Proper Laminate Flooring Installation and Maintenance
Laminate flooring is one of the most DIY-friendly floor options out there. But like any other type of flooring, it requires careful preparation and proper installation. Whether installing laminate in a basement or your living room, be sure the subfloor is flat and level. Otherwise, the flooring will likely fail or need refinishing in a few years.
If you’re planning to install laminate flooring in your home, it’s important to prep the room before installation. Professionals will help ensure the floors fit well and not be damaged. It will also prepare the subfloor and other surfaces for installation.
The first step in preparation is to acclimate the flooring to the room’s temperature and humidity level. This can be done by laying the flooring out flat in the room and leaving it to sit for at least 48 hours before installation begins.
You will also need to measure the area of the room and determine how many rows you’ll need of planks. This will ensure you have enough flooring to cover the entire floor, as well as leave room for expansion if necessary.
Once you’ve figured out how many rows of planks you need, it’s time to cut them to size. It’s helpful to use a saw with a miter or jigsaw blade, as they are best for cutting straight lines and corners.
After you’ve cut the planks to the proper length, it’s time to start installing them. This is a fairly simple process, but you will need to pay close attention to the planks’ edges and their tongues.
To make the process easier, you may want to consider purchasing an underlayment, which is a layer of material that helps to create a smooth surface for the flooring. These are available at most home improvement stores and are very inexpensive.
Then, it’s just a matter of laying out the planks and clicking them together to complete your floor. Depending on the size of the room, it will take anywhere from two to four hours to install the flooring.
Once the flooring is installed, it will need to be painted, so that it can withstand the wear and tear of traffic. This can be accomplished by using a high-quality floor paint designed for laminate floors. The paint should be applied in layers, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. This will prevent any sanding dust from getting trapped underneath the paint, which can make it difficult to get a smooth finish.
Laminate flooring is one of the most popular types of floor coverings in the United States. It can be a cost-effective choice when installed correctly, and it can be a durable option that will add value to your home.
Installing laminate floors requires some preparation, as well as a bit of skill and time. It’s a good idea to hire a professional to handle this job for you, though, as it can be tricky.
The first step in the installation process is to make sure that the flooring is acclimatized to the temperature and humidity of the room. This allows the flooring to get used to the space and prevents it from buckling or coming apart after the install.
To do this, lay the unopened boxes of planks horizontally on the floor for 48 hours before you begin. This allows the material to acclimate to the room’s temperature and humidity, which will help the laminate stay stable.
Next, cut a few pieces of laminate to size. Start with the shorter ends of the first row and then move on to the longer ones, making sure that each piece is at least 18 inches long.
When you’re ready to start the second row, insert the tongue of the new plank at an angle into the groove of the first one and press down. This creates a smooth, straight seam that makes the flooring look more authentic and sturdy.
Repeat this procedure until you’ve finished the entire row. If the floor is slightly uneven, use a foam underlayment to level it. This will give the planks a solid base and help keep the flooring in place, but it may need to be sanded down later to even out high and low spots.
It’s also important to stagger the seams of the floor by at least 12 inches, which can add stability and give it a more natural appearance. This will also keep the seams from buckling and separating in the future, as it’s easy to do if there’s not enough room to move.
Lastly, trim door casings and side jambs so that the flooring fits neatly around them. This is easier than trying to notch the flooring in the doorway, and it will ensure that the laminate stays straight and in place for many years to come.
Laminate flooring is a popular option because it looks just like wood but costs less, installs quickly and is easy to care for. However, like any type of floor, it requires regular maintenance to keep looking its best and preventing damage from stains or spills.
In addition to its beautiful appearance, laminate flooring is also very durable. It will last between 15 and 25 years on average, depending on its quality and how well it is maintained.
When selecting laminate floors, make sure they are made from high-quality materials and are designed to withstand heavy traffic. This will help ensure your investment stays in good condition for years to come and that you don’t have to replace it sooner than expected.
Most manufacturers provide instructions on how to care for your new flooring, so read them carefully and follow them consistently. It’s especially important to clean up spills promptly and avoid standing puddles of water. If you do have to wipe up a spill, use a cloth that has been soaked with a special cleaning agent (such as Tarkett Bioclean1).
Scratches are a common issue for laminate floors, so be sure to sweep them regularly using a dry dust cloth or soft-bristled sweeping brush to prevent a build-up of dirt and grime. Alternatively, you can vacuum your floors with a hard floor attachment to minimize the amount of grit that can scratch the surface.
You should also avoid wearing shoes on your laminate floor as they can leave marks and scratches. Instead, try to wear shoes in a different room or outside your home as this can keep your floors clean and pristine.
Another tip is to remove stains as soon as they appear and never allow them to remain. For stubborn stains, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink or tar, apply a specially formulated stain remover and rub it into the spot until it is gone.
Finally, remember to avoid harsh scouring devices or cleaning products that can prematurely wear down the top layer of your floor. This can cause abrasion to the floor and reduce its lifespan.
Laminate floors are extremely beautiful when they’re new, but over time they can become dull and scratched. You can avoid this with some basic cleaning and maintenance steps to keep them looking their best and protecting their underlying layer.
The first step is to sweep and vacuum daily, using a soft dust mop or vacuum cleaner without a beater brush. This will remove surface dirt, grit, and crumbs that can scratch or dull the laminate. Be sure to check under area rugs, too, because grit trapped under them can also scratch and damage your floor.
When a spill does occur, clean it up immediately to avoid staining the surface of the laminate. This will prevent the liquid from seeping through the cracks in the planks and potentially damaging your flooring.
If the spill contains liquids like coffee, juice or wine, spray a water and vinegar solution directly on it and wipe with a paper towel until it’s clean. This works well on most stains and will help preserve the look of your flooring.
Use a mild cleaning solution when spot-cleaning your laminate, and never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. These can wear down the protective layer and expose the underlying wood to damage.
Sponge mops are the easiest way to clean your laminate floors, as they’re less abrasive than a traditional mop. To avoid oversaturating the floor, wring out the sponge mop before scrubbing it on the floor.
Rinse the floor thoroughly and then dry it with a microfiber cloth. If the floor remains wet, wring out the damp rag before wiping it on your floors again to avoid excess moisture that can warp or damage your laminate.
For stubborn stains, such as grease or paint, you may need to use a special laminate floor cleaner that is specifically formulated to work on these types of floors. These are available at most home improvement stores.
You’ll want to spot-clean your laminate at least weekly, if not more often, especially if you have kids or pets that run around the house. If you don’t, the grit and dust will accumulate over time and make your laminate look dull and scratched.