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Tips To Ensure Your Laminate Flooring Is Installed Smoothly

by Clinton Stone

Getting ready to install laminate flooring? If so, the technique used to install the floor will have an impact on how it looks when finished. Avoiding a few simple mistakes can make a big difference in the end, which is why you want to follow these tips.

Smooth Out The Sub Floor

Laminate flooring works best when your subfloor is completely level. If you are replacing an existing floor or building on top of one, it may already be level if the previous flooring option was properly installed. However, adding laminate flooring as a new flooring material can be problematic. Uneven floors are common when adding laminate material to an unfinished basement with a floor that was not made with the intention of installing flooring on top of it.

The best thing you can do is smooth out the subfloor by using self-leveling cement. As the name implies, it's a type of cement that will level out automatically as you pour it onto the surface, and help you smooth out all those imperfections in the subfloor. There are two types of self-leveling cement you can purchase, a standard version and a quick-drying alternative. If this is your first time using self-leveling cement, try the standard version. It will give you more time to smooth out the surface before the cement dries.

Give Yourself A Gap

One thing to keep in mind is that you need a gap around the perimeter of the wall when installing laminate flooring. This is because the floor floats over the subfloor, and needs some room to expand and contract. It also makes it easier to fit the floorboard on the ground, since they do not need to fit so tightly against the wall.

The gap only needs to be about a quarter inch, which should be small enough for the molding along the floor to hide the gap once it is installed.

Stagger The Boards

When laying down boards for a new row of laminate flooring, you'll want to stagger the boards so that they do not end in the same place. How much you stagger the boards is up to you and how you want it to look. You can try staggering the board half the length of a single board, or one-third of the length. This will make is so that the floorboards do not seem so uniform in their position, making any small differences between the positions of the boards in each row hard to notice.

Contact a local contractor for more information about laminate installation services.

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