Read these 12 Laminate Flooring Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Flooring tips and hundreds of other topics.
When putting down laminate flooring, you have to be sure to stagger your joints. By ‘stagger your joints', I mean that you cannot have your cut plank ends lining up to one another. You see if you want your floor to stay on the ground for a long life you need to get the best lock possible between pieces.
If you lined up your cuts, all of your floor would rely on the same joint spot to resist lifting. When you stagger your joints, you will have many different joints from which you will get better strength out of your whole floor. Staggering means more necessary cuts in your laminate flooring planks, but it is a step you cannot skip.
Because of how they are manufactured, laminate floors can often get small cracks which can develop into chips in the laminate. These chips can spread if they are not mended quickly. Want some laminate flooring tips on repairs? Here are a few ways you can fill these chips in before they cause more damage. Your first option is an acrylic filler compound. Many brand of acrylic filler are made for laminate floors in several colors and styles. Take a piece of your scrap laminate from when it was installed and bring it to your local home improvement store. Match the color of the plank to the filler as best as you can. You will be surprised to see that you do not require a perfect match, so don't beat yourself up looking for one. When you get back home, apply the acrylic filler as instructed on the package and let dry. This will give you the end result of a hard surface that can only be seen as a chip by the keenest of eyes. There is also putty filler for laminate floors that can be used for repairs. The difference is the texture of the putty versus the acrylic filler. Putty is thicker and better for larger chips and for even results. Simply use a rubber trowel to spread the putty into the chipped space. Let dry and you will also get a hard surface that, depending on the color match, will hardly be noticeable. Filling in chips in laminate flooring is easy and can be done in less than an hour.
If there was one purchase in your life that you should over-order on, it is laminate flooring. You can never account for how many bad cuts you will get or how many damaged pieces will be delivered as defects from the factory. When ordering your laminate flooring you should add at least 10% of the measured square footage. This should be enough to account for your necessary cuts as well as having some left after the job is complete.
The reason you want leftover planks of your same laminate flooring is simple. At some point, you may need to replace a section due to damage. In this case, you will feel a lot better knowing that you have a case of it in the garage that will be a perfect match. Laminate flooring styles are perpetually made. Styles are often discontinued and you don't want to be stuck with an out of market flooring a few years down the road. Playing color by number with your laminate flooring is not an easy task, so keep a little left over for the ‘just in case' down the road.
So you have decided to lay your new laminate floor yourself. With the newer snap-lock technology, laminate flooring can be a breeze. Most important in the process is to cut straight after measuring twice. When approaching doorways or walls, you will need to cut your planks in a staggered fashion to get the best lock across the whole floor. When making your cuts, use a sturdy table saw with a fine blade. Many people attempt to use a circular saw for these cuts and find themselves throwing away too many pieces of chipped planks. The fine blade is the key to making cuts in laminate flooring. Because laminate flooring is just that, a laminated surface, the surface can quite easily chip when cutting. With a fine blade, you can get clean lines and cut smoothly. Again, make sure you measure twice and cut once. Also, do not forget that laminate flooring needs to ‘breathe', so leave a slight gap at the walls and doorways to allow for expansion and contraction.
If you fail to read a book, watch a video, or get accurate laminate flooring tips, you're likely to make some mistkaes when installing yours. There are many common mistakes that people fall into when installing laminate floors. We want to help you steer clear of as many as possible. Here are a few to remember when you begin your laminate floor project. • Measure, Measure, Measure – Too many people miss-measure or miss-order their laminate floors and end up short of what they require to finish the job. • Put an Even Layer of Padding – Whether you are laying your laminate floors on a concrete slab or over existing vinyl floors, you must use an even layer of underlayment padding in order to ensure the floors do not bow over time. • Do Not Leave Anything on The Floor – Sometimes, people will accidentally leave a spacer, or some other object on the floor when they are laying their planks. There is no bigger pain than having to pull up half of what you have already done in order to fish it out. • Leave a Gap at Your Walls & Thresholds – Laminate floors will expand and contract over time. Be sure to leave a slight gap at each wall and threshold to allow this natural process to occur with damaging the floors from pressure. These are just a few common mistakes that people make when laying laminate floors. Keep your eye out for these and any others that may cross your path.
When laying laminate flooring, you will want to leave gaps at opportune spaces such as door and hallway thresholds. When you approach these areas, you can leave a gap of about an inch between one room to another and use a threshold piece to cover the space. These spaces are important in the event you ever need to replace or do a major repair on any section of the laminate floors. They give you a closer access point from which you can get to the piece you need to replace. Want to hear one of the best laminate flooring tips? To cover these gaps, you can purchase molded pieces of laminate that match your floor. Consult your manufacturer or salesperson when ordering your flooring to inquire about what types of thresholds they offer. You can get ones that are squared at the corners or rounded to prevent stubbing your toe. Be sure to order these when you order your floors because you don't want to be in a situation where they run out of stock in your style. To install the thresholds, you will need to drill into the floor with a masonry drill bit to create a space for your anchors. Next, lay the strip of plastic that the threshold will snap onto by screwing it into the anchors that you placed in the drilled holes. Once secured in place, snap the threshold to the plastic strip and your laminate floors will have gaps no longer.
