Many households now opt for laminate flooring for various reasons. One is that it is more appealing and a lot more durable, and resistant to damage.
Another good thing is that it can be laid down on different flooring types without a lot of preparation and why many homeowners try their hand it themselves.
However, concrete has many more problems you have to tackle, like excessive moisture, which is a definite factor to concern while installing laminate flooring.
If you are wondering how to install flooring on concrete, then all you have to do is pick a laminate flooring of your choