Laminate flooring is popular because it looks like wood but it is much easier to care for and it's less expensive too. Laminate is also easier to install than hardwood flooring. However, unless you're comfortable with home DIY projects, you'll probably want to hire a professional laminate installation service to get the best results. Here's an overview of the installation process.
Start With The Base
The nice thing about laminate flooring is that it can be installed over existing flooring as long as the surface is smooth and intact. This saves a lot of work. Some manufacturers even allow their products to be placed over carpet as long as it is thin and adhered to the floor. However, it's generally a good idea to pull up carpet first so you don't have to worry about mold or odors from old carpeting. If you have carpeting now, ask the installers or the store where you buy the flooring if it should be ripped up first. If so, you'll need to also rip up the tack strips a scrape away any glue residue.
If you have other flooring, such as concrete, wood, vinyl, or tile, all you have to do is make sure the flooring is level and clean before installing laminate flooring. Laminate flooring planks float over your old floor so there is no need to waste time and money tearing out tiles or hardwood planks. While prepping the floor, the installers also need to remove the baseboards in the room. Then the floor is cleaned and swept so it is ready for work to begin.
Cut The Pieces
One reason professional installation is needed is because some of the laminate planks need to be cut to size. Figuring out how to cover the floor with the planks takes some skill because the planks won't be an exact fit. Plus, the planks need to be cut to fit around thresholds and other tight areas. This requires precision with the saw and the ability to cut the planks so they fit like puzzle pieces to cover the entire floor area in the room.
Put In The Floor
Laminate flooring is usually installed over an underlayment, which is spread out over the existing floor. Once that's done, it's time to start putting in the planks. The planks attach to each other by snapping them into grooves. While the work isn't difficult, it is tedious. Attention must be paid to the pattern of the planks so that they offset each other to look like a natural wood floor. Also, the custom-cut pieces have to be oriented so they snap into the planks beside them. Once you get in a groove, plank installation is fairly easy, and that's why this type of flooring has a reputation for being easy to install.
When trying to decide if you should install the flooring yourself or hire professionals, consider the value of your time and whether you want to spend a whole day putting flooring into a single room of your home. Also, be sure you can operate a saw, because unlike vinyl planks, you can't cut laminate with scissors. If you buy the laminate flooring at a home improvement or flooring store, you can catch it on sale and save quite a bit of money. The money you save could go towards professional installation and save the time and frustration you'd face trying to install the floor on your own. To learn more, contact a company like McSwain Carpets and Floors.