What Goes Under Laminate Flooring

What Goes Under Laminate Flooring
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What Goes Under Laminate Flooring

We can admire the beauty, the texture, the luster and the faithful reproduction of natural wood or stone because we can see it. But what you can’t see – the floor’s underlayment – is just as important and deserves just as much attention.What is laminate flooring underlayment?Underlayment, or “padding” as it’s often called, is the spongy, closed-cell plastic foam sheet that comes in rolls. It is rolled out between the actual laminate flooring planks and the subfloor.Very often, particularly in a below-grade installation on a concrete basement floor, a vapor barrier is recommended in addition to the underlayment. That vapor barrier would go between the subfloor and the underlayment. “Combination underlayments,” as described on learn.builddirect.com, include an attached vapor barrier. Some laminate flooring planks come with the underlayment attached to each plank. Underlayment is not optional. If your laminate planks don’t have it already attached, we recommend that you buy rolls of underlayment on which to install your laminate floor.Is laminate flooring underlayment important?Its importance can’t be overstated. INSTALLFloors.org says, “Underlayment and subfloors are, arguably, the most important aspect of any flooring project in both residential and commercial settings. Proper selection and installation of underlayments and subfloors is crucial to the proper wear and stability of any flooring.”How does laminate flooring underlayment work?Underlayment does two things that are critical to a successful laminate flooring installation:1. Underlayment takes out any minor deviations in the subfloor.2. Underlayment delivers superior acoustical performance.If your laminate flooring planks already have an underlayment pad attached do not use additional underlayment because doing so will void your Swiss Krono warranty.What sizes do laminate flooring underlayments come in?According to homerenovations.about.com, laminate underlayment is foam that comes in rolls that are usually about 3 feet wide and between 30 and 100 feet long. Thicknesses range from 6 mil to 8 mil.Vapor barriers and laminate flooring underlaymentIf your installation is over concrete, we recommend a 6-mil-poly vapor barrier – even if the underlayment you are installing already has a vapor barrier attached. Why? Unintended nicks or tears during the installation process can violate the integrity of the attached vapor barrier. Adding another vapor barrier is an extra level of protection.Will carpet or carpet padding work like a laminate flooring underlayment?No. Our product cannot be installed over carpet or carpet pad so these items must be removed prior to installation. This is for the same reason adding additional pad is not recommended.Is there a quality difference in laminate flooring underlayment?Yes. We recommend spending as much on underlayment as you can afford because performance generally follows price in underlayments. The white underlayments are usually the least expensive and don’t perform as well.
what goes under laminate flooring 1

