Explore photos of various new flooring styles to inspire your next renovation
Using laminate flooring is one big cost saving option in place of the expense of using hardwood flooring; which can cost up to six to ten times as much. It is considered light, durable, and can be seen to 'resemble' many different types of expensive flooring materials, from hardwood, ceramic, to natural stone! This type of engineered flooring is made up of a combination of materials, using wood and other products, to create this highly affordable and easy to install flooring system.
Regrettably, the market is flooded with cheap laminate floor systems that entice the consumers with costs of less than 50 cents a square foot. Thinking they or any handyman can easily install them; causes more headaches and problems ahead. Being a free floating system, with a need for an underlayment, which comes attached or must be separately installed, all requires a bit more than just laying out, measuring, cutting, and clicking these pieces together. One must know and understand this type of flooring system; and knowing what the pitfalls are in using this type of system is crucial!
The lower-end laminates are poorly made and can retain moisture; they can also be affected by changes in humidity and temperature, causing a 'too tightly' measured fitting flooring to eventually buckle-up through-out the floor areas. Read and understand your laminate flooring installation guide and recommendations thoroughly, before you undertake this task either doing it yourself, or hiring out professionally.
This type of flooring requires the same planned and thought out procedure as would any kind of hardwood, tile or vinyl floor. This system though, requires an underlayment over top of your existing floor; preferably one piece cut out without gaps, holes, and loose laying material. Overlapping areas should be taped as needed; following closely to the manufactures instructions. This underlayment and laminate material is designed to go over wood, tile, vinyl and linoleum, and NOT carpeting!
Laminate flooring is not an end-solution to multiple layers of existing flooring that needs to be cheaply covered. Ideally, these multiple layers should be removed first before a new system is installed to insure a proper level and optimum installation. Before you can begin, size up the space to be installed. Pay attention to walls that may be off; different obstructions you may have to work around; doors, trims, baseboards and quarter-rounds that may need to be elevated, removed, and or replaced. Know what you are getting into!
Most experts recommend that you first leave the flooring inside for a few days, and spread them out, rather than piled up on top of each other somewhere in the corner. And, never leave them in the cold or in a cold garage and start to work with them; they will expand and buckle!
One last consideration to insure a perfect job; lay out the laminate to run with the grain or textured finish, making sure the pieces flow naturally, without being distracting to the eye.