Home ImprovementHow to Level a Concrete Floor for Laminate
Laminate flooring is easy to install and doesn’t require a ton of tools to do so. However, it’s still possible to make a mistake here and there that will cost you both time and money in the future.
So, if you:
Then you are at the right place! Here you can read about the most common mistakes when laying laminate flooring. But first…
It’s important to know what laminate is and what it isn’t. This will help you understand why some installation practices can be harmful for the material.
Laminate flooring is made from a synthetic material and is composed of 3 layers:
These layers are fused together via lamination to form the final product. To get the most out of this type of flooring, however, the installation needs to be flawless. So, the first mistake you should avoid is:
Laminate may be easy to clean from stains and spills, but it’s certainly vulnerable to moisture and humidity. In these conditions, laminate can buckle and the only way to fix it is by replacing all of the deformed boards. That’s why you should avoid installing laminate in bathrooms, kitchens and entry halls.
Leaks from other top apartments can also lead to damage of several of the boards. Fortunately, once the leak is fixed, you can change only the damaged laminate, and not the entire floor. For more information, check our post on how to fix laminate floors.
Moisture can also come from the subfloor. If this happens, your laminate flooring will start expanding and contracting, which will result in damage. This is the reason why it’s important to test the levels of the subfloor beforehand.
If you fail to stagger your laminate boards properly, you will not only have an odd looking floor, but the boards will disengage after time. Correct staggering is very important to the structural integrity and stability of your laminate flooring.
Some manufacturers recommend that you stagger the boards between 6 and 12 inches, others recommend even more. Basically, the point is not to short stagger. You might be tempted to create the so-called H-joints, and save yourself measuring, but that won’t work either. If you choose this pattern, you will decrease the floor’s ability to contract and expand as a whole unit. Instead, all of the boards will start doing that on their own, which can result in gaps.
Underlayment is important for any kind of wood flooring, however, it’s essential for laminate because it gives it additional soundproofing capabilities, it acts as an insulator, and it evens out the surface.
It also matters what kind of floor you have – you can’t just lay any type of underlayment and call it a day. For each kind of floor, there is a different underlayment:
For more information, check our dedicated post on how to lay laminate flooring underlay.
Tiny imperfections are inevitable and that’s why you should use an underlayment before installing the laminate boards. However, if there’s an obvious slope, you need to even it out with a compound. Note that using additional foam to cover the voids will not work in the long run. Since this kind of flooring is free-floating, you will have areas where there is space underneath the boards. This will lead to gaping, warping, and board breakage the more you step on them. Instead you need to properly level out the surface by following this method:
When temperatures increase, the humidity in a room rises. Since laminate absorbs moisture, it will expand ever so slightly, which means that it needs to have enough space to do so. Without this extra room, the boards will crack or buckle.
That being said, remember to put spacers between the first row and the wall to ensure a 10mm gap between the two.
If you feel that laminate floor installation is too hard and time-consuming, consider hiring professional help. Fantastic Services works with experienced and fully equipped tradesmen who can perform laminate floor installation to a T. They will prepare the subfloor and pick the most suitable underlay. Finally they will install the laminate of your choice in a stress-free manner.
It’s super easy to book your laminate floor installation. All you need to do is download the GoFantastic app, check the calendar, and request a free survey. Once our representative arrives at your property, they will give you a free quote.
Reach out to us today!
Did you find our article helpful? Do you have any more tips? Share them in the comment section!
Image source: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images