Avoiding Obstacles While Installing a Floating Laminate Floor

A floating laminate floor can be installed over concrete, wood, linoleum or vinyl tile. There are a number of obstacles to avoid when installing a floating laminate floor. The surface must be dry, flat, and smooth. Any carpeting and underlayment must be first removed. If the sub floor is a below grade concrete surface, a vapor barrier must be put down first, as the concrete will hold an enormous amount of moisture which will seep into the laminate and void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Getting Started

In wet areas such as a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, the edges of the flooring around the walls must be sealed with silicone. Start the installation at the longest, straightest wall. Make sure the grooves are clean and free of dust or dirt. Use a full plank to begin, then 2/3, then 1/3 of a plank. The first course must be straight, or the whole floor will be off.

Moldings

Use the right moldings for the right application. Base shoe or quarter round is used to cover the expansion space around walls. End molding is used where the floor terminates at an exterior door. Reducer molding spans floors at different heights, while T molding joins floors of the same height. Remember the expansion space in doorways; at door jambs, cut the bottom of the jamb and slide the flooring underneath.