An Ultimate Guide to Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is becoming popular for those who wish to give their home an updated look. The ease of cleanup is one of the many benefits of this type of flooring. This flooring can give you the look of wood or stone.

When choosing laminate wood flooring, you get the look of real wood without the maintenance. True wood floors require sanding if something is accidentally dropped that gouges the wood. Deep scratches will have to be sanded on wood floors. Sanding and refinishing can be time-consuming. However, good laminate flooring is gouge resistant.

There are two processes for making laminate flooring which determines how well it will hold up for your needs. Direct pressure laminate is the most common one for using in homes. It has a realistic look of wood or stone depending on your choice. It is less expensive than its counterpart, high-pressure laminate.

High-pressure laminate is more gouge resistant than direct pressure laminate but it is harder to apply the pattern that gives it the wood or stone look. Therefore, it does not look at natural as the direct pressure laminate. To achieve the look that you want in your home direct pressure laminate is most likely your best choice.

Laminate flooring is made by layering materials. The top one is the one you see and walk on. This layer includes aluminum oxide as part of the materials used to make the floor less likely to stain, the color to fade, and protects it from wear and tear. The next layer is a fiberboard that gives the floor its strength. Most have melamine in this layer to resist moisture and make the floor strong enough to hold up to daily use.

The third layer is made with paper that is soaked with resin. The resin is what is used to establish a barrier to prevents moisture from getting into the flooring. This keeps the floor from warping.

These layers are fused together using either of the methods discussed previously, high pressure or direct pressure. When you choose the method you prefer, take into consideration the use of the floor. Most people prefer the direct pressure laminate in homes to give their floors the appearance of real wood or stone.

Businesses may use the high-pressure laminate to last longer and hold up to the traffic that it is subject to daily. They may not be concerned with achieving the look of real wood or stone as long as it looks nice and is easy to clean.

Laminate flooring is a great look for your home or business. Wood or stone flooring can add beauty to a room and value to your home. Many people are ripping up their carpets and replacing them with this great look. Cleaning is a breeze. Once installed it lasts longer than carpet and does not require steam cleaning to keep it looking great. Accent rugs can be used to tie in your décor theme.

With all the great benefits of laminate flooring, it is no wonder, more and more people are choosing to replace their old flooring with this natural look.

How to Install Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring Installation

Installing laminate flooring is not difficult if you follow a few steps that will prevent mistakes that can be timely to correct. One of the mistakes that are common is not getting the space measured correctly. When installing laminate flooring the area you are going to cover has to be measured and measured again to ensure the flooring will be done correctly.

Before you put the laminate flooring down padding should be used. This will create a barrier for the flooring to keep moisture from getting in and ruining it. This underlay should be put from wall to wall. Any edges that show when you put the flooring down will be hidden by the trim when you finish the room.

If you do not get the measurements right, you may end up spending more time on this project than you want. Remember the first and the last section of flooring will have to be the right size even if they have to be cut. If you do not get these two sections right, it can throw off your whole floor.

Another thing to remember when installing this flooring is it expands and contracts so it cannot be installed right up to the wall. There needs to be a space and the trim should not be fastened to the floor. Only the top of the trim attached to the wall is the best way of making sure it does not interfere with the laminate flooring and keep it from ruining it.

One thing that can cause you to ruin your laminate flooring is not cleaning the floor well before you attempt to put this flooring down. The laminate look of hardwood floors can be put on virtually any surface. From concrete floors to ripping up your carpet to install laminate flooring, there are certain steps you have to take.

Cleaning your floor will not only make your flooring go down better but it will keep you from ruining any of the pieces should there be tacks or staples left from the carpet. There are products you can use to level out any floors that are not even. This is necessary for putting laminate flooring down. If the floor is not level or has spots that are lower than others your flooring is going to look bad and it is not going to hold up.

When you lay the flooring out, remember to stagger the pieces so that they look more like a hardwood floor. When installing laminate flooring you want it to have a professional look when you are finished. One thing you really do not want is for the flooring to look so bad you have to take it up and start over.

The adhesive that holds this flooring down is very strong. This is a plus for holding the flooring however, that is one reason it needs to be right when it is put down. The flooring is very difficult to get up once it is dry. Laminate flooring looks great when the job is done correctly. It is easy to clean and can last for years, so following a few tips can give you a great looking floor.

