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How To Install Laminate Flooring

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Laminate flooring is an excellent option when looking for durability, cost-effectiveness and the ability to install without expensive labour costs. Though often less attractive than wooden or tiled floors, laminate can be a good substitute when your primary requirement is a hard-wearing, stain-resistant and attractive surface.
What you'll need: 
Laminate planks
Underlayer and base sheeting
Laminate glue and adhesive
Tapping block and spacers
Safety goggles and gloves
Measuring tape and pencil
Carpenter's square
Saw and table
Laminate floor cleaner/white vinegar
Most laminate flooring rests on a layer of foam which has numerous functions including shock-absorption, noise-reduction and moisture-prevention. This foam layer should therefore be laid down first unless the laminate is being installed on a concrete base. In this case a 6ml plastic vapour barrier should be laid before the foam. The existing flooring may have to be removed before laying the laminate; this is generally the case when placing laminate over wooden floorboards.
Laminate comes in the form of 'planks' which are laid one-by-one in a similar fashion to wooden floorboards. The planks are generally in 'tongue and groove form' (one plank fitting into the next)and are therefore stable when fixed. The room should be measured before beginning the installation process. If the planks require cutting before being installed they should be cut on the tongue or less machined side.
Laminate flooring reacts to changes in temperature and humidity by expanding and contracting and must be given leeway to do so. Plastic spacers must therefore be placed around the room during the fitting process and should allow a quarter of an inch of space on all sides. This space will later be covered with quarter-round moulding. It is generally recommended that new laminate planks be given at least two days to 'acclimatise' to the room in which they will be laid prior to being installed.
It is vital that the floor surface is absolutely flat before the laminate planks are laid. Uneven surfaces will result in damage to the laminate and lifting of the planks over time. If the planks are being laid on a hard surface such as concrete, all high spots should be ground down until level.
Place the spacers around the room before starting; begin the installation process on the left side of the room, working towards the right and making sure that the planks are properly fitted into one another before moving on. Remember to leave half an inch of space from each wall.
If the surface required putting down an under-layer you should now cut it so that it with the utility/craft knife so it is flush with the walls. Remove the spacers around the room before installing the quarter-round moulding along the walls using either laminate glue/adhesive or a hammer and nails. Ensure that the moulding is attached to the floor rather than the laminate as the expansion and contraction of the laminate will result in the moulding working itself loose. This will cover the expansion zones and complete installation.
Clean the surface with either a specific laminate cleaner or a solution of warm water and white vinegar. Installation of your versatile, attractive and long-lasting laminate floor surface is now complete and furniture can be returned to the room.
Take the time to take correct measurements and cut the planks neatly.
Always wear safety goggles and gloves when working with saws or utility knives.


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