If you’re looking for new flooring and have a limited budget, laminate flooring might be the right option for you. Laminate is known as one of the more affordable types of flooring; plus, its installation process is typically something you can DIY. All it takes is a little time and patience and you can save some money by installing your flooring on your own.
Below is a basic guide to laminate flooring installation in Dallas. Later on, we’ll provide more details on laminate installation.
Laminate Flooring Installation
First of all, you’ll need the following materials and tools:
- Click-lock laminate flooring
- Plastic Sheeting
- Tape Measure
- Rubber Mallet
- Tapping Block
- Painting Tape
- Wood Putty
- Painting Tape
- Hand Saw or Circular Saw
It might seem like a lot, but the top three are crucial to the sturdiness of the floor, you probably have the middle four somewhere around the house, and the bottom six can be found reasonably priced at your local hardware store.
Step 1: Make sure the subfloor is clean and flat
One nice part of laminate flooring installation in Dallas, TX is that it can be laid over basically any type of subfloor. This includes wood, tile, and concrete. However, in making sure the laminate floor is level, the subfloor must be level, regardless of what type it is.
Before laying the underlayment or the floor planks, clean the subfloor and check for damage and unevenness. There are ways to fix the unevenness, but the problem can only be solved if it’s noticed early on.
Step 2: Place the underlay
There are all kinds of underlay options available to homeowners. Almost all options will be of foam material. Foam absorbs sound, provides a slight cushion for foot traffic, and provides a barrier to help with insulation. Most importantly, an underlay can nullify any slight unevenness to the subfloor. All you have to do is place the underlayment over the subfloor and tape it secure by the edges with painters tape. As you’d probably guessed, you’d need to make sure the underlay is free from wrinkles.
If the subfloor has significant damage or is significantly unlevel then a layer of plywood would probably be needed to be laid before applying the underlay, sheeting and flooring.
Step 3: Preliminary Layout
Before you get into actual installation, create a layout by putting the laminate planks where you plan to install them. This will give you an idea of which planks need to be cut and how many rows of planks you’ll need. It’ll also give you an overview of what the end result will look like.
Step 4: Take your time laying the 1st Row
The first row of laminate is the most important. It’s important to start off on the right foot;a bad start could force you to redo the project. You’ll have to cut the tongues off the boards that are going to face the wall. Each plank has a tongue and a groove. One side of one plank (the tongue) will click and lock into the other side of the other plank (the groove) like a puzzle.
Since the tongues of the planks facing the wall won’t have anything to attach to, you can cut them off. Lay the first row parallel to the longest wall in the room; start from the right and work left (if facing the wall). Place spacers about ¼ inch between the wall and the first row of planks. The ¼ inch gap is important because it allows space for possible expanding and contracting over time.
As for the ends of the planks, take your rubber mallet and tap one end 2-3 times to make sure the seams are firm. Don’t tap to hard otherwise the ends may split.
Step 5: The following rows
It won’t take long for you to get into a rhythm with laminate flooring installation. Once you finish the first row, you’ll basically be repeating the process with the following rows. The end of each row will probably require some cutting. You’ll have to cut the end pieces to make them fit against the wall, or in this case, up against the spacer. The excess piece that you cut can be the piece to start the next row, and so on and so forth.
Make sure each laminate plank is staggered to avoid seams from lining up. Seams that lineup will reduce the overall appeal and charm of your new flooring.
Step 6: Finish the job
Take out the spacers and install the baseboards to cover up the ¼ inch gap. When nailing the baseboards back in, it helps to take wood putty and fill the hole created by the nail. Just paint over it and no one will even know it was ever there.
Those are the basic steps. Your laminate wood packaging should come with a manufacturer’s manual with more detailed instructions. We just wanted to give you an idea as to the ease of laminate flooring installation. The cutting part can be a bit tricky; it’s best to have someone who’s experienced with a saw handle that part. Other than that, it works like putting a puzzle together.
What makes laminate laminate?
Laminate is made up of multiple layers that are fused together to create one plank. The layers in order from top to bottom include:
Melamine Wear layer– withstands the wear and tear of general foot traffic in a particular room. It’s a scratch-resistant layer.
