Basic Laminate Flooring Installation
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Always check panels for defects such as chips and color or sheen differences under good light conditions. Also check that the channel is clean and free of debris. (Any laminate flooring that is installed with defects automatically voids any manufactures warranty.)
For best color match when using panels from two or more packages, check to be sure all patterns are the same. Be sure to use laminate out of more than one box.
Your Laminate flooring MUST be allowed to acclimate to the environment of the installation area. Leave the closed packages in a horizontal position in the room for a minimum of 48 hours prior to installation. Preferable temperature should be 17-23C (62-73F) with a relative humidity of 45-60 percent. Humidity should never be allowed to drop below 30% as this may cause gapping. Diagram 1.
If existing baseboard moldings are difficult to remove, they may be left in place. Quarter round molding is all that is needed to cover the expansion space between the baseboard and flooring.
Tools and supplies required are:
- foam underlay
- pressure sensitive polypropylene adhesive tape such as tuck tape or equivalent
- utility knife
- tape measure
- taping block
- last board puller
If installing over a concrete sub floor or any floor over a crawl space you must also install a 4mil (or thicker) polyethylene vapor barrier under your foam underlay or use a convenient 2 in 1 foam underlay that has a vapor barrier
attached. When installing a 2 in 1 foam underlay, butt seams and then seal seems with tuck tape.
Suitable types of sub floors and floor preparation:
The under floor and sub floor must be thoroughly even, dry, clean and solid. Carpet staples and glue residue must be removed and floor must be clean to ensure proper installation.
Floors must be checked for moisture problems. Any moisture problems must be solved before installation. New concrete needs to cure for at least 60days before installation.
This product is not suitable for damp rooms such as Bathrooms, Saunas, and rooms with damp concrete, rooms with floor drains or rooms that can potentially flood.
- For installation on concrete floors or any floors over a crawl space a vapor barrier MUST be laid down first. Use a 4mil poly. Run the poly 2” up walls and overlap seams 18”. Tape seams.
- All flooring Installation requires foam underlay. Run the foam underlay in the same direction as the laminate panels. Underlay should be butted side by side with no overlap. Tape the seams together. Diagram 2.
- You will need to remove the tongue on the long side of the panels that face the wall, from the appropriate amount of panels for your first row. This is to ensure that the decorative surface of the laminate is well under the finished trim when installed. Use a utility knife to score through the tongue several times until it easily snaps off. Diagram 3.
- Start in a corner by placing the first panel with its trimmed side facing the wall. Use spacers along each wall to maintain an expansion space of 5/16” – 3/8” between the wall and flooring. Diagram 4.
- REMEMBER THAT THIS PRODUCT IS PRIMARILY WOOD AND NEEDS ROOM TO EXPAND AND CONTRACT.AT NO POINT SHOULD YOU ATCH THE FLOOR TO ANY SURFACE.
- To attach you second panel, lower and tuck the end tongue of the second panel into the end groove of the first panel. Line up edges carefully. The panels should be flat to the floor. Diagram 5.
- Continue connecting the first row until you reach the last full panel. Fit the last panel by rotating the panel 180° with the pattern side upward, place beside row mark then saw off excess. Attach as described above. Diagram 6.
- When using a handsaw cut on the decorative surface. If you are using a jig or circular saw, cu with the decorative side down to avoid chipping. Begin the next row with the off cut piece from the previous row to stagger the pattern. Pieces should be a minimum of 8” long and joint off set should be at least 16”. Diagram 7.
- To start your second row, tilt and push the side tongue of the panel into the side groove of the very first panel at about 30°. When lowered, the plank will click into place. Diagram 8.
- Attach the second panel of the new row first on the long side. Tilt and push this panel as close as possible to the previous row at 30°. Make sure edges are lined up. Lower the panel to the floor, locking the end tongue into the end groove of the first panel. Continue laying remaining panels in this manner. Diagram 9.
- To fit the last row, lay a panel on top of the previous row, with the tongue to the wall, lay another panel upside down on the one to be measured and use it as a ruler. Don’t forget to allow room for spacers. Cut the panel and attach into position. Diagram 10.
- Door frames and heating vents also require expansion room. First cut the panel to the correct length. Then place the cut panel next to it actual position and use a ruler to measure the areas to be cut out and mark them. Cut out the marked points allowing the necessary expansion distance on each side. Diagram 11.
- You can trim door frames by turning a panel upside down and using a handsaw to cut away the necessary height so that panels slide easily under the frames. Diagram 12.