You will soon find that the manufacturers of any form of laminate flooring will provide specific instructions for the correct installation of their product. There are a few common dos and don'ts that will need to be used when installing any kind of laminate flooring. Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise to the manufacturers that many of these people will disregard the instructions that they provide as they know better than the manufacturer.
The first thing that needs to be done when installing any type of laminate flooring in a home is allowed to acclimatize. You can do this easily by placing the boxes of flooring in the room for between 48 to 72 hours prior to installation. Failure to carry out this will cause the flooring to buckle and this is one mistake that is made by most people and includes some flooring contractors as well.
At all times there should be a gap of between 5/16 "to" "(depending on the manufacturer's instructions) from the edge of the floor being laid and walls and any other obstacles in the room such as columns, stair risers, heat vents Egypt radiators. This gap brings the floor with room to expand and if it does not have the space then the floor will again buckle.
If the flooring is to be laid on to a concrete floor with earth directly below it then a vapor barrier must be installed first before the laminate flooring is laid. Any seams should be taped with a moisture resistant tape and no laminate flooring can be installed on a floor which has a drain in it.
You may discover that some manufacturers allow for the installation of the laminate flooring directly onto carpet; however this carpet should have made a hard twist such as Berber or one with a very low pile (usually a commercial carpet). If the underlay used is spongy, this will result in the floor separating when walked on.
At all times the length of the piece of flooring to be installed should be no less than 8 inches long and the width should never be less than 2 inches. It is a good idea to measure the room where the floor is to be installed as you may find that you will have to cut the first board to be laid in length and the first row boards in width to avoid you having any small pieces installed.
All joints should be staggered at a minimum of 16 inches apart and there should be no less than 3 rows for repeating the joint. If you are installing a baseboard or a quarter round on top of the laminate flooring, you should not nail through the laminate. Remember a laminate floor should be allowed to expand and contract.
It is a good idea to repair all squeaks and soft spots on the sub-floor prior to the installation of the laminate flooring. Unfortunately laminate flooring is unable to correct any squeaks or soft spot problems that the original flooring may have.
Never ever continue to install the laminate through a doorway which is less than 48 inches wide, rather use a transition molding instead. Also never ever hammer on the groove end of the laminate flooring board and always begin the installation with the groove side and end towards the walls of the room where it is being laid. If you need to tighten the joints then using a tapping block and not a hammer as this will only cause damage to both the surface and joints of the laminate flooring.
At all times floors must be level and there should be no more than 3/16 "slope over a ten foot span of floor space. used to fill these areas and it should be left to dry for up to 72 hours.
Finally, it is a good idea to read and follow the manufacturers instructions at all times to ensure that the floor you have installed is of a high standard and will last for years to come.