select a simple moisture-proof underlayment over concrete to prevent moisture from getting into the laminate floor. Tape the underlayment together with packing tape when used over concrete. Select standard foam underlayment over wood or tile flooring. Combo underlayment is a foam underlayment that has a moisture barrier built into it. Recreate the sound and feel with a cork underlayment. Cork underlayment does not have a moisture barrier.

Do the Math

Determine the width of the first and last board by measuring the width of the room. Divide that number by one plank. The result will be a whole number, which is the number of full planks needed and a fraction. Divide the fraction by two to determine the width of the first and last plank.

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