How to Install and Care for Floating Laminate Flooring — Home and Garden

How to Install and Care for Floating Laminate Flooring - Home and Garden

Preparation Requirements for Installation

Before you begin installation you should make sure you have everything you will need. There is also a little bit of preparation work to be done. Firstly, begin by ensuring you have all of the following items:

- Enough flooring material to cover your planned area with some excess to spare. 15% extra is usually enough to give you room for error.

- The same amount of foam underlayment.

- A soft rubber mallet.

- A small hand saw or a power-saw with appropriate attachment. A Dremel tool can also be very helpful for making smaller, more precise cuts.

- A safety knife.

- (optional) waterproof glue for use around potential wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

- (optional) plastic sheeting if laying laminate floors on concrete.

Once you have all of the above you can begin clearing out and cleaning the area you will be working in. If you are laying in an area with carpet you will first have to completely remove the carpet. Linoleum, concrete or other wood floorboards can be left as is.

Installation in Five Easy Steps

Step 1 — Remove all skirting boards, doors and baseboards from the rooms you will be working in. If you are working around stairs you may also have to remove the bottom step for a more flush finish.

Step 2 — If you are laying on concrete begin by laying out the plastic sheeting. After this lay out the foam and cut it to size.

Step 3 — Measure across the width of the room from wall to wall. Use this figure to decide how many boards you will need. You can easily find this figure by dividing the room width by the width of each board. You may have to cut one board to get the fit right, make sure to place this cut board down as your first.

Step 4 — Continue laying out each board, using the mallet to join them firmly but carefully. Use a small amount of waterproof glue if the area may get wet in the future (for example, around a kitchen sink).

Step 5 — Once the final board has been laid down replace the skirting boards and doors. It’s a good idea to then avoid walking on the floor for one day so that it can settle into place.

Tips on How to Clean and Care for Your New Floor

If you want to maximize the value you get out of your investment then it’s a good idea to take some extra care when cleaning for laminate flooring. The good news is that this is pretty easy, the laminate itself protects from a lot of damage and makes cleaning super easy. There are two types of cleaning you can do. The first is regular sweeping and mopping. When mopping use lukewarm water with a small amount of floor cleaning soap. Do not saturate the floor, ensure that you wring the mop well each time. The second type of cleaning you can do should be done once every few months or when the floor is very dirty. This involves mopping with a weak solution of methylated spirits, water and wool wash. This will help to break down any grease and will bring back the shine in the laminate.

Removal of Floating Laminate Boards

If you decide to renovate again in the future it’s good to know that this type of flooring is even easier to remove than it was to install. Simply remove your skirting or baseboards and doors again and remove the boards one by one. If carefully removed you can even reuse or sell the boards second hand to recoup some of your costs. The foam underlay and plastic sheeting, however, will likely need to be disposed of.

Where to Purchase Floating Laminate Flooring

If you are unsure of where to look to buy the aforementioned materials then rest assured because there are a few good options available to you.

Retail Stores in the USA — There are a number of good hardware retailers that sell a variety of laminate flooring types. The best ones to try are typically The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware and Handy Hardware. There are also some good specialty retailers like The Floor Project that you can also try.

Online Retailers and Resellers — Quite a lot of floating floor manufacturers sell their products directly to consumers through either a website or through auction sites like eBay. You can also find some popular brands on Amazon. Most of these either have very cheap or free shipping as well. IKEA also sells a few different types including TUNDRA click lock flooring in a variety of styles and colors.

Buying Second Hand — As mentioned earlier, carefully removed boards can remain in good enough condition to reuse, especially if they have been well looked after. At worst second hand board may need a really good clean before you lay them but this can be a great way to save a lot of money on your renovation work. The best ways to find people selling second hand is through the classifieds in your local newspaper or on websites like Craigslist.

Potential Problems with this Type of Product

While there are many strengths to laminate floorboards there are also two potential problems to be aware of. Depending on your needs, one of these two issues may mean that you will be better off considering another product. The first potential issue to be aware of is that it is very hard to lay click-lock floorboards in rooms that aren’t square. If you have an architecturally designed home that uses walls with odd angles you will have a lot of work cutting the floorboards to fit perfectly. In this instance the job is likely better left to a professional contractor. The second potential problem is that although plastic laminate is quite tough it can be scratched or cut. When this happens any damage to the actual floorboard is almost impossible to repair, as they cannot be sanded like normal wood. In this instance your only option is to pull up the floor until you get to the damaged board and to then replace it, which can be a lot of work. However, if neither of these sound like a serious threat to you then floating laminated floorboards should be perfect for your needs.


Leave a Reply