Installing Laminate Floors

PLEASE READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU BEGIN INSTALLATION. IMPROPER INSTALLATION WILL VOID THE WARRANTY

  • Always check for defects such as chips and colour or sheen differences under good lighting condition. Also check that the channel is clean and free of debris.
  • Your laminate flooring must be allowed to acclimatise to the environment of the installation area.
  • Leave the closed packages laid down in a horizontal position in the room for 48 hours prior to installation. Preferable temperature should be approximately 17-23 degree C with relative humidity of 45-60 percent.
  • If existing baseboard moulding are difficult to remove, they may be left in place. Quarter round moulding is all is that needed to cover the expansion space between the flooring and the baseboard.

TOOL AND SUPPLIES REQUIRED ARE:

  • Vapour barrier foam underlay, pressure sensitive polypropylene adhesive tape such as vapour barrier tape or equivalent, spacers, tapping block, pull bar, saw, hummer, utility knife, pencil, tape measure, ruler, construction adhesive.
  • If installing over a crawl space or a concrete floor, make sure to use a 2 in1 foam underlay that has a vapour barrier built in on both sides. Or use a 1 sided vapour barrier foam underlay with a 4 mm (or thicker) polyethylene vapour barrier sheeting underneath the foam. When installing foam underlay, butt seams and then completely seal seams using vapour barrier tape.
  • For on grade or above grade installation single sided vapour barrier foam underlay is sufficient.

SUITABLE TYPES OF SUBFLOORS AND FLOOR PREPARATION

  • The underfloor or subfloor must be thoroughly even, dry, clean and solid. Carpet staples or glue residue must be removed and the floor must be clean to ensure proper installation.
  • To check for evenness, hummer a nail into the centre of the floor. Tie a string to the nail and push the knot against the floor. Pull the string to the farthest corner of the room and examine the floor at eye level for any gaps between the string and the floor. Move the string around the perimeter of the room noting any gaps larger then 3 mm. Any floor unevenness of more then 3 mm per 1 metre must be sanded down or filled with an appropriate filler.
  • Floors must be carefully checked for moisture problems. Any moisture problems need to be solved before installation. New concrete needs top cure for at least 60 days before installation.
  • This product is not suitable for damp rooms such as bathrooms, saunas, rooms with damp concrete, rooms with floor drains or rooms that could potentially flood.
  • For installation on concrete floors or floors over crawl space a vapour barrier must be laid down first. Run a 2 in 1 foam underlay 5 cm up the walls. Also tape the seams. When using a 1 sided foam underlay with 4 mm poly sheeting, run both the underlay and the sheeting 5 cm up the walls. Also tape the seams of both the poly sheeting and the 1 sided foam underlay.

BASIC INSTALLATION

laminate installation step 1

1. All flooring installations require foam underlay. Run the foam underlay in the same direction as laminate panels. Underlay foam should be butted side by side with no overlap. Tape seams together with vapour barrier tape. You will need to remove the tongue on the sides of the panels that face the wall. This is to ensure that the decorative surface of the laminate is well under the finished trim when installed. Use a utility knife to score through the tongue several times until it easily snaps off.

2. Start a corner by placing the first panel with its trimmed side facing the wall. Use spacers along each wall to maintain an expansion of 8 -10 mm between the wall and the flooring.

Remember that this product is primarily wood and needs room to expands and contract. At no point should you secure laminate to any surface.

3. To attached your second panel, insert the end tongue of the panel into the end groove of the first panel at a 45 degree angle. Lower the panel flat to the floor. Line up edges carefully.

4. Continue connecting the first row until you reach the last full panel. Fit the last panel by rotating the panel 180 degrees with the pattern side upward, place beside row where the panel is to be installed, mark and then saw of excess. Attach as described above.

5. Use fine-toothed type if you are using hand saw and cut on decorative surface up. If use jig saw with toot up or circular saw cut with the decorative side down to avoid chipping.

6. Begin the next row with the off cut piece from the previous row. This must be at least 30cm long. If the piece too short, start with the new board, cut in half. Always ensure that the end joints are staggered at least 30 cm.

laminate installation step 3

7. To start your second row push the side tongue of the panel into the side groove of the very first panel at about 45 degrees. When lowered, the plank will click into the place.

8. There are different ways to assemble floor further, it depends on personal preference, experience and tools available.

8 A. Attach the second panel of the new row first on the short side as described above. Push this panel as close as possible to the previous row.

9 A. To attach its long side, tilt both panels in the new row at 45 degrees and push into the groove of the previous row. Lower to the floor. Continue laying remaining panels in the same manner.

TIP: Sometimes it's faster and easier to assemble panels into a new row and then attach this row to the previous row.

8 B. Attach the second panel of the new row on the long side at 45 degrees and click into place leaving a small gap on the butt end next to the butt end of the previous panel.

9 B. Tap horizontally on the butt end of the second panel of the new row using a tapping block to close the gap between the panels being careful not to over tap. Tap until the butt ends of the panels just touch! Continue with the rest of the floor as described above. Diagram 8B/9B.

10. To fit the last row, lay a panel upside down against the wall using a ruler measure and mark the space that needs to be cut. Don't forget to allow room for the spacers when you measure your cut line. Cut the panel and attach into position.

11. Door frames and heating vents also require expansion room. First cut the panel to the correct length. Then place the cut panel next to its actual position and use a ruler to measure the areas to be cut and mark them. Cut out the marked points allowing the necessary expansion distance on each side.

12. Trip the bottom of door frames by turning a panel upside down as a guide as use a hand saw to cut away the necessary height of the door frame. This will allow the panels to slide easily under the frames.

Remove spacers and you are ready to install finishing mouldings.

FINISHING MOULDINGS

laminate finishing molding
  • Reducer moulding is used to finish flooring when the adjoining surface is lower or higher then the laminate flooring. Position the U Track between each edge of the flooring leaving a small expansion space. Screw, nail or glue down the track directly to the subfloor and then insert the reducer strip into the track.
  • T-moulding is used to finish flooring when two level surfaces meet in the doorways or for expansion joints. Install in the same way as the reducer above. If your room is more then 7 square meters you will need to allow for an expansion joint.
  • Landing moulding is used to finish flooring on landings or stair edges. Mouldings need to be glued to the subfloor for safety and stability. When gluing use construction adhesive for maximum bonding power.

    Do Not use carpenter's glue!

  • To finish the perimeter of the room install quarter round moulding using finishing nails. Quarter round moulding is nails directly into the baseboard.

MAINTENANCE AND CLEANING

  • Preferable temperature should be approximately 17-23 degree C with relative humidity of 45-60 percent.
  • Use a laminate floor cleaner to clean up any dirt and footprints but avoid using excessive moisture. All spills should be cleaned up immediately. Never use wax, polish or scouring agents as they may dull or distort the finish. You can use a cleaner specially formulated for laminate to remove stubborn marks.
  • To avoid scratches apply felt pads to your furniture legs and use only soft rubber casters. Protect high traffic areas with runners and area rugs.
  • It's a good idea to safe a few boards in case of accidental damage. Boards can be replaced or repaired by flooring professional.