Discover the main types of laminate flooring, how to lay, materials and installation in a practical way!
Laminate flooring has for some time become the darling of room renovations and renovations, as it is very resistant, easy to install and costs much less than a hardwood floor.
This material is also quite versatile, as some of them are suitable not only for homes, but also for high-traffic environments such as gyms, stores and malls. Have you already decided on laminate flooring but don’t know how to install it? Then follow our article today with tips and guidelines on how to lay laminate flooring :
What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is a floating floor made up of sheets of wood in varied widths and lengths with different finishes and colors. It is floating because it is not nailed or glued to the subfloor, it is installed on a blanket.
The main features of laminate flooring and its main benefits: it is a natural wood product coated with a highly resistant resin film, low porosity that prevents liquid absorption, easy maintenance when cleaning and high durability .
Each floor sheet consists of 4 layers: the balance, the substrate, the decorative laminate and the overlay. The balance is the lowest part of the floor, responsible for the stability of the blades and the product’s resistance to moisture.
The substrate is the main part usually made of high-density plywood, which is quite impact resistant and is where the fittings are. The decorative sheet is made of cellulose and is what gives the floor’s color and texture. It can be printed on a wood film depending on the line chosen.
And, finally, the overlay, which is nothing more than a film applied over the decorative laminate, which provides protection against scratches and scratches.
Types of Laminate Flooring
1. Wood laminate flooring
This type of laminate flooring is what is commonly used in apartments and houses. The blades vary from 7 to 9mm in thickness, average width of 21cm and length in the range of 1.36m. These dimensions are not standardized, each manufacturer may have floors in different formats.
2. High traffic laminate flooring
This type of floor is suitable for environments with high circulation of people such as stores, gyms and malls. Its main characteristic is an even greater resistance to wear than laminate. The amount of colors and textures is as great as the wood veneer and the installation is the same.
Main advantages of laminate flooring
Easy maintenance : laminate flooring is very easy to clean, just a damp cloth and you remove most stains and dirt;
Easy installation : the blades are designed with male-female fittings for easy installation;
Reduced cost : compared to plank floors (hard wood), laminate is much cheaper;
Environmentally friendly : laminate floors are made of reforested wood, so there is no risk to the environment;
Extended Warranty : Most manufacturers offer at least a 10-year warranty;
High resistance : laminated floors are unlikely to present problems such as termite infestation, as they are already produced with components that ward off this type of pest;
How to Lay Laminate Flooring: Installation
Find out now about the necessary materials, what to do before starting and the step-by-step instructions on how to install laminate flooring:
1. Materials needed
Laminate flooring in the amount needed to cover the floor surface. This type of material is sold per square meter, make the calculation before purchasing the material;
Smooth blanket for cemented subfloors or floors in apartments that are not on the ground floor. Ventilated blanket for wooden, stone, ceramic or vinyl ground floors. Acoustic blanket for non-ground floors and apartments that need noise reduction;
T-profile to be installed in all doorways and every 8m², floor-wall profile that can be used as an alternative to the baseboard, angle brackets to be installed next to built-in cabinets or masonry furniture; Baseboards, Glue for baseboards, Measuring tape, Square, Scotch tape, stylet, Circular saw, Rubber hammer, Headless nails, Pencil.
2. Before starting
Before starting the floor installation 24 hours in advance, keep the floor at room temperature, in a horizontal position and on a flat surface.
Make sure the subfloor is clean and level.
3. Step-by-step instructions for laying laminate flooring
· Install the proper mat for the type of subfloor. It must always be placed in the opposite direction to the blade placement. Leave about 1cm to spare behind the baseboards or in the corners of the walls. Use masking tape to hold the pieces of blanket together
· Place spacers along the wall to leave enough room for floor expansion
· Start installing the blades parallel to the widest wall in the room. The first blade must have the male fitting side facing the wall
· Go fitting blade by blade and always keep an eye out if the wood design is in sequence
· When you finish the row, you may need to adjust the length of the end rule. Cut it with the decorative side down and the cut part faces the wall
· When starting the second row, use a blade cut in half. Place it at an angle of 30 degrees and drop down to fit it and follow that way until the end of the installation
· Secure the blades by tapping gently on the edges and closing the slots. Use a stop block and do not hammer directly on the blades
· When installing the last row of blades, you may have to adjust the width size of the entire row. If necessary, measure and cut each blade with the saw
· Finally, remove the spacers, fix the baseboards to the wall with glue and headless nails. Fit the appropriate profiles to each corner of the wall.
How to Lay Laminate Flooring: Important Tips
· You can improvise your own spacers and save on this material. Simply create spacers that are 5 to 10mm thick, cut in an L-shape and have a length of at least 30cm;
· Don’t forget to remove the spacers when you are finished installing all the blades;
· It’s good to have someone with you who is responsible for observing how the assembly is going, if there are any differences or defects;
· It is important to start the second, third and other rows always halfway down the previous row’s blade in order to use more blades and to make the floor stronger. This technique also makes it difficult for people to see the floor joints when the floor is finished;
· Always wear protective goggles and gloves so you don’t cut yourself when handling saws and stilettos or when hammering;
· Do not install laminate flooring in wet areas such as bathrooms, saunas, laundry rooms or kitchens, it is not resistant to excess moisture;
· Place felt pads under heavy furniture, table legs, and chairs to prevent them from scratching or damaging the floor
· To clean your floor, just use a soft broom or vacuum cleaner. For a deeper cleaning, use a cloth dampened with a little water and a non-abrasive cleaner.
So, what did you think? Think you can install your laminate flooring yourself or with the help of friends?