How to Repair Laminate Flooring

Repair Laminate Flooring

If you have installed laminate flooring and a problem has surfaced, such as scratches, this can be quite easy to take care of. The manufacturer of your flooring may recommend a touch-up stick. They can get one for you that will match your flooring perfectly. After using the touch-up stick, you will be unable to notice the spots where the scratches were. The repair will make the spot blend with the other areas of the floor and it will become invisible.

If your flooring has a nick or gouge, there is a product that will fill the damaged area. It bonds to the laminate and becomes part of the floor. It will harden and resist moisture, cleaners, and any other substance the same as the original floor does. This is a perfect solution for any kind of damage from dropping something. It is more cost-effective than replacing part of the floor and you will be surprised at how easily it blends in with the rest of your floor.

Other minor damage such as spots from an accidental spill or if your children used a permanent marker on the floor can be repaired without major problems. Nail polish remover will normally remove marker without a problem. Just use enough to cover the marker and do not go overboard.

A cleaner that is recommended for this type of flooring can be used. It will clean the spot without harming the floor. If you have gum or another substance stuck to the floor, scraping can remove it. However, you have to do it carefully to avoid gouging the floor.

Most problems you encounter will be minor and can be fixed. So don’t panic if you spill something or accidentally drop something on your floor. A call to your manufacturer will tell you if there is something you can do or if it needs professionally repaired.

For damage that is more serious, you may have to call in a professional. Replacing a section of the flooring with another plank of flooring may be what is called for. Using a professional to do this is what will make the difference in whether you can see the repair or not. If it is done correctly, you will be unable to see where the new plank was installed.

If you have more serious problems such as water damage, you may have to replace a section of flooring. Make sure it is limited to only part of the flooring. If it has seeped under the entire floor, you may have to redo the whole room. Usually, the moisture barrier that is installed at the time you install the flooring will prevent this from happening. However, in extreme circumstances, this could occur.

Consider these steps if you have a problem with your laminate flooring. Before you have a panic attack, make sure it is something that should cause you to panic. You can do many repairs without costly replacement of part of your floor. That is what makes this such a great option for flooring. Not only does it look great but should you need to make a small repair, it can be done without calling a professional.

How to Fitting Laminate Flooring

Fitting Laminate Flooring

If you are planning on putting laminate flooring in your home, you will want to be sure that it is put down properly. It can look great if it fits the space in the right way. However, if you do not take the pains to install it so that it fits the floor it will look very unprofessional. The look you are trying to achieve will not be what you end up with.

The first thing that you need to do is measure the room in which you are going to install the flooring. If the measurements are not correct, you will not have the right amount of planks to work with and there will be a problem when you get to the last row. Measure two or three times if necessary to make sure you will get a good fit.

The first row may have to be adjusted to make the last row look right. If the last row is going to be less than two inches wide, the time to make an adjustment is before you install the laminate flooring on the whole space.

Before you start laying the laminate flooring the foam roll of underlayment must be put down. This has to be put down to fit against the walls leaving no spaces. It has to be smoothed out so that there are no wrinkles. Any cutouts for vents need to be done at this time. If you have seams where it is put together, they have to be taped.

Due to the expansion and contraction of laminate flooring, when you put the first planks down it is wise to use spacers between them and the wall. If you do not do this, the flooring is either going to be too far out from the wall or it will warp. One thing you do not want to have to do is take the flooring up and start all over again.

Installation kits sometimes are provided with your laminate flooring. If it is not, check the manufacturer’s directions for what type of glue to use to make sure they stay together. Flooring that starts coming apart days after it is installed is not put together properly and the fit will not be right at all. Your floor could end up looking like a disaster area instead of a beautiful hardwood or stone floor.

Don’t panic if the joints swell and become uneven for a period of time after installing the flooring. Water-based glue is typically what is used to put this type of flooring down and it can cause this to happen. It can sometimes take up to a week for them to settle back to where they belong.

If you want a perfect fit for the laminate flooring, you have to follow instructions. Whether it is the instructions that come with the flooring or if you find a site online that specifically tells you how to do this correctly, follow one of them. A well-laid floor will show a professional look. One that is not correctly installed will be a waste of time and money.