Thinking about switching to laminate flooring? Laminate floors can be a wonderful choice, adding both style and value without spending a lot. But before you install them, take a little time to learn more about them.
Installing laminate flooring is not complex, but is a time-consuming process that can test your patience. If you are up for the task, make sure you are prepared. If you don’t have any prior experience, it is recommended that you hire professional installation services like ours.
To avoid badly-installed floors and get the most out of yours, here are some common mistakes to look out for when installing laminate flooring.
Avoid These Mistakes When Installing Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a great choice for floors, and here is how you can avoid making these common mistakes when installing them.
- Don’t Install Laminate In the Wrong Areas: Water-resistant doesn’t mean waterproof, and installing laminate flooring in humid areas like basements and bathrooms can be problematic.When exposed to water for prolonged periods, laminates tend to buckle and bubble as their wood substrate absorbs moisture. While some products have improved water resistance, they should be used with caution in areas of your home that experience humidity. The Reno Superstore’s knowledgeable staff can help you choose the correct product for your home, so consult them when in doubt.
Remember, installing even the best product in the wrong area will yield poor results, and you will spend more on their upkeep.
- Be Sure to Seal Laminate Joints: When installing laminate in the kitchen, bathroom, living room and other active areas of your home, it is recommended that you seal the laminate joints. If you are installing your floors all by yourself, read the installation instructions carefully. It will have information regarding how to install laminate in wet areas and why you shouldn’t.If you want to increase the durability of your laminate, avoid installing them in wet areas of your home. However, if you do, then use 100% mildew-resistant silicone or specialized laminate sealant.
Improper or subpar installation will promote water seepage, leading to buckling and other flooring issues. The Reno Superstore offers affordable, top-notch flooring installation services in and around Mississauga and Toronto. So, if you find yourself hesitating or unsure of the process, contact us to get started on your project.
- Not Acclimating Laminates: This is an important step that shouldn’t be skipped. Laminate flooring needs to adjust to your home or office’s natural humidity and temperature; expanding and contracting accordingly. This allows your floors to be uniformly conditioned and won’t compromise the locking system. Ideally, it is best to allow your laminate planks to acclimate for 48 to 72 hours. This process reduces the chances of gaps appearing.
- Be Sure to Level the Floor: Installing laminate flooring on an even surface is key to its longevity. While your laminate may resemble porcelain tile or hardwood, the soft spots in between are a common installation issue. These soft spots tend to wear more easily than the rest of the laminate flooring. So take your time to level and prep your subfloor.There should be no more than ⅛ of an inch tolerance between your laminate and the subfloor. Uneven floors will lead to quick deterioration of your laminate.
Laminates are a budget-friendly option that allows you to have great floors without overspending, but the key is to ensure that they last.
- Don’t Ignore the Underlayment: The thickness of laminates determines their durability, as thin laminate offers no structural integrity and tends to bend easily. Installing an underlayment offers additional support and helps to evenly cushion and spread the pressure from foot traffic.Installing underlayment also absorbs any small issues that your subfloor may have and offers consistency to your laminate flooring. Additionally, they help to absorb sound and help your floors to float. It is highly recommended that you choose the right type of underlayment for laminate floors.
The dedicated staff at The Reno Superstore is always ready to help in every way possible. Check our frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages, or write to or call us regarding product inquiries.
- Leave Room For Expansion : Nailing your laminate and moulding together is not a good idea as it will lead to buckled floors. Instead, let your laminate expand or shrink naturally with the seasons by allowing expansion gaps.Take your time to install these floors. Use the caulk around the pipes, door jambs, and stonework. Remember to finish them the right way for better results.
- Leave Room For a Vapour Barrier: A vapour barrier is a type of underlayment made from plastic that helps to absorb moisture. Installing a vapour barrier is necessary in certain areas such as basements where there is a high chance of water vapour coming through the concrete subfloors.However, if you are installing laminate floors above wooden ones on the second or third floors of your building, it is not required. Since wood is a natural material, allowing it to breathe is necessary.
When installing a vapour barrier, make sure to overlap each row of vapour barrier laminate and add an 8” overlap at the seams. This is especially true when installing on the edge of the wall base or wall.
- Never Install the Wrong or Defective Product: It is best to inspect your laminate planks prior to installation to ensure they have the correct pattern. Notice if they have the same colour and style and are free from any visible defects. When you shop from reputable flooring manufacturers, the chances of defects are little to none, but it is always better to check.Make sure to read the fine print that comes with the product. Manufacturers do not pay for labour charges or grant replacement claims if the defective product is installed.
If you discover an issue with the product after opening three boxes of laminate, it is best not to proceed with the installation. Instead, contact the store or flooring company. The flooring company/manufacturer honours warranty-related claims, not The Reno Superstore, although we can help to facilitate the process. For more information, check our return/exchange policy.
- Never Ignore Installation Instructions: Each product comes with a set of installation guidelines, which need to be followed accurately to achieve the best results. Ignoring these can lead to subpar and incorrect installation.
For instance, new laminate flooring products have a special click-lock system and do not need to be tapped. The tapping method was prevalent in older laminates, and using this method in newer ones will damage the locking system.
Laminate floors are a great choice for homes and moderate commercial use. Taking time to understand the process of installation is essential. It is recommended that you choose a flooring installation service in Mississauga or wherever you are for best results. However, if you are planning to do it yourself, make sure you take the time to understand the product and the process.