The ultimate guide to laying laminate flooring

    Are you thinking about laying laminate flooring on your own? This is not as difficult as some people make it out to be; at least if you learn everything you need to beforehand. That’s why Top Rated General Contractors Los Angeles have decided to provide you with a handy guide; while also being more than ready to do tasks like installing laminate flooring for you. 

    Floor measurements

    Before you can truly begin laying laminate flooring – you need to figure out what kind of measurements you’re dealing with. Obviously, the square footage of the floor will determine the number of materials that you’ll need to get the job done. And as most remodeling contractors Los Angeles has will tell you; this is immensely important to perform precisely, because the last thing you want is to come up short with the laminate and have to pause the job while you get more. 

    A person standing on a laminate floor.
    Properly measure your floor before buying materials for laying laminate flooring!

    So, the most basic approach to this is to measure the width and length of every room that you’re laying laminate in; before multiplying the two values. Unfortunately, some rooms and floor layouts are more complex than a square shape; just one of the many reasons why hiring professionals for this job might be a better idea. But no matter what kind of calculation you come up with; we recommend adding around 5% to the final tally in order to account for potential wastage. 

    Getting ready

    Once you’ve got all the materials you’ve needed from the best interior design companies Los Angeles offers; it’s time to start laying laminate flooring. Or rather, to be more precise – it’s time to begin preparations of the floor. And make no mistake, this is one of the most important parts of this process; if you don’t want your laminate to be loose or to deteriorate after a short while, you should make sure that the floor is properly prepared. 

    Essentially, this means making sure that there’s no excess moisture or dampness in the floor before laying the laminate. Also, the floor needs to be perfectly level. If you think that you might have a damp issue in the subfloor beneath; there’s actually a way to test for this. Put down a plastic sheet on the floor where you think you might have moisture, and seal it using duct tape. When you remove it after 24h, dark patches or droplets of water on the floor will indicate that you have a moisture issue. 

    Setting down an underlay before laying laminate flooring

    Many people don’t even realize that you need an underlay before laying the laminate flooring, but it’s definitely a necessity. And no, it’s not all about extra height; you also need it to provide a “buffer zone” of sorts between your laminate and your concrete floor. If there’s any potential moisture stemming from the floor, the lack of an underlay could warp the laminate structure. 

    An empty room with wooden elements and laminate flooring.
    Your floors must be perfectly level to ensure that the laminate sets in properly!

    Plus, if you live in an apartment building and want to make the least possible amount of noise on a daily basis; a thick underlay will reduce the noise your footsteps make to your neighbors below. Finally, having an underlay beneath the laminate also adds more insulation, stopping heat and cold from leaving your room through your floor. So – choose an underlay carefully, clear away anything on top of the concrete; then proceed to just unroll it across your room, and cut away any extra parts. 

    Laying laminate flooring – the first row

    Now that you’ve made all the necessary preparations for laying laminate flooring, you can finally begin the process in earnest. Start with a single row of planks, preferably along your longest wall. Make sure that you leave at least one centimeter at the end of every laminate row to facilitate expansion. Then, lock your panels of laminate together across the entire room. The last panel probably won’t fit in entirety no matter how precise your calculations are; so you’ll probably have to cut it. Then, use a hammer and a tapping block to reduce the gap between all laminate panels.

    A hammer and a bottle of glue on laminate flooring.
    Make sure you clear away any debris from the floor before applying your first row of laminate!

    When you’ve completed the laminate floor, there’s likely to be a perimeter gap remaining. You can hide this with skirting that’s available at laminate equipment shops. Also, make sure to leave out some room for expansion around the doors between rooms; as well as near obstacles like radiator pipes or stairs. Don’t worry, you can hide these expansion gaps with a variety of accessories like door bars; specialists flooring shops have a wide variety of choices, ensuring you’ll find something that matches your home aesthetic. 

    Finishing Up

    One of the best parts about using laminate for your flooring is the sealing; unlike a majority of other types of flooring, you won’t have to perform any additional sealing on the floor. All you need to do with laminate is to ensure that the panels have been properly locked together; once that’s done, they’re virtually gap-free and watertight, so you won’t have to worry about such stuff. 

    That being said, it’s always a good idea to go the extra mile. For instance, once you’re done, take a look at the edges of your laminate near the wall. You might want to apply a sealant to these edges, seeing as water can “use” such crevices to reach the space beneath the laminate and damage your flooring. That’s why scotia or skirting rails are so appealing; they add to the interior aesthetic while also sealing potential gaps. 

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