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    Laminate Installation

     

    Laminate floors are installed using a tongue & groove locking system over an underlayment. It is generally installed as a floating floor meaning that it is not glued, nailed or otherwise secured to the subfloor underneath. The term “underlayment” refers to any roll or sheet product designed to be installed over the sub-floor surface and under the laminate flooring material.

     

    Underlayment is used to

        1. improve acoustical and insulation properties 
        2. smooth out minor subfloor imperfections 
        3. reduce walking fatigue 
        4. Help to protect the laminate from moisture seeping up through the subfloor. 

    Using a better quality underlayment can make a significant difference in reducing the “hollow” sound you can sometimes when walking on a floating floor.

     

    The subfloor preparation necessary to install a laminate floor is relatively easy. Carpet and tackstrip must be taken out before installing the laminate. Laminate floors can be installed directly over concrete, plywood, OSB, vinyl and tile. The underlayment must be applied to the original flooring surface first, and then the laminate can be installed.

     

    When installing laminate flooring remember to stagger your seams, and avoid placing planks with identical wood grains next to each other. Also avoid using too much force when locking the planks together. It is also extremely important that you leave a clearance of ¼”must be left at walls, pipes, doorways, ducts, and other fixed vertical objects such as an island in a kitchen to allow the floating floor to move freely with changes in humidity.

     

    It's also important to purchase 5% - 10% more material than the actual square footage because there will be some waste involved and it's always a good idea to keep a box or so for future repairs.

     

    Laminate is one of the most user-friendly types of flooring to install. Howerver it still requires physical labor and you will spend a fair amount of times on your knees when installing it. Be aware of this when you are considering whether to install it yourself or have it professionally installed.

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