10 Laminate Flooring Installation Questions – Discover Hardwood Floor Solutions

A laminate flooring installation should fit extremely well into a busy household, where cleaning chores need to be simplified as much as possible. Provided that you follow the installation and maintenance instructions carefully, a laminate hardwood floor is likely to save you time while adding elegance and style to your decor. Here are the answers to ten of the most frequently asked laminate flooring installation questions.

1. What Is Laminate Flooring And Can I Install It Myself?

If you have an affinity for real hardwood floors, but can’t afford them and prefer not to have the maintenance misery associated with them, you will love the laminate flooring. The quality of these floors is now such that it is difficult to distinguish between real wood and laminates. The grains of the different woods are emulated to perfection, with texture and weathering threw in as a bonus.

Laminate flooring planks consist of four or five fused layers. The base layer is normally reinforced with melamine. This is followed by the core of high-density fiberboard, impregnated with sealing substances. Then there is the design layer, followed by the tough wear layer and an aluminum oxide finish. The planks are resistant to stains, fading, scuffing, and water.

Innovative engineering has led to the development of glueless laminate flooring installations, popular among do it yourself, enthusiasts. The planks have a tongue and groove design that simply click or snap together for an amazingly simple and quick installation. Although professional flooring contractors can be involved, this isn’t necessary. Even a novice can tackle this home remodeling task with confidence.

2. What Is An Expansion Space?

A laminate flooring installation is a floating floor that is not affixed to the sub-floor. These hardwood floors always contract and expand due to humidity and temperature changes. To make provision for these shifts, laminate floors are never installed with the planks fitting snugly against walls or cabinets. It is vital to leave a space right around the perimeter. If you neglect to do this, you will soon be confronted with a buckling floor.

Every manufacturer prescribes the exact expansion space needed for their particular product. You will be able to use spacers to ensure that this provision is accurate. The size of the floor you are tackling in your home improvement project will also dictate the size of the expansion space. Make sure that you get this right if you want to retain the looks of your flooring.

3. Will I Be Able To Install Laminate Flooring In A Bathroom?

Many laminate flooring products are suitable for use in bathrooms and kitchens, where there is always more of a moisture risk. Check with your supplier if you are unsure. The most important factor here is your diligence during the installation process. Every expansion space needs to be sealed perfectly with your caulking gun, to ensure that moisture can’t seep into the core of the flooring. Once this happens, you will have problems with buckling, warping, and blistering.

In the case of bathroom and kitchen flooring, the recommendation usually also is to use glue in the joints. This will act as an additional sealant, helping to protect your flooring.

4. How Do I Finish The Areas Around Doorways?

All the manufacturers supply ranges of color-coordinated decorative moldings for use in doorways, for transitions between different flooring finishes, and around cabinets, basins or tubs. These make it straightforward to ensure that your flooring has a professional finish. In a doorway, you will install a T-molding.

5. Is It Safe To Install Laminate Flooring On Stairs?

A laminate flooring installation can be done on stairs. In this case, however, you don’t need an underlayment. The flooring planks adhere to the subfloor with glue. As a finish, stair noses are glued and nailed to the stairs. Just be very careful if you have been cleaning the flooring. Any dampness may cause the stairs to be extremely slippery.

6. What Is The AC Rating?

One of the most important aspects of a laminate hardwood floor installation is matching the flooring to the traffic it will be bombarded with. Using a low quality, the thin floor in a high traffic area will be disastrous. The AC Rating has been devised to help consumers when they have to make a buying decision.

The AC Rating of between 1 and 5 gives an indication of the suitability of the flooring planks for a particular area. In most residential situations, an AC Rating of 3 is high enough to ensure durability. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that a higher rating will give your flooring a longer life. While this may be the case, a higher rating also comes with a rougher surface texture that can be tough on bare feet and socks.

7. I Love A Tiled Look. Is There A Laminate Flooring Option For Me?

A fairly recent development in the laminate flooring installation industry is the introduction of planks with an extremely authentic ceramic or stone tile appearance, complete with realistic grout lines. Just imagine getting the tiled look you adore, without any of the grout messes. No more cracking, moldy, discolored grout to spoil your hard work. Just a smooth, multi-hued tile look clicked together within a day. This truly is a decorating and interior design dream come true.

8. Doesn’t Laminate Flooring Have A Plastic Look?

With the latest engineering, the days of plastic, fake-looking laminates are over. You will be amazed at the authenticity of the real wood or stone tile designs. Textures can be refined to be completely realistic. Planks are now beveled to come even closer to the real thing. In addition, weathering has been brought in to give that unique warm and rustic real hardwood appearance.

9. Do I Need To Acclimate My Laminate Flooring Planks?

Some manufacturers stipulate that the unopened boxes of flooring planks should be stored horizontally in the room where they will be installed, for a period of around 48 hours. This gives the plants a chance to acclimate. Your supplier should be able to give you the correct instructions. Alternatively, you can go to the manufacturer’s website for more information. Make sure that you allow for this period when you do your planning. Don’t rush into the installation. Follow the instructions to the letter if you don’t want to void your warranty.

10. What Do I Do If There Is A Nasty Scratch On My Floor?

One of the main benefits of a laminate flooring installation is that you can repair minor mishaps with ease, and replace a whole section of flooring in the event of a serious calamity. It is always better to try and prevent scratches by using felt pads under furniture, keeping pet nails trimmed, and avoiding spiked shoes. Entrance rugs are also a good idea, as they catch some of the gravel and grit before it gets onto the flooring. If there are scratches, color-coordinated pens are available to make them less conspicuous.

For more noticeable scratches, a filling putty can be used. Neaten the edges of the area with a small, sharp knife. Fill it with putty, and smooth the surface gently with a plastic scraper. Wipe excess away with a damp cloth and your floor should be as good as new.

