Did I install underlay correctly for laminate flooring on concrete?

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  #1  
Old 04-17-14, 10:40 PM
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Did I install underlay correctly for laminate flooring on concrete?

Hi DIY community,

Recent fan, first time poster.

I am a first time home buyer and decided to install laminate as cheaply as possible to replace the carpet in my concrete basement. I don't have anyone telling me if I've done it correctly so I am seeing if anyone can confirm what I did is ok.

The laminate flooring is the ainsley oak from HD .68/sqft
Moisture Barrier - HD .15/sqft
Underlay - TM .25/sqft 2in1

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Since this picture I have finished the underlay for the whole basement

I've attached a picture and have a few questions.
1. Is it ok that the moisture barrier/Underlay is a little bumpy and wrinkly? It isn't anything ridiculous but I would be hard pressed to find anyone that can make that thing completely flat.

2. We overlapped our underlay on the edges or side by side for the entire floor already and it overlaps ~4 inches. We're we supposed to overlap? If not, is it ok or how do we fix it?

3. What are the next steps? Do I cut the overlapping of the underlay on the wall or can I start installing laminate with the underlay covering/overlapping the edge of the wall

4. I also realized I installed the underlay on the shorter side of the room. I will be putting the laminates in perpendicular. Is that going to be an issue?

Thank you for your help, very new to the whole do it yourself concept and would appreciate any feedback.
 
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Old 04-18-14, 03:46 AM
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Welcome to the forums. Did you do a moisture check on the concrete first? Taping down a 3'x3' piece of clear plastic to the floor for at least 24 hours to make sure there are no moisture issues is the best way for DIY to check.

Did the manufacturer stipulate the moisture barrier use? Normally the underlayment in strips acts as a moisture barrier itself, and is laid one strip at a time as you progress across the floor.

You can leave the underlayment against the wall and trim it after installing the flooring since you will be leaving at least 1/2" space on the perimeters. Laying the laminate across the grain won't be a problem, just unorthodox.

Disclaimer: i am not a laminate fan. You would be better served with 5/8" click lock engineered flooring. You have chosen the cheapest of the cheap flooring,so don't expect a flawless install. Be careful with the edges and clean each groove before you install it. Often manufacturing processes will leave boogers in them. Never hit the laminate on edge without a scrap piece to protect it by fitting the scrap into the groove/tongue. Cut the laminate from the back side to save your saw blade somewhat.

Good luck, and let us know if we can help further.
 
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Old 04-18-14, 03:56 AM
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What thickness is that poly?
It should have been at least 6 mil.
That floors going to flex with all those wrinkles.
 
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Old 04-18-14, 05:43 AM
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Do not overlay the cushion part of the underlayment. From the picture, I see a clear portion along one side. That clear gets overlapped onto the adjacent piece and secured with duct tape. The actual foam however stays at the same level across the floor.
 
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Old 04-18-14, 08:11 AM
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Thanks for the response!

Chandler - I did not do a moisture barrier test but I spoke with a friend that works in construction and he told me regardless it would be a good idea to put in a moisture barrier in the basement because of concrete sweat. The underlayment I bought I was specifically told does not include the moisture barrier.

JoeCaption1 - That is something I am worried about. Fortunately, when I put the underlay over the moisture barrier it is a lot flatter. I don't know how to remedy this situation because the actual material is just very wrinkly itself. The poly is 6 mil.

Czizz - Thanks for the advice. The 2mill underlay doesn't feel that uneven when walking over it but if it is not the right thing to do I plan on cutting off the overlayed underlayment with a utility knife.

Thanks for the feedback, let me know if there is anything additional I might need to know.
 
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Old 04-18-14, 01:40 PM
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Update: I have removed the overlay and ductaped it down.

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I am about to begin laminating. What is the best way to measure the edges 1/2 inch from the wall? The problem is that the underlay is now in the way.

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Do you suggest I start by cutting the overlay on the edges off? and what is the best way to do that? Or what is the best way to just begin putting in laminate.

Thanks, I realize this is very beginner stuff. Just trying to not create more work for myself by doing it wrong.
 
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Old 04-18-14, 01:45 PM
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Determine which wall you are going to start with and install spacers to offset the laminate to allow for the required expansion gap. Keep in mind that spacers may not be the same size as many times walls have a little wave to them. I use a laser line to determine my starting row orientation and cut shims to fill in the space left by the wall. The shims are removed after the floor is completed.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 08:41 PM
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Hi guys! Hope everyone had a good weekend and easter.

I've begun my laminate installation and it looks pretty good so far. I am pretty happy with it although the first two rows took me 2 hours to figure out.

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I have two questions while installing. I didn't take the baseboards out because they are pretty much part of the wall now and I will just attach some moldings aruond the floor and the baseboard. But it is hard to keep the floor from closing in on the expansion gap because thespacers leans now due to the gap under the baseboard. Is there an easy way to fix this?

Additionally while attaching laminates the laminate sometimes rises a bit and I have to hold it down to hammer it in. I am pretty sure it is not the underlay as I even it out before each laminate. The good thing it seems that the next row I attach will often not have this issue it just comes up every so often.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 04-21-14, 06:05 AM
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Baseboards should have come out. You cut the caulk line and remove. When you replace, it will be higher because of the new floor under so it will cover the marks on the walls. To me, it is a integral part of the job and a shortcut that lots of people seem to want to take. It also makes the install more difficult as you are finding out.

I have to hold it down to hammer it in
Do not hammer laminate or you will damage the edge. If you have to bang it to install, you are doing it wrong. There either is some junk in the groove that is keeping it from a good click lock, or the board is slightly warped or cupped and not engaged all the way. Inspect each board as you install.
 
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Old 04-21-14, 08:41 AM
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Thanks, by Hammer I meant using the tapping block and hitting it with a mallet.
 
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Old 04-21-14, 02:38 PM
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Taping block is not needed. It is technique that is needed. If the goal is to learn to get it in without the aid of a block, then you never have to worry about a blow-out from the excessive force used. That blow out need not show itself right away, by the way, could pop up down the road as an ugly in the middle of the floor. I have not used a block in around 8 years or so.
 
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Old 04-23-14, 11:32 AM
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Thank you for the great advice, we love our new floor.

Continuing on with the newbie questions though I have some small spots where the amateur cutting has tended to leave expansion gaps as long as an inch for two boards in the middle (not side by side in different spots about 3-5 inches in length). Was wondering what the best way to cover this up would be?

I noticed that I could buy quarter round as thick as 1.25 inches at Lowes and was wondering if this would be ok or should I try to fill in the small gap with leftover laminate that I have. Any other advice is very welcomed

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-23-14, 02:41 PM
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A perfect example of benefits of removing the baseboard first (doesn't help you, but may help the next person reading).

I would try to fill in the area with scrap laminate. For me, anything larger than shoe molding will ruin the look of the entire floor. Mask it as best you can and some strategically placed furniture will make it disappear completely.

Curious, did you notice while you were installing and chose not to care? Why did you not address until after you were complete?
 
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Old 04-23-14, 06:21 PM
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Thanks a lot for the advice!
 
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