What Goes Under Laminate Flooring

Tools & Materials Tools Sander Long Level Tape Measure Shop Vacuum Moisture Meter Staple Gun Back Saw Circular Saw Drill with Driver Bits Screws Hammer or Pneumatic Nailer Pry Bar Ring Shank Nails or Screws Utility Knife Chalk Line and Chalk Safety Glasses Work Gloves Dust Mask Knee Pads Materials Leveling Compound Underlayment and Moisture/Vapor Barrier—as required by the manufacturer Product costs, availability and item numbers may vary online or by market. Missing anything? Shop Online Introduction It’s what you don’t see that is the most important part of a beautiful, long-lasting hardwood or laminate floor: A well-prepared subfloor is key to lasting hardwoods and laminates. First, calculate the room’s square footage to find out how much flooring you’ll need to buy. Do this by multiplying the room’s length by its width. If you have an irregularly shaped room, divide the room into smaller squares and rectangles, calculate the square footage of each smaller area and add them all together. When you buy, add 10 percent to the total. This allowance covers imprecise math, irregular pieces and cutting mistakes. Before you begin, read the flooring manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Know and follow all local building codes. If you don’t feel comfortable, Lowe’s installation services may be the easiest way to handle your hardwood or laminate installation. These instructions apply to preparing a plywood subfloor. If you are installing on concrete, reference How to Prep A Concrete Subfloor. Clean the Subfloor Step 1 Pull up the existing flooring. Also, using a pry bar and hammer, remove baseboards to create an expansion gap – a space that allows the new flooring to expand from heat and moisture. CautionOld flooring may contain asbestos. If you are unsure of safe removal and disposal processes, consult a professional. Step 2 Check that your moisture barrier, underlayment and plank fit under your door casing and door. If they don’t fit, cut 1/16 inch to 1/8- inch off the casing and check again. Step 3 If you’re gluing the new flooring to the subfloor, use a sander to remove paint, oil, wax, adhesives, sealers or other material. Then, thoroughly vacuum off dust and debris. Good to KnowNail-down or floating floors may be installed over existing vinyl as long as it is no more than two layers thick. Thoroughly vacuum the existing floor and use a long level and tape measure to ensure the subfloor is level within 3/16 inch for every 10 feet. Sand any high spots and fill the low spots with leveling compound. CautionA floating floor (laminate or locking hardwood) should NOT be installed over a wood subfloor adhered to a concrete slab. Step 4 Check the moisture level of the subflooring using a moisture meter. Compare the results against the manufacturer’s specifications for moisture limits. If you have a plywood subfloor over a concrete slab, check the moisture level of both floors. Step 5 Finally, repair any loose or squeaky boards by screwing them securely into the floor joists Prepare the Subfloor Step 1 Unroll the underlayment and moisture barrier, if needed, in long strips, joining each row with tape, being careful not to overlap the edges. Leave it long at each end of the room – you’ll trim the length after the floor is installed. Good to KnowSome flooring planks have underlayment attached to the bottom of the board. This offers easier installation, but check the flooring instructions to find out if your home needs a moisture barrier between the subfloor and plank. Step 2 Structural guidelines require that some flooring be installed perpendicular to the floor joists. If the new floor will run parallel to the room’s length and floor joists, you need to reinforce the subfloor with an additional piece of plywood. Create a Guide Mark a guideline on your subfloor to run a square floor. Step 1 Mark the center of each wall on the subfloor. Snap a chalk line between marks to form a cross in the center of the room. Step 2 Measure the distance between the center point and the starting wall. Now, subtract the manufacturer’s expansion gap from the measurement to create your guideline measurement. Step 3 Using the new figure, measure along the parallel centerline to each end of the starting wall and make a mark. Snap a line connecting each new mark to form a guideline for starting the floor. Install Your New Floor You’re almost ready to start installing your new floor. Remember that flooring requires at least 72 hours to acclimate to your home’s temperature and humidity levels prior to installation. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for specifics on acclimation periods. For more on installation, reference How To Install an Engineered Hardwood Floor or How to Install A Solid Hardwood Floor. Shop for Flooring
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What Goes Under Laminate Flooring

Search Add New Question How do I get a laminate around a door frame? wikiHow Contributor Best thing to do is saw the bottom of the frame and run the flooring under it for a perfect finish. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 0 Helpful 11 Should the laminate floor go down or across? wikiHow Contributor That’s up to you; however, most designers will tell you to place the runs parallel with the longest wall or in the same direction as adjoining rooms. It’s generally considered to look better. If your room is extremely long and you are trying to minimize that feel, you can “go across” to create a shortened illusion. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 2 Helpful 10 If the flooring has been inside a store and not in a cold warehouse, do I still need to let it sit for 48 hours? wikiHow Contributor Yes, you should. The humidity level between the two locations is likely to be different, and that’s really the biggest concern. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 2 Helpful 4 Is it supposed to creak when you walk on it? wikiHow Contributor No, it shouldn’t. If it creaks, you’ve done something wrong or it has been damaged. Avoid water and high humidity on the laminate at all costs. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 7 Helpful 4 I removed the carpet from my floor and I have small pieces of padding left. Do I need to remove them or can I lay the floor over them? wikiHow Contributor Remove them, otherwise the flooring will not be level and won’t clip together smoothly. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 2 Helpful 1 How do I get a smooth join on the short edge on the second row? wikiHow Contributor Use a sharp, fine-tooth blade and cut from the face of the board (top side) to the bottom, making sure board is square. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0 If I am going to install laminate flooring with a pad backing, do I still need a water barrier sheet if the floor is in a bedroom? wikiHow Contributor Yes, the padding helps cushion but doesn’t prevent moisture from coming through, which is always a possibility even in a bedroom. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0 If I want to lay laminate in my bathroom, how do I go round the toilet? wikiHow Contributor I would strongly advise that you lift the toilet and lay the flooring underneath and re-install the pan afterward. This can be a biggish job. If you try and cut the flooring to go around the base, you will need to make a template out of strong cardboard to ensure it fits. Don’t forget a 10 mm expansion gap all around the toilet pan base. You will then need to find some method of sealing the gap to prevent water damaging the flooring. This is why I recommend installing the floor under the toilet pan. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 1 Helpful 0 Can I combine 2 colors in a design? wikiHow Contributor Yes, you can put 2 colors in as long as you can join them. (Some varieties will not join together.) Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 1 Helpful 0

What Goes Under Laminate Flooring

What Goes Under Laminate Flooring
What Goes Under Laminate Flooring
What Goes Under Laminate Flooring
What Goes Under Laminate Flooring

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