As the laminate technology evolves and the installation tools and methods become easier, there are more and more do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts who want to take on the task of installing laminate themselves. Either for economical reasons or out of shear challenge of doing it yourself – the number of amateur installers is growing rapidly.
There are however some things you have to know to avoid common installation mistakes and unnecessary financial cost. We hope that the answers below will serve as a good laminate installation guide.
As a rule of thumb any raised sections of more than 3 mm need to be levelled. It is better the sub floor unevenness deviations will not exceed 1/8″ in any 8 ft long area especially for thinner laminate like 8 mm. The cracks will need to be filled and sealed. Duct tape can be used to cover very small cracks but if the crack has a ridge, it will need to be levelled.
The easiest and quickest way to do this is t use liquid leveling compound like a latex screed. Make sure the temperature of the room is between 18 and 26 degrees and it should stay in that range for a day after the floor is installed. The humidity needs to be between 40 and 50 percent for optimum conditions. This is because the way wood reacts to heat and humidity by expanding and contracting.
Measure the room to determine the number of panels needed. If the last row is going to be less than 60 mm, trim the first row lengthwise. Laminate flooring is organic, that is why it will be subject to expansion and shrinkage. For this reason, an expansion gap at least 6 mm will need to be left between the flooring and the walls.
If the opposite walls are not parallel and or room shape resembles a rhomb, the unevenness should be proportionally divided between 2 walls during floor installation. Since laminate flooring like hardwood is subject to expansion caused by seasonal room temperatures and humidity level changes it is necessary at least 6 mm gap left between walls and floors around the perimeter.
Remember your floor will be shrunk in winter time when the heating is turned on and expanded in summer time when room humidity exceed because of open windows.