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Installation of laminate floor

Installation of laminate floor is very similar to the installation of floating engineered hardwood floor and can be performed as do it yourself project.

Choose the right type of laminate floor and check AC rating. Make sure product will be durable enough for the specific area.

Let the new floor acclimatize 2-3 days with a normal temperature and moisture level in the room where it will be installed.

Read manufacturers guidelines and recommendations for installation. Some laminate floor products might be not suitable for places with a higher moisture conditions such as bathrooms or basements. In some cases it will be necessary manually seal all cutting edges with a proper protective sealer.

The subfloor needs to be flat. There are a lot of tutorials showing how install laminate floor and most of them keep telling that subfloor has to be leveled, but it's not a case at all. Some older houses literally have couple inches difference in level between walls and even person without any construction background can easily tell what will be involved to level such floor. But if you feel like the floor needs to be perfect - than level it. If it is a concrete - fix all cracks and let it dry completely.

Cut the door jambs to fit laminate floor under and clean subfloor. You do not need to replace baseboards unless you want to change them, but quarter round molding has to be removed. Check subfloor moisture level and install moisture barrier if necessary. It is especially important for concrete subfloors. Some of the laminate floor products come with underlayment already attached to the boards and you can start installation. Otherwise - unrolled and install underlayment.

The same as with a hardwood floor for a better visual effect lay laminate parallel to the longest wall. Always remember to leave about 1/4 inch space between laminate and a baseboard or wall. Never install it tight in order to prevent floor from bucking.

During the installation do not work on already installed floor. Saws and other tools can leave scratches on the laminate floor surface. Do not hit edges or surface of laminate floor planks even with a rubber mallet - the lock can be damaged and the finish layer can be chipped.

Install baseboards (if they were removed), quarter round molding, transitions and T-moldings. Nail baseboards and quarter round molding to the wall not to the laminate floor.

If the floor will be installed in the bathroom - toilet has to be removed and reinstalled. On the stairs laminate has to be glued down.

Laminate floor is a product that cannot be refinished. Small scratches might be possible to hide with a repair kit from any home improvement store, but planks with a really bad damages have to be replaced.