Laminate Floor Installation Tips

Get Pure Ease and Simplicity with a Laminate Flooring Installation, Theres No Mess Either!

Laminate flooring has to be just about the easiest to install plank, tile or panel type floor available on the market today. Whats more, once the last piece has been laid the floor will be ready to be put to use. Now thats what you call convenience!

It used to be that the finished look of an installed floor would depend largely on the skill of the person that carried out the job of laying it. Laminate has changed all that because most of the work is done at the factory prior to the customer taking delivery of the floor. The planks and tiles are pre-finished which means that anyone installing laminate flooring will never have to worry about glues or coatings. In the case of a stone or ceramic look laminate floor there is no need for the tedious job of grouting. Whats more, laminate floors have snap lock / click lock joints built in which makes installation a real snap!

Although laminate is designed with low maintenance and easy installation in mind, the longevity of your floor will still depend a lot on how well it has been installed, as such it will pay to take extra care and get the job done right the first time round. One of the most important things to bear in mind is the condition and state of the sub floor. You should ensure that it is firm, smooth, clean and dry. Failure to do so may mean that you end up with problems, that in most cases wont become evident for some time. Any damage caused by rot may give rise to costly repairs or replacement.

As with other similar types of flooring, you should bring your planks or tiles into the area to be covered at least 72 hours prior to installation in order for them to acclimate. This will help you to avoid buckling and also ensure that the individual pieces fit together snugly.

DIYers should have no problem with taking on the job of a laminate installation but it is certainly recommended that a manufacturers installation guide is followed. Many manufacturers now produce comprehensive installation videos that will guide you from start to finish through the job of laying a laminate floor. Often they are provided free of charge or can be obtained from a specialist flooring merchant. Some are viewable online or downloadable from the internet. Another handy point of reference would be a manual bought at a local DIY store or book shop. An online vendor, like Amazon, is also a good place to find such books.

The option of hiring outside help to install your laminate flooring is also worth considering if you lack the necessary skills, time or inclination to do the job yourself. As a pre-finished floor requiring little other than being put into place over a suitable sub-floor, the average cost of using a contractor to install a laminate floor will be lower than that of an unfinished wooden or ceramic floor. However, despite the relative ease of installation compared to other floor types you should take care to select your installer.

Experienced fitters can often be found through flooring merchants. The Yellow Pages will usually have numerous floor fitters listed too. It is recommended that you draw up a list of potential installers and make calls to all of them to first ascertain if they will be suitable for the job. Perhaps you may want to ask some of the following questions.

  • Do they have experience in laying laminate flooring?
  • Do they have verifiable references from other customers that they have recently carried installations for?
  • Do they have any photographs of recent installations they have done.
  • Where are they located? (its probably not advisable to use someone who is based on the other side of the country)
  • Can they guarantee that their work will be of a high professional standard and that it will be free of defective workmanship?
  • Are they fully insured for any damage that may be caused due to errors in their work?
  • Are they a member of the Better Business Bureau? (This can be verified with your local BBB)
  • When would they be available to start an installation?
  • How much do they charge?
  • Do they calculate their charges on an hourly or per square foot basis?
  • Any floor fitting company that you make contact with will undoubtedly have some things to ask you too. You may want to be ready with some answers to their questions, some of which may be similar to the following:

  • What type of flooring needs to be installed?
  • Is it a finished or unfinished floor?
  • Do the planks/tiles/panels have snap lock joints?
  • What condition is the existing floor in and what type is it?
  • Does the existing floor or sub floor require extensive work before the new floor can be put down.
  • Does the existing floor require removal?
  • Is an underlay required?
  • How many square feet need covering?
  • Where is your location?
  • When do you need the floor installed?
  • Once you have been provided with some estimates for the installation you will want to spend time going through them carefully so that you can draw up a shortlist. You may well find that the quotations for the job vary substantially, but it has to be said that it would be inadvisable to choose an installer on price alone at this stage. A more important factor to consider would be of the fitter having a consistent and proven reputation for reliably carrying out high quality installations.

    In many cases it can be worth spending a little bit more if you feel that an installer is capable of carrying out an exceptionally high level of work for you, as a job well done will certainly give you peace of mind later on. If you favor a particular installer but find their quote to be just a little on the high side you may want to remember that it is often possible to negotiate down from an initial offer. In fact, many contractors will expect there to be some negotiation over the price, so dont be afraid to ask.

    Well Done! If youve got this far then it looks like you are just about ready to be the proud owner of a stylish laminate floor but do be sure to first read our guide to buying laminate flooring before you make your purchase.