Laminate floors were first introduced in the mid-1990’s. Over twenty years later, you can find laminate flooring in millions of homes and business across the US. Its popularity is no mystery; after all, laminate is affordable, durable, and resistant to stains and fading. Plus, it is a DIY favorite, as the tongue-and-groove system makes the planks easy to piece together, and they can be installed as a “floating floor,” meaning no adhesive is needed to adhere the planks to the subfloor.
Installing Laminate Floors – a quick checklist
If you are considering installing your own laminate flooring, take a look at the following tips to help ensure that your install goes smoothly!
Order extra material
While you may want to cut this step in an effort to stay true to your budget, you should make sure to order more laminate flooring than needed to cover the space. This way, if you make a mistake, you have the material to fix it. It also accounts for any extra that you’ll need to trim from the planks to fit the space. Experts recommend you order as much as 10% additional flooring on top of your estimated need.
Let it breathe
You may be chomping at the bit to get started, but, long before you start working, you should unpack your laminate flooring planks and let them breathe. Let the planks acclimate for up to 72 hours. Laminate flooring can expand and contract as temperature changes. You do not want to begin working until your planks have acclimated to the temperature of your room.
Gather your tools
It may be common sense, but you should check that you have all your needed tools before you jump into any installation. This means you should find and set aside tools you have already (don’t assume you know where your measuring tape is just because you’re sure it’s in your garage!), as well as purchase any needed supplies. Some of the tools you’ll need to install your laminate floor include safety equipment, a measuring tape, a saw, spacers, and a tapping block.
Check for moldings
If your baseboards have “quarter-round” moldings running along the bottom, make sure you remove these before you begin your project. While you don’t need to remove the baseboards themselves, removing the quarter-round will allow you to line your planks up with your wall, and when you replace the quarter-round, it will cover any small gaps between the laminate flooring planks and the baseboard.
Use a tapping block
The tongue-and-groove installation system means that your laminate floor planks will snap into each other with a very tight fit. You will sometimes need to use a hammer to get the planks to perfectly connect and lay flat against your subfloor. To protect the planks from any damage, use a tapping block. You can use the tapping block to gently tap the planks together, or, if more force is needed, use a hammer directly on the tapping block, rather than the floor itself, to protect your laminate flooring.
Don’t cut in the room
Mark your laminate flooring planks and take them outside of the room you’re working in before cutting them. When you cut laminate, fine particles of wood dust will end up everywhere! Not only will this be unpleasant in a closed space, but the particles can also end up in the grooves of your planks, preventing them from fitting together properly.
If you use these tips, you can avoid some of the common mistakes made on DIY installs. With a little preparation, you’ll be ready to join the ranks of DIY experts and install your own laminate floor!
Buy High-Quality Laminate Flooring
If you’re ready to install your own laminate floor, come and talk with our experts at JC Floors Plus! We can help you choose the perfect laminate flooring for your space. Come and visit us at either of our two Florida showroom locations, or give us a call: