Allow Your New Laminate Flooring to Acclimatize
Place the boxes of laminate flooring in the room minimum of 48 hours before you begin to lay it. Laminate can expand and contract due to humidity levels in a room, by allowing it to acclimatize you can cut down on expansion or shrinkage in the future.
Prep the Sub-Floor
Remove all debris from sub-floor and ensure it is clean and smooth. Hammer down any nails sticking out or screw down any screws.
Choose an Appropriate Underlay
When laying laminate flooring in a basement choose an underlay with an attached or built in vapor barrier. Basements are prone to moisture,which can penetrate an underlay without vapor barrier and cause damage to the flooring. Note: Install underlay with vapor barrier face down on concrete installation.
Choose an Underlay with Sound Deadening Properties. You don’t want your brand new floor to just look amazing, you want it to sound amazing as well (and by amazing we mean quiet). Sound Deadening properties in an underlay cuts down on crunching, squeaks andeven footstep noises made by laminate flooring.
Purchase 10% Extra Laminate Flooring
Wastage and bad cuts are not an “if” but a “when”. By purchasing 10% extra laminate flooring than your square footage you allow yourself room for error if you make a bad cut, or if there is wastage due to angles in your room.
Undercut Door Jambs
There’s nothing worse than making multiple cuts attempting get laminate as close as possible to your door jamb shape. Avoid this by undercutting your door jamb and allowing yourself to place a tightly cut piece of laminate underneath and therefore hiding the cut entirely.
Calculate First Row & Last Row Cuts
Before laying any pieces of laminate, calculate the width of the room to determine the last row to be laid. Cut the first row of laminate to a width that will match the final row when flooring is finished - Doing so will ensure a consistant look throughout flooring and avoid having to place a 1” wide row to finish off your otherwise beautiful new floor.
Plan Multiple Rows/Cuts Beforehand
This is a critical step for DIYers to ensure the best result. Planning out the first cut for multiple rows before laying them will significantly cut down on the chances of a pattern developing. Diagonal patterns created by 6” staggered cuts on each row are hard to miss and can detract from the look of your new floor.
Use Spacers for Expansion Gaps
Laminate flooring will move, expand, and contract. Leaving gaps between laminate and the walls will allow that laminate flooring to move without causing it to buckle. Cover this gap with baseboard and quarter round.