INSTALLING LAMINATE FLOORING
If you really enjoy hands-on home remodeling projects, you might consider installing laminate flooring. We’re not recommending this as a good do-it-yourself project for the great majority of homeowners. There are some helpful tricks of the trade, so be sure to discuss this with your Macco’s Floor Covering Center associate. Each manufacturer will have particular installation instructions, which you must adhere to in order to keep the warranty in force. But for any laminate floor installation, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Laminate flooring installation calls for careful attention to molding. Moldings cover the perimeter gap that is allowed for the flooring to expand, and they help make the transition to adjacent floors. Most manufacturers offer matching moldings for all styles and colors of laminate flooring. Laminate moldings typically sit slightly higher than the laminate flooring itself. Below are standard moldings descriptions:
- Step Down Stair Nose - a coordinating piece providing the proper transition for all the steps in your home.
- Reducer Strip is the transitional piece installers may use to connect the laminate with another type of floor covering such as vinyl, thin ceramic tile, or low-pile carpeting.
- End Molding or Carpet Reducer is used as a transition from laminate floors to different flooring surfaces when the reducer does not allow enough height, such as on high-pile carpet or thick ceramic tile.
- T-Molding is commonly used in doorways to join two laminate floors in adjoining rooms. These are recommended when making transitions from a laminate floor to another floor that is approximately the same height.
- Quarter Round may be installed wherever the laminate floor meets the wall or baseboard. We recommend that you work closely with us to become familiar with the moldings and transition pieces that will be used in your home.
Laminate flooring typically gets a couple of layers of material atop the subfloor. First down is a layer that serves as a moisture barrier. Next is a cushioning/sound deadening padding layer. Some laminate flooring planks have the padding affixed to each plank. Upon completion, the final height of the new flooring may require adjustments in doors, so they open and close properly.
If you have read this far, you have almost certainly determined that your wisest course of action is to let a professional installer do the job. The benefits of working with a pro begin with a pre-installation walk-through, which will help ensure that you are prepared for the big day. Your laminate flooring may need to be acclimated to the environment into which it is being installed for four or five days, so you’ll need a space available in advance of the actual installation. The range for proper humidity is 45% to 65%. Your installer will help you sort this out during your pre-installation walk-through.
Likewise, the matters of removal and disposal of old flooring, trim, sub-floor preparation, and door clearance can be addressed during the walk-through.
On installation day, plan to be home. Have a plan for keeping children and pets well clear of the work areas. Expect noise. Have the room completely clear of furniture, according to your discussion with the installer ahead of time. Plan to provide ventilation for the new floor area, post-installation, to help clear related odors and dust.