Follow the laminate flooring installation guidelines to the letter, give your flooring the tender loving care it deserves, and you will enjoy its good looks for years to come.

Big or Small Home Improvement Projects – Planning Comes First

Everyone loves their homes and most families, including myself, enjoy spending time and money on home improvement projects to make their houses look better and more comfortable. If you have just decided to start a home improvement project on your own, here are some things you should consider to make sure that your project would be completed perfectly.

In every home improvement projects, big or small, planning is of utmost importance. It is very important to come out with a detailed plan for achieving your goals. This is to ensure that your project will proceed in the right direction and end up as what you have in mind.

Whether you are adding a room, building a deck or simply installing new cabinets, you should always cater some time to plan what you want in mind first before you start to work on your project proper. By doing so, your progress would definitely be smoother and end results more successful.

To help plan a home improvement projects, there are the three main things that you need to consider:

1. Set your priorities before you begin
You should have an idea of what you want and get your priorities right first. There are generally 3 elements of priorities where one can choose from namely: Speed, Cost and Quality. As a rule of thumb, most people can only achieve 2 out of the 3. It would be wise for you to choose what priorities you want first before you start your project.

For example, if you deem cost and quality as important priorities, one would usually need to spend more time in choosing the right material and working on the project itself and vice versa.

2. Cost Estimation

You should have a general idea of how much you want to invest into your home improvement project and work on that budget. Nothing is worse off than not having enough money to finish the whole project. To get a good feel of material cost, do some homework online or simply walk into your neighborhood home improvement center.

3. Gather your tools and resources

Make sure that you have the right tools and resources to do the job in advance. If your current toolkit does not have certain specialty tools to do the job properly, you might have to explore buying, borrowing or renting them. Some jobs might also require two people for safety reasons; you might want to get additional help before you work on that part.

Remember that most home improvement projects require a variety of different tasks, and more often than not, these tasks would require different skills and expertise ranging from design, construction, plumbing, and wiring to finishing. You might not have all the skills set to perform all of them. You can actually engage the help of a professional for certain tasks so that your progress would not come to a standstill.

Go on. Start planning your home improvement project today. With the correct planning and effort, your dream home would not be too far way!

and Design

Where to begin

So you’ve decided to make some home improvements. It is an exciting prospect to upgrade and bring your home closer to the image of your dream home. Begin by considering the changes you want to make. You may already have an idea of the things you want to improve, but now’s the time to fine-tune your ideas.

Think about how your home already supports the way you live, and which existing elements you really like. Write down each item you want to keep, and what you want to change. This will not only help you prioritize the projects you take on first, it will also help you better define the details of each project. No matter how large or small your project, planning is crucial. Developing a detailed plan will insure that your project runs smoothly forward and that your results will be a success. Having a clear image in your mind of what you want to achieve will help guide you in the steps you must take to attain your goal.

Determine your goal

Once you know the project that you want to take on first, you can begin to make decisions about what you want to change. The more clearly you can envision what you want to achieve, the better prepared you’ll be in making necessary decisions;Think about traffic patterns, furniture placement and size, colors, lighting and how you plan to use the remodeled space. Draw out your completed idea to get a clear picture of what you hope to accomplish.

Cost Estimation

You probably have a basic idea of how much you want to invest in your home improvement project, so base your estimate on that budget. Nothing is more disappointing than not having enough money to finish the entire project, so plan well, beginning with the most costly or most important items. To get a good idea of material cost, simply check out your neighborhood home improvement center. If you have any questions or concerns, most of their employees are able to either give you answers or guide you to someone who can. When pricing your necessary materials, remember to include any hardware and finishing products you might need. Don’t forget nails, adhesives, tape, stencils or paint.

Gather your tools

Be sure that you have the proper tools available before you start. If your current toolkit does not have certain specialty tools to do the job properly, you might have to invest in them to complete your project. You could also consider borrowing or renting them. Some jobs might also require two people for safety reasons, so you will need to line up additional help before you work on that part.

Consider Eco Friendly Building

Green remodeling is a sound choice, for both, a healthier life and as an investment in your home. Currently, in traditional construction, indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air, due to various building materials, inadequate lighting, and a variety of other variables. Some eco friendly choices do require purchasing special equipment or materials, but many upgrades are just a matter of knowing the most environmentally conscious choice to make. Using recycled materials where available, (glass, stone, plastics), choosing carpet low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), and installing more efficient, low water plumbing fixtures are a few Green options that cost little or no more than the non-Green.

Anticipate your needs

Most home improvement projects require a variety of different skills. If there is a task that requires more skill than you have and you would feel more comfortable with expert guidance or proficiency, a contractor can usually do just the portion of the job that you are unable to handle for a portion of the cost of the entire project. You might consider hiring a plumber, electrician or heating specialist, or even a general handyman for a job that requires additional manpower.

Hiring a Contractor

If you do plan on hiring a contractor, you must get a written contract. A good contract includes a detailed description of the project, start and expected completion dates, labor and material costs, and any warranties of workmanship. Including a right to cancel clause of three business days is a good idea. The more detailed you make your contract, the less room for problems you will allow.

Building Permits

Before you actually start tearing down walls or running electrical wire, check with your local or state building department to learn if your project requires a building permit. A building permit is a license required by city code that grants legal permission to construct, enlarge, alter, repair or demolish a structure or equipment installed in a building. If you are working with a contractor, find out if his services include obtaining permits.

So now, you know where to begin. Following these guidelines will help insure that your home renovations will advance without any unnecessary hitches or unfortunate surprises, whether you are doing internal remodeling and upgrades, or external maintenance and repair. With the correct preparation, and taking it a step at a time, your dream home will not be just a dream!