If you have allergies and you feel them when in your house, take a close look at what you walk on. If you have carpets in your house, you may want to look into laminate flooring instead to help with your allergies. You see, dust and other allergens gather and accumulate in carpeting over time. No matter how often you vacuum, you will never be able to rid your carpet of the pests that will make you sneeze. On the other hand, laminate flooring is a hard surface that does not gather dust or pollen. All you need to do is sweep every once in a while and you will rid yourself of harmful and bothersome allergens in your home's air. The difference is one that you will have to feel to believe. But I assure you, especially if you have pets, you will save yourself a bundle in Kleenex by changing from carpet to laminate flooring, now isn't that one of the best laminate flooring tips that you've ever heard?
Laminate floors that are left floating when installed rather than glued down will always have an echo sound when walked on due to the space between the base surface and the laminate floor planks. You can reduce this echo by taking a few steps. First, get good underlayment padding to put between your laminate flooring planks and your slab or original floors. These types of padding are made from foam, plastic, or rubber and absorb much of the sound that is created when you walk on your laminate floors. Make sure you put down an even layer all around with your underlayment. Any gaps or uneven spots will forever be felt under your feet. Another way to keep the echo down from your laminate floors is to get good quality flooring that is as thick as possible. The thicker the actual pieces of laminate floors, the heavier it is. The heavier the planks are, the more they will cling to the slab beneath them. This will create a better seal and reduce all noise from the laminate floors.
If you have a damaged plank of laminate flooring that is driving you crazy, don't waste any more time thinking about it. You can replace that piece of laminate flooring with little effort. Locate the closest access point to the edge of the plank. In other words, the nearest wall or end spot. Once you have found your access point, you will need to begin lifting the planks that are between the damaged plank and the access point. Because of the sturdiness of today's snap lock floors, you don't have to worry, they will fit back together just fine when you are done. Now, take a replacement board which you should have left over from when the floors were first laid. Insert the replacement board into the spot and snap it into place. Now go ahead and snap back in all of the boards which you had to pull up. You're done! If you still think that replacing a section of damaged laminate flooring is too much for you, contact a professional flooring company to come out and get it done for you. Just don't let the damage get any worse or could need to replace far more than you bargained for.
If you are ready for a change and want to replace your laminate floors, you can life the existing floors easily to prepare for your new flooring. First, choose an access point from which to begin your removal. If you used quarter-round to connect to the baseboards, you want to remove it all to make a clean edge for your new flooring. If you put baseboards on top of your laminate floors, you will want to only remove as little as possible in order to salvage what you can for the new floors. If you were planning on replacing your baseboards along with your laminate floors, you can pull it all off. Once you have a clear access point, you can begin lifting up the laminate by a simple lift and turn action to release the locking system that has held it in place. If your laminate floors were adhered to the ground, you will need to use a scraper and chemical peeler to life the laminate floors. Once you begin with the self locking style, you will have the whole floor up in less than an hour. The adhered laminate floors will take a considerable amount more time and you should employ safety precautions when peeling it up.
If you are looking for a way to add serious value to your house without spending a serious amount of money, you should think about installing your own self-locking laminate flooring. Anyone can install this type of laminate flooring. As long as you have a good saw and some kneepads, you can make this a fun do it yourself project that the whole family can participate in.
Self locking laminate flooring is a great do it yourself project for one reason, it is super easy. The edges of each plank of flooring are made with a locking system that fits as snug as your tightest pair of jeans. With a rubber mallet, you can get an entire floor covered in less than a day.
A true home improvement project, adding laminate flooring will give future prospective buyers something to catch their eye… under their feet.
Is your family expecting a new addition? When you have a child, you want it to have the most sterile environment possible to sleep in. For your child's nursery, you should put in smooth flooring such as laminate floors instead of carpeting. Carpet will accumulate dust and other allergens over time that can cause respiratory problems in your child's future. With a hard surface like laminate floors, you can keep those particles out of the air by regular sweeping and mopping. Vacuuming a carpet in a nursery will only serve to disperse the particles back into the air, only to fall to the ground once again. If you want the cleanest environment possible for your baby's nursery, look into laminate floors if you have carpet in the room now. Laminate floors are easy to install yourself and will be well worth the effort and cost.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|