Before you start the installation, make sure to install a vapor barrier. You also need to install baseboard molding. Use a finishing nail to secure baseboard molding to the wall. Next, install shoe molding over expansion joints. You can also use transition strips to connect laminate to adjoining surfaces. Never install the transition strip through the floor. Make sure the baseboard molding and the transition strip match up, otherwise it will be difficult to install the laminate.
Start in the middle
If the laminate flooring comes without an underlayment, you can cut it with a utility knife and apply adhesive. You can also use a piece of foam underlayment to help level the floor. You should not overlap adjacent pieces. Also, make sure there are no wrinkles or bumps in the flooring. It will also prevent the flooring from warping. If you have an uneven floor, use a sanding compound to level the floor.
To install laminate flooring properly, you should measure the width of the room. This will help you determine whether there are end runs in the room. Then, align the tongue of the first plank with the groove of the previous row. After that, snap it into place. Remember that fiber in laminate flooring is susceptible to water damage, so be sure to use a taping block for some products. Start in the middle and work your way outward.
Avoid starting in the middle
Starting in the middle of a room can lead to problems, including improperly fitting flooring or pieces being cut off in the process. Laminate flooring is not like ceramic tile, and following its rules for installation isn’t a good idea. For best results, begin at the left side of the room. Start installing in the direction of the tongue and groove, rather than the center of the room. This way, you will avoid cutting yourself or chipping the decorative surface.
After the laminate planks have been installed, make sure you leave sufficient space on the edges to allow for expansion. If you start at the center, your floor may buckle and crack, so leave enough space to ensure proper expansion. If you’re unsure, ask a professional to help you install the flooring. A professional will have the proper tools to install laminate flooring properly. Just keep in mind that this material expands and contracts and has to be given enough space along edges.
Install vapor barrier
If you have not installed a vapor barrier before, this is a good time to start. You can buy vapor barriers in two-foot rolls in a variety of lengths. Make sure there is at least six inches of overlap on each wall. You can use tape to seal the seams. To make the vapor barrier more secure, you can use self-adhesive tape between the rolls. You should line the perimeter walls with the vapor barrier before you start the installation.
If you want to use a vapor barrier when you install laminate flooring, you need to prepare the floor properly. A clean concrete floor is necessary to install the barrier. If there is loose material, it may puncture the layer and undermine the entire structure. If there is dirt and debris on the floor, use a nylon brush to remove it. You may also want to use a commercial cleaner to remove any existing mold or mildew. Make sure to clean perimeter walls as well. Dirty surfaces will prevent vapor barrier tape from adhering to them.
Check for nail pops
A nail pop occurs when a nail is hammered into green wood. While a nail may not be a significant problem, it can be a potential trip hazard, as it allows dirt or liquid to seep under the flooring. Fortunately, nail pops are usually simple to repair. Check for nail pops by feeling for the head of the nail, or by shining a bright light at it from a slightly different angle.
If you’re installing laminate flooring yourself, make sure to follow the instructions. Check for cracks or chips before gluing down planks. Even the smallest chip or mark should be repaired immediately to prevent additional damage. To correct the issue, mark the affected plank with a putty color. If a mark is too small to require putty, use a wax crayon. Use a color that matches the tone of the floor. If you’re not sure, try to find a color book and match the tone of the laminate with the one you’ve already painted.
Check for gouges
Some of the most common issues with laminate flooring can be easily avoided by simply checking each plank for gouges during the installation process. Even though laminate is incredibly durable, there are a few common mistakes that you may want to avoid. One of these mistakes is putting down a plank with a chipped corner. These chips are usually the result of a dropped object or installation error. If you see one or two, pull the plank up and replace it.
When repairing gouges in your laminate flooring, you will need a few tools and safety glasses. You will also need a putty knife, molding puller, and flat pry bar. You can also use a rubber mallet to check for gouges. A rubber mallet will help you in this process because it is durable and will not damage the surface of the laminate. If you can’t find a gouge, you can replace a damaged board with a new one.