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Laminate flooring is an extremely versatile flooring product. It can be installed in virtually any room of your home, above or below ground, over wood or concrete. However there are several locations that are not recommended for laminate flooring. Because laminate flooring is a wood flooring product it is not recommended that laminates be installed in wet locations such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping.
Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause the core of your laminate flooring to warp or swell. In some instances, with special installation procedures, it is possible to install laminate floors in bathrooms where water will not stand on the floor for any length of time.
For bathroom installations, it is recommended you apply a light bead of glue to the tongue on the planks to be used in the areas subject to spills. Also, ensure that all spills are mopped up and dried promptly.
There are many types of edge joining systems used to connect laminate flooring panels together. Some laminate flooring connections snap together by hand while others require a light tap with a mallet and a tapping block. Still others use a combination of a “snap” click edge and a “bang” or “tap” click at the end of the panels.
While most of the various systems work well to secure your laminate floor, it is important to read your laminate flooring installation instructions carefully. Familiarise yourself with how your flooring locks together before starting your installation.
One obvious advantage is that of price; laminate flooring is typically half the cost of traditional hardwood flooring. Sometimes the savings are even greater, depending on the types of flooring in question. Additionally, laminate flooring is designed to be easy to install and is generally a good choice for most do-it-yourselfers, where solid hardwood requires a level of expertise.
Installing laminate doesn’t involve nails, and more recently has done away with glue as well in many cases. Laminate flooring can therefore be installed fairly quickly and inexpensively. Laminate flooring is generally designed to be scratch-resistant and fade resistant, two areas where solid hardwood flooring is known to be more vulnerable.
The cores are the same. The green product is a result of a colouring agent added to the adhesive in the manufacturing of the High Density Fiberboard (HDF) core in response to general market preference.
Laminate flooring boards must be acclimatised for 48 hours in the room where they will be installed. Installation should take place at room temperature of at least 65°F (15°C). A floor surface temperature of 59°F and an overall room temperature of 64°F must be ensured before, during and three days after the installation.
Concrete floors are capable of storing a vast amount of water. It is crucial to avoid all direct contact between the laminate flooring and the concrete floor because the soil beneath the concrete can transmit humidity into the floor.
Installing a moisture barrier over all concrete surfaces is mandatory for a successful installation and for the ongoing health of a laminate floor.
No, all carpet and underlay should be removed completely prior to installation.
No, carpet underlay is specifically designed to offer comfort underfoot. If you lay a laminate floor over this type of underlay you will put pressure on the joints which will result in damage to the laminate.
Because laminate flooring is derived from wood, it is subject to expansion caused by room temperatures and humidity levels. An expansion gap is a necessary part of any successful installation because it allows space for the expansion of the floor as it responds to these external influences of temperature and humidity.
When it is exposed to warmer temperatures, or to increased humidity, laminate flooring planks expand outward. Leaving out the essential element of an outside gap can cause the buckling of the individual laminate flooring planks as the planks push outward against walls or other obstacles.
To decide where to begin the layout of your floor, consider incoming light. It is usually best to install laminate flooring with the planks running parallel to light coming in windows or glass doors. For any installation, the starting wall should be as long and straight as possible.
Laminate flooring is a beautiful, low maintenance, long-lasting flooring. There are several simple steps that you can take to keep your laminate flooring clean and to ensure that you get many years of service from it.
While laminate floors are highly resistant to stains and abrasions, they are not indestructible. In order to maximize the durability and beauty of your laminate flooring, we recommend the following practices as part of your floor’s normal care and maintenance.
Minor scratches or nicks can be repaired with laminate floor repair paste.
Submitted by Jason Ashby, UKFD