What It Is
Laminate is a multi-layered, synthetic material that can be made to look like virtually any other type of flooring. Easily installed, laminate flooring could present the parquet design in a dining room. It could appear as hardwood planks in the living room or hall way. It could even be underfoot in the bath room.
Not exactly engineered flooring, laminate is manufactured from different materials, ranging from plywood to resins and even more, that can be made to look like wood, stone, ceramic or vinyl tiling. Properly sealed after installation, laminates can easily outlast carpeting, because dirt has no chance to bury itself below the surface and damage the material.
Laminate flooring is far less expensive than hardwood and can last practically as long. Care and maintenancelight waxing and periodic resealingplays a large part in its longevity. Like other flooring types, indifferent care can shorten its life span.
How to Installation
Be cautious in installing it where moisture builds or pools. If spills and puddles are cleaned right way, you have no worries, but if ground moisture is a problem in your area, either choose another type or insulate the sub-flooring extremely well to avoid the moisture from rising and loosening all your hard work.
Once you're ready, installing laminate flooring is fairly easy:
Remove the baseboards, doors and plates in the rooms involved: Because the laminate will rest under the baseboards, carpet edging plates and door plates, remove them to allow proper seating.
Repair any damages to the sub-flooring and clean it: Remove dirt and debris before overlaying it with new flooring. If installing directly over concrete, ensure it's completely dry before installing the laminate on top of it.
Install the vapor barrier: Lay this out one row at a time, starting at the widest part of the room. Follow the manufacturers instructions if you have to join two pieces together.
Trim Door Jambs: Slide a piece of laminate directly on the sub-floor and against the door jamb. Mark the height of the laminate on the jamb and trim it to allow the flooring to slide under it.
Install first row: Start at the widest part of the room with the groove toward the wall. Place spacers, usually 1/2-inches, against the wall and push the laminate against them, creating 'breathing room' that will allow the flooring to expand and contract without warping or buckling. Spacers should be approximately 12 inches apart and at either end of the planks on the adjoining walls. If different lengths of laminate is used, do not use spacers between laminate planks in the same row.
Continue installation: Row by row, complete the installation, placing each plank solidly but gently against each other, tongue-in-groove, tapping each plank into place with a scrap piece.
Trim the last plank: Place one plank directly onto the last installed piece. Gently slide another piece directly on top of that to where it rests against spacers against the wall. Mark the plank and trim to fit.
Install baseboards and thresholds: Once the base flooring is finished, install the baseboards and threshold plates. The doorway plates should easily cover the space between the last installed plank and the open door.
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Article Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2011
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