Thursday, June 18, 2009

Installing Hardwood Laminate Flooring - 4 Steps to Prepare

When looking at installing hardwood laminate flooring, there are 4 main steps you need to follow in preparation:

1. Get everything you will need from your laminate flooring supplier before you start. These things include the laminate flooring boards themselves. These usually come in packs of 5 or 10. It's always worth buying one or two more packs than you calculate you will need because you will make mistakes. Next you'll need underlay that often comes in several different thicknesses. This helps make up the difference if there are small dips in your subfloor and cushion the laminate flooring as it sits on the subfloor. If you are laying the subfloor on concrete or another porous surface that can get damp, you will need to buy a plastic waterproof barrier to lay directly on the subfloor to protect the underlay and the new floor. You also need to obtain a set of tools from the laminate flooring supplier including spacers and Z shaped tool for knocking the laminate flooring boards together. Finally you need to get any moulding or skirting boards, along with doorway connectors.

2. Get your tools together back home. Tools required for installing hardwood laminate flooring include a hand saw for cutting them to length; a tape measure; a knife for cutting the underlay; a mitre box or mitre power drop saw for cutting 45 degree angles on the moulding or skirting boards. This is so that they have professional joins in the corners; Nails or liquid nails to glue the skirting boards to the walls.

3. Place the hardwood laminate boards in the rooms where they will be installed to acclimatize them to the humidity and temperature of the rooms. In this way, they will hopefully do most of their expansion or contraction before you install them.

4. Check the level of your subfloor and read the manufacturer's instructions as to what they recommend the level of the subfloor to be. For example, you may need to have no more than 3/16 inch difference in the subfloor over a yards length of laminate floor. If there are any places on the subfloor that have more than that, then you will need to buy a levelling compound from your local hardware store. This can come ready made in a bucket that you pour onto the subfloor. You then trowel it so that it appears even and then leave it and it will self level. Once it has set, you are ready to install hardwood laminate flooring.