Print Layer– imitates readl wood through an advanced high-resolution image. For instance, an image of an oak floor can be taken and created as a print for a laminate plank. The image emits has a similar feel to that of the actual wood floor.
Fiberboard– Thickest layer, also known as the core, fiberboard is typically 8 mm to 14 mm in width. This layer plays a major role in protecting the plank against dents and moisture.
Backing– Additional layer meant to support the core layer and provide yet another path of resistance to moisture that may try to seep through.
Why is laminate a good flooring choice?
We already discussed in detail the simplicity of laminate flooring installation in Dallas, TX. But what else does laminate have to offer?
Its affordability is what attracts many customers to laminate flooring. Since it doesn’t have real wood, you won’t have to pay as much as a real wood floor. You’d be getting a less expensive floor that very closely imitates hardwood and even triumphs hardwood with regards to certain aspects.
For example, laminate flooring can better withstand moisture than hardwood flooring can. Its layered composition makes it more difficult for any moisture to get through. Also, real wood is not part of laminate, so you won’t have to worry about the effect that water has on wood, such as how moisture on hardwood flooring results in molding, cupping, or crowning.
In the end, laminate flooring is meant more for functionality than it is appearance. It’s a flooring that has a nice look, but also stands out through its ability to withstand everyday living. With laminate being able to prevent moisture damage, it can be installed in rooms of a house that hardwood cannot. For instance, bathrooms, kitchens, basements and laundry rooms.
Laminate will typically cost $4- $5 per square foot. In general, it’s cheaper than other popular floor options, such as hardwood, stone, porcelain and ceramic. You can also take into account the fact that laminate flooring installation is much cheaper compared to that of other flooring. Even if you don’t install your laminate floor the DIY way, you can pay for professional installation at a reasonable price. Professionals can install laminate in a very timely manner.
Laminate flooring is also easy to maintain. It just takes a vacuum, mop and broom to keep the surface clean. Dust and debris have nowhere to penetrate, so any of those cleaning tools will effectively keep your floor shiny and clean. Even though laminate isn’t completely waterproof, you won’t run into any issues if you use a wet mop to wipe the floor. Just don’t pour the water directly onto the surface. Instead, dip the mop into a bucket of water and then proceed to mop the floor.
Additionally, laminate flooring is considered hypoallergenic. Since the surface is flat, dust does not collect and, as long as you clean as needed, your family won’t have to worry about allergies. Most floors are fine for those who suffer from allergies; the main exception is carpeting. All kinds of dust and debris get stuck in carpet. That’s why carpet must be vacuumed at least once a week.
Laminate is more versatile than it might look. If you recall the composition of laminate we discussed earlier, it has a print layer. The print layer isn’t just reserved for hardwood prints. Prints of stone flooring and wood tile can also be used. Whatever flooring type you desire, you can make it come true with laminate. Moreover, if your budget doesn’t allow for the real thing, laminate is without a doubt a worthy alternative.
The one downside to laminate flooring…
It doesn’t match the lifespans of many flooring options. Eventually, the wear layer will wear away. Once the wear layer weakens, the floor will become more vulnerable to scratching and general wear and tear.
Wear and tear threaten hardwood as well, but hardwood can be sanded and refinished to essentially create an entirely new surface. The same can’t be said about laminate flooring.
Most laminate floors will be backed by a 10-year warranty. Expect the floor to last around that long, maybe up to 15 years. If you take great care of the floor then you might add a few more years beyond that. In the end, you get what you’re paying for
You get a reliable, versatile, easy floor for an affordable cost. Plus, laminate flooring installation is easy and affordable in itself.
If you are interested in laminate flooring, give Toscana Floorings a call! We always have plenty of laminate flooring options in stock, and we always have plenty of flooring experts around to answer any leftover questions that you might have after reading the above information.
Also, if you need laminate flooring installation in Dallas, Toscana Floorings can help! We’ll complete an estimate to figure out the dimensions and then we’ll complete the installation in a timely manner.