Today, many people use laminate flooring in their homes and offices. This is a multi-layer product made using synthetic materials. It is cheaper than some of the natural flooring materials, easy to install and more hygienic and durable than a carpet.
Installing laminate flooring is quite easy and it is therefore possible to lay it yourself. Having the right tools for the job is essential. You require a paring knife, spacers, coping saw, hammer, hand saw, measuring tape, tapping block and a pencil among other tools. Follow these simple steps to lay the laminate flooring.
Stack laminate flooring
Humidity and temperature could affect the flooring planks so it is advisable to acclimatize them in the room for at least two days. Stack the laminates on the floor then get rid of the plastic wrapping.
Remove the base molding and clean sub-floor
Make sure that the sub-floor is free from debris and dirt by cleaning it. If the concrete floor is new, ensure that it is cured fully. Use a hammer and pry bar to remove any base molding.
Install Vapor Barrier
Lay out the vapor barrier from the longest wall of your room one row at a time. Follow the manufacturer’s directions when joining together 2 sheets of barrier. They might instruct you to butt every row against the previous one or overlap the vapor barrier.
Trim Door Jambs
Lay a piece of laminate up against the door jamb and flat on the sub-floor. Use this as the guide when marking the jambs to enable the new flooring to slide underneath easily. Cut the jambs and make sure they are parallel to the sub-floor.
Install the First Row
Lay the planks parallel to the longest wall for the best look. The first plank should be installed with its groove towards the wall. Place spacers against the wall then push the plank against them.
Match the tongue to the groove for each plank then use an old piece of flooring to fix it into place. The pieces should fit together snugly and no gaps should be left along the lengths of the planks. Stagger the joints of the laminate when installing the subsequent rows. Whenever you start a new row ensure the joints of the planks are offset 6 to 8 inches to prevent lining up the planks row to row.
Installing the Last Plank
Normally, the last plank requires trimming to fit. Measure the width of the plank correctly ensuring that it sits evenly against the spacers that are against the wall. Draw a line on the edge of the top plank to mark the width between the wall and the last plank. Use this line to cut the plank then install it.
Installing Thresholds and the Base Molding
Install thresholds between any open doors and the end of the laminates. Finally, remove the spacers then install the base molding to cover the expansion gaps. Clear the room of any clatter, then step back and admire the outcome of your workmanship.
Yes you can lay laminate flooring by yourself. Following these steps and taking time to get things right can produce great and long lasting results.