Laminate can be a great flooring option. It is durable and scratch resistant, and it requires little maintenance to keep it in good condition. Once you decide on a type of laminate flooring, you can usually hire professional installers from the same store, or you can do it yourself.
If you decide to install the laminate flooring yourself, check with the flooring manufacturer for their installation recommendations. Usually, these instructions come with the flooring material, but if they don't, you can also check the website or contact the company directly. Remember that if you do not follow the manufacturer's instructions completely, it may void the warranty.
Never start by laying the new flooring down as soon as you bring it home from the store. The flooring needs time to adjust and acclimate with the new environment, usually for two to three days before installation. Installing too soon can lead to gaps when the material expands or retracts or may cause the floor to be uneven after a few days of settling.
Start by ensuring that you have all the needed tools: a rubber mallet, a laminate flooring pull bar, a tape measure, a coping saw and a utility knife. In addition, you will also need the laminate flooring, nails, a hammer and an underlayment pad. Next, you will need to remove the old flooring, including any tack strips, glue and remnants of the old flooring, such as patches of carpeting. If there are any dips or uneven spots in the floor, this is the time to level them out. The next step is to remove the baseboards and use the coping saw to trim the bottoms of openings around the room to make room for the new flooring.
Now, you need to lay out the underlayment pad, using tape if the pieces do not snap together. Use your tape measure to mark a quarter-inch space between the new flooring and each wall. Next, you can lay the actual laminate flooring, making sure to keep the quarter-inch space between the walls and flooring. After this, you can put your baseboards back in place, as long as they are in good condition. In some cases, pieces may have become broken or damaged during the removal process, but they can usually be reused.
Laminate flooring can be a great choice for homeowners who prefer the look of wood without the hassle of installing and maintaining hardwood flooring. It is also very easy to install, as the pieces usually just snap together. Better yet, most installation jobs can be completed by a nonprofessional in less than a weekend.
By Jennifer Eblin