Laminate flooring is an inexpensive alternative to hardwood or tile flooring. Durable and easy to clean, this flooring can be installed in most areas of your home. With a variety of designs to choose from, you can mimic the look of hardwood or choose a colour that accents your home's existing decor.
Laminate flooring can be installed over existing laminate tile, ceramic tile, hardwood floors, concrete floors and some thin carpets.
Since this type of flooring is put into place using interlocking sections and sealed at the ends with glue to create a moisture resistant seal along joints, you can walk on a laminate floor the next day as opposed to waiting three or four days after installing a traditional hardwood or tile floor.
Another advantage to laminate flooring is the variety of colours and textures available. There are laminate flooring products that look very similar to hardwood flooring.
Clean the floor thoroughly before laying laminate flooring. If laying flooring over existing flooring, make sure the floor is mostly level, and replace missing or broken tiles and seal cracks in concrete to ensure a flat surface.
Check the sub flooring to ensure that there are no rotten beams or joints underneath the existing flooring. Over time, this can cause "soft spots" that can be felt when walking across the floor.
Contact a flooring specialist to inspect the areas of your home where laminate flooring will be installed. Make repairs as necessary to ensure your new flooring lasts a long time.
Put an underlayment over the current flooring before installing laminate flooring. Underlayment is a moisture barrier usually made of fiberboard. You can purchase underlayment when purchasing laminate flooring.
Before installation, allow two days for the boards to acclimatise to the current temperature of the room. Boards may expand or shrink slightly due to varying temperature exposure (warehouse, delivery truck, your home). If installed immediately upon delivery, your floor may expand or shrink, causing it to warp.
Doors may need to shaved in order to accommodate the new flooring height. This is especially common if installing new flooring over old flooring.
Bathroom and Basement Installation
It is not recommended that you install laminate flooring in bathrooms, basements or other areas in your home prone to increased moisture.
Even though the underlayment protects flooring from moisture, these areas usually contain too much moisture which can cause flooring to warp.
Use a special adhesive if installing laminate flooring in places with excessive moisture levels. Contact a flooring expert to learn more about laying laminate flooring in bathrooms and basements.