You’ve been hunting for the perfect type of flooring at it seems to be eluding you. The choices types are confusing and you’re thinking of drawing lots to see which type of flooring you should go with. But what if I were to tell you there is a type of flooring that has the looks and feel of all the others – rolled into one.
Yes, there is. It’s called laminate flooring. I’ll tell you a bit about it and I’ll also share with you how to install laminate flooring.
Understanding Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a synthetic floor covering made of particleboard wood (not plastic as many people think). Laminate flooring simulates wood, stone, or sometimes comes in its own unique style.
Because of its ease of use and easy maintenance, Laminate flooring has grown significantly in popularity – despite the fact that it used to be shunned as an inferior “low class” flooring material. Let me tell you that there is nothing low class about laminate – it is both beautiful and durable, and that’s all that matters with flooring.
Laminate is definitely is a beautiful flooring option with all the qualities you are looking for.
Choosing Your Laminate Flooring – More than Just the Looks
When it comes to choosing your laminate, style and looks are not the only important factors to consider. You also have to consider the thickness of the laminate and its AC rating.
- Laminate ranges in thickness from 7mm – 12mm. The thicker the laminate the more rigid and thus easier to lay on the subfloor, especially against uneven subfloors.
- AC rating. The AC ratings on laminate are based on the Abrasion Rating System and represent the durability of the laminate. The higher the AC rating (on a scale of 1 – 5), the more the laminate will be resistant to traffic, scratches, and stains. If you are installing laminate in a busy area, choose a rating of AC3 and higher.
How to Install Laminate Flooring – In a Snap
Now that you have your laminate flooring (great choice by the way), it’s time for you to install it. One of the biggest advantages of laminate flooring is that it is a very simple DIY job, unlike other types of flooring that are labor intensive and require certain levels of skill.
With laminate, it’s a matter of 3 simple steps.
- Prepare Your Subfloor
Your subfloor is simply the surface you will install your laminate on. This is where laminate shines (again) above other flooring materials. Unlike other flooring materials, laminate can be laid on any surface (except for carpet), including vinyl.
In order to prep your subfloor, simply sweep it clean and give it a good mopping. Make sure your subfloor is smooth and level too. If your subfloor is a concrete one, adding a simple layer of wooden subflooring can help air circulation within the floor and help it keep warm.
- Install an Underlayment
An underlayment is a layer of material that is placed on top of the subfloor before installing your laminate. It is not an option, it is a requisite. Not only does it help level the subfloor, but it also has the added advantage of reducing noise.
There are many different types of underlayment with different features and qualities, so choose carefully according to your needs.
In order to install your underlayment, simply remove the sticky tape strip on the side and press it down so that it sticks to the floor. Lay the underlayment flat over your entire subfloor, making sure there are no overlaps.
Done? Awesome! Now on to installing the laminate.
- Install Your Laminate
Installing laminate is very easy and only requires a few simple tools like measuring tape, a pencil, goggles, and a simple jigsaw.
Before you start, check the manufacturer’s instruction manual for any special notes. Some types of laminate are required to be left in the room for some time so as to acclimatize to the humidity of the room.
Starting with the longest floor, add spacers, and then your row of laminate planks. The spacers give the laminate space to expand and contract. Each laminate plank has a tongue and groove that fit together so installing the floor should be a snap.
In instances where the planks will be too long or wide, measure and cut off the excess. Once you’re near the end, with one row remaining, make sure to put spacers first before the last row of laminate.
New Floor, New Room
Congratulations on your new room. If there is any feature that makes a room look brand new more than others, it is the floor. And I know your new laminate floor had added a wow factor to your room.