Renowned as trendy-looking and budget-friendly, laminate flooring has worked up a global market. Promoted as easy-to-install and suitable for DIY home renovation projects, laminate is a tricky alternative after all.
Considering laminate floors, you might find useful flooring installation tips provided by Groysman Construction, a reputable contractor with solid experience in laying laminate flooring. Additionally, discover below what laminate flooring installation blunders are often committed and sidestep them.
Mistake 1. Opting for laminate as flooring option in the unsuitable areas. While laminate planks are nice-looking and rather inexpensive, keep in mind that they are not moisture-friendly. For bathroom areas, laundry rooms, or sometimes kitchen zones, the laminate might not be the optimal variant in the long run. Despite the moisture-resistant surface and sealant, the laminate floors can appear bubbling when exposed to humid environments.
Mistake 2. Skipping laminate acclimatization. It might sound ridiculous but the laminate needs to adapt to the environment. Typically, producers recommend keeping laminate in the work zone for 48-72 hours to adjust to the moisture level and room temperature as this material is capable of expanding or contracting given the environmental conditions. Lack of acclimatization may result in gaps or bending of your newly installed floors.
Not that acclimatization completely prevents expansion but it minimizes it. Hence, pros usually leave a small gap (around 7-10 mm) on the perimeter for further expansion.
Mistake 3. Skipping sealing. Ignorance of proper sealing of joints is one of the widespread errors of DIY laminate flooring installation projects. While many manufacturers promote water-resistant laminate surfaces, you do need water-proof sealant for joints between laminate planks.
Mistake 4. Lack of floor leveling. One of the ugliest things is getting so-called softer spots in laminate flooring. The majority of experts say that you shouldn’t allow over 1/8” tolerance while fitting laminate. Thus, the subfloor must be leveled using specialized tools and thorough sanding to verify that the floor is smooth enough for accurate laminate laying.
Mistake 5. Absence of underlayer. Laminate is pretty thin and sensitive to minor grains and wrinkles. It is on record that laminate can bend easily. Besides leveling the floor thoroughly, it is always recommended to use an underlayer, such as foam sheets, to absorb any tiny ridges on the subfloor.
Remember: When you estimate the laminate flooring installation cost, don’t forget to include the underlayer.
Mistake 6. Ignoring moisture barrier when required. For example, you opted for laminate flooring while changing a basement into a living space. Concrete floors require a dedicated vapor & moisture protection to exclude buckling later. In many instances, a humidity barrier can carry a double function acting as an underlayer & moisture barrier at the same time.
Mistake 7. Closing expansion gaps & joints. Interlocking laminate planks are supposed to be floating though. Add here laminate capabilities to enlarge, so closing and sealing edges can lead to bubbling and bending. While fitting laminate planks, don’t forget to leave about 3/8” on the edges next to walls or baseboards for the future contraction & expansion.
Mistake 8. Ignoring manufacturers’ guidelines. Currently, the market is full of numerous laminate variants of diverse forms, colors, and shapes. The above-mentioned mistakes can be easily avoided if you scrutinize the instruction. Typically, producers mention the necessary acclimatization period, recommended underlying barriers, and a gap size for future enlargement to receive the ideal laminate floors.
Mistake 9. Choosing an unqualified contractor. In fact, it isn’t outright associated with the laminate flooring installation, yet still it is crucial to get the result. Beware of scams while searching for a flooring contractor. A right choice of a contractor represents 90% of the perfect flooring. Reputable flooring contractors stand out due to their professional customer-oriented attitude and qualification verified by happy clients. While the only thing scams care about is your money. Ask your friends and colleagues for recommendations, check online reviews on third-party platforms, and ensure that a contractor is licensed.
As you’ve learned above, laying laminate flooring isn’t really straightforward as it seems despite the DIY guidelines. The optimal solution is to hire pros with the relevant knowledge, work experience, and job-dedicated equipment.
If you’re a Californian, before seeking “Flooring installation contractors near me” online, request a quote from Groysman Construction, a remodel company headquartered in San Diego. With 30 years of experience under the belt, the team knows well how to deal with laminate and let the floor look stunning.