Home Remodeling: Preparing Laminate Flooring

If you are going to take on the task of installing laminate floors in your house for a home remodeling project, make sure you are prepared so the job gets done in a timely and appropriate manner. It is very important to properly evaluate the surface on which you are going to install your laminate flooring.

Home Remodeling: Preparing Laminate Flooring

There two factors to take into consideration:

(1) the flatness of the subfloor

(2) the humidity level.

If it’s a wood subfloor, there’s no problem. Unless it’s on the basement and there’s no installation. A humidity test will be necessary because it’s not recommended to install laminated flooring on surfaces that have more than 60% relative humidity. Do some test cuts on your laminated boards to make sure they don’t get chipped and if they do try cutting them upside down to eliminate obvious flaws in your work.

The same goes for concrete. This type of surface is compatible with laminate flooring but the humidity must always be monitored, especially when it’s a ground level or below.

Manufacturers also do not guarantee their product if it is placed on a concrete surface without the use of a proper vapor barrier. This is mandatory. Also, remember that laminate flooring can be installed on any surface except carpet. It would be like putting a mirror on a mattress. The solidity will be greatly reduced. In addition, closing up a carpet beneath an impermeable surface would not allow it to breathe. It would cause mold, thereby promoting bacterial growth.

Whether the surface is wood, concrete or if it an existing floor covering, it must be SSDC (solid, smooth, dry and clean). So if we want good results, we must pay special attention to the variations and height of the subfloor. You must correct variations exceeding 187 inches every 3 feet. If you cannot perfectly smooth down the surface, you must apply a thicker floor for more rigidity.

Finally, a laminate-flooring can also be used to cover a low temperature heated surface that’s already integrated into the subfloor, such as water heating systems. In this case, you have to recommend a felt underlayment. But beware… some manufacturers do not recommend it as it voids the warranty all together, especially the electric floor heating. We must read the information on the product label. it will make easy for you to understand and the subsequent home remodeling project.

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