10 Laminate Flooring Installation Tips For Instant Interior Design Success
By Rika Susan
The latest click-together laminate flooring installations transform from kitchens to dining rooms and home offices into elegant, low-maintenance living areas. Engineering has progressed to such an extent that real wood grains, styles and textures are now emulated to perfection. Quality and durability have also improved and a laminate flooring installation can be guaranteed for up to thirty years.
Ten things you need to keep in mind when opting for this floor covering:
1. Best Selling Brands: This sector of the home improvement industry is growing at a phenomenal pace and a host of manufacturers are queuing for your business. There are vast collections of excellent ranges. It is difficult to determine a winner. Your choice will be a question of personal taste, the brand's unique characteristics, your decor needs and the size of your budget. Some ranges can be used in bathrooms for instance, while others are not moisture resistant to that degree.
2. Discount Discontent: Look for a quality range at a good price. Stay away from a cheap, discount laminates that haven't been tested properly. A warranty is only as good as the backing behind it. Make sure that the company has been around for a while and won't disappear overnight.
3. Sub-Floor Surface: A major advantage of a laminate flooring installation is the fact that it can be done successfully over almost any sub-floor. Real wood, concrete and linoleum are all fine for this purpose. It may even be that linoleum can provide enough of a cushion to make an underlayment unnecessary, or you may be able to use a less expensive material. However, ask your supplier about this. In most cases you can't install the floor covering over carpeting or wood on concrete.
4. Indispensable Installation Kit: Many manufacturers have a laminate flooring installation kit available. It may be wise to make use of this. The kit can be a time-saver, ensuring that you have the right tools and accessories at your disposal during the project. The kit often includes a suitable underlayment. Check that this is of a satisfactory quality. Underlayments are a vital element when it comes to comfort. Laminates can be quite hard if you are on your feet for a long time. The padding also helps to dampen the hollow sound that is so characteristic of this type of floor covering. Of course power tools won't be included. It is often recommended that you use a circular saw to minimize chipping. Also be very careful and gentle with the tapping block or rubber mallet.
5. Barrier Basics: Find out what kind of moisture barrier you need to place on the sub-floor. This is usually specified in the warranty. The right choice will help to maintain the integrity of the floor, preventing buckling and lifting.
6. Be Warranty Wise: If you buy from a reputable company and you are given a warranty of 25 to 30 years, you can be fairly sure that you are purchasing an upper-class product. Some wholesale warehouse stores even include lifetime coverage on their lines. Read the warranty conditions with care and follow the instructions to the letter. This goes for both installation and maintenance. If you go against the guidelines, you are likely to void the protection. It is vitally important that you double check which cleaning agents are suitable.
7. Glue Grumbles: The click-together tongue and groove planks are meant to be used as a floating laminate flooring installation. In spite of this, there are still many experts who recommend the use of glue. The manufacturers don't always agree with this, as it may affect the way in which the floors contract and expand due to changes in temperature or humidity. Normally glue is only used on stairs. Glue should also be used to seal the joints between the planks in the case of a bathroom fitting.
8. Testing Tactics: In the end you have to be totally comfortable with your purchase. Test the locking mechanism in the store to make sure that it gives a tight fit, but is still easy to manage. Test samples for scratching, denting and scuffing. When it comes to indentations and moisture resistance, the density of the core is the vital component. The wear layer determines the level of resistance against fading and scratching.
9. Quantity Questions: Normally an error margin of 10% is advised when purchasing flooring. This makes provision for accidents during the laminate flooring installation, or factory faults that slipped through. Another sensible idea is to purchase extra planks to store in case you need to replace a floor section after a serious mishap. When that time comes, the particular shade may have been discontinued. Store the cartons unopened.
Check the run or lot numbers on the cartons. There are always subtle shading differences between lots. One way to even out coloring, is by working from a few boxes at the same time. In this way variations will no longer be so noticeable.
10. Clearing The Chore-Chart: These home remodeling ranges are known for their low maintenance. The smooth, hard surface is easy to keep spotless. You need only a broom and a slightly damp mop. Never wash the floor with water. There are many dedicated cleaning substances on the market for tougher spots. Abrasive cleaners and waxes are a serious no-no.
Follow these tips when you head to your nearest wholesale warehouse store, and your laminate flooring installation is bound to be a professional, elegant and stylish addition to your decor.
About the Author: Get free Laminate Flooring ebooks at Home-Improvement-Time.com. Also read the Armstrong SwiftLock Laminate Flooring article!