Download and install premium laminate flooring
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Be sure you are up to the challenge. Installing new floors is a big task and is fundamental to your home. To be successful, you need to have patience, adequate knowledge, and proper tools. Understand the time, energy, and commitment that is required before starting major projects. Sub-floors are typically concrete or cement and develop weaknesses over time. If you place laminate flooring on a weak or uneven sub-floor, the new floor will be compromised and eventually buckle, damage the laminate locking system, creak, or create micro gaps in the new floor. Lay a four to six foot level on the sub-floor, and see how close you can get the bubble to float between the vertical lines. If you find that the bubble is floating to one end of the level, the floor may be uneven. These areas will need to be lowered to create an even surface. Wood floors will need to be sanded down, and concrete floors will need grinding. Mark all of the uneven areas with a felt-tipped marker to keep track. Cheap laminate flooring has a higher chance of being defective right away and over time. Through usage, it may warp, buckle, and develop permanent stains. If you are working with a professional carpenter, ask for their opinion on the best brands. If you are on your own, ask an experienced home center employee, call a contractor, or check online for reviews on products you are considering. This will be useful for boards that are damaged, or in case the measurements are not accurate. Underlayment is a thin, hard layer of either cement board, wood, or foam. It is vital to the overall project because it protects the floor from moisture which can seep in from sub-floors such as concrete. Once the laminate flooring is introduced to moisture, it will absorb into the laminate and expand. Proper underlayment will help prevent the laminate from absorbing moisture which reduces buckling and warping over time. Underlayment also insulates noise, maintains the temperature in your home, and creates a smoother surface. However, the specific kind of plywood you use will depend on what your floors will be exposed to after installation. For example, if you live in a humid climate, marine plywood is recommended. When purchasing underlayment, check with the professional for guidance on the best type for you. It comes in large sheets that are placed down to cover the floor, and it is secured in place with screws along the edges. Monitor the temperature of the laminate. Flooring that has been left outside, or in a cold atmosphere, is fully contracted. If you start installing the flooring right when you bring it inside, then part of the floor will be installed cold. If the laminate is installed while it is still cold, it will slowly come to room temperature and change in size. Even if there was only a small section that was installed cold, it will expand and put pressure on the rest of the floor. This can cause humps and cracks in the floor and ruin the overall project. Follow the manufacturer's installation directions carefully. Most modern laminate flooring does not require you to tap or pound it into place. If you hammer planks together that use this system, you may break the edges, and your floors will not lock correctly. Inspect each piece of laminate. As the laminate is being installed, look at the laminate planks and edges to ensure they are the right pattern and don't have any visible defects. Replacing just one piece of installed laminate is difficult once surrounding pieces have been installed. Allow room for expansion. While you want to prevent laminate flooring from expanding, there is no way to avoid it completely. To accommodate this unavoidable problem, it is important to leave a small amount of space around the edges of the room you are installing laminate flooring. If you do not leave expansion clearance, the floors may warp and buckle not that long after installation. To be safe, check with a professional to figure out what the best amount of space to leave is for the room type and climate. Watch for gaps between pieces. Most quality laminate flooring is made with grooves and other designs that allow the pieces to lock together. This helps to prevent gaps. Pieces that do not get locked together properly will drift apart over time. The gaps will show as dark lines which are actually open expanses. You can correct these spaces with a rubber mallet. Tap the pieces back together as soon as you notice the problem. On occasion, it can appear the two pieces are locked when in reality they are not. I always make sure I angle the piece into the other, then quickly snap downward to secure. I also always use a recessed block to gently tap the short end into the preceding board. You must check and control the flatness. Also check for any damp areas -- this would swell the laminate if wood. And don't forget to lay an underlay -- felt or a rubber-composite-type floor covering. To avoid common problems when installing laminate flooring, inspect the sub-floor before installation to ensure that it is level. Then, purchase quality laminate flooring and underlayment, and before you install anything, look over each piece to check for defects before installing it. Carefully read the manufacturer's directions and seek professional assistance, if you encounter issues. That will get a floor laid down so my cerebral palsied wife has her bedroom back in place, that has to earn me brownie points. Instructions are very easy to follow and audible, you would not believe how many guys think muttering as they work is OK. I can't get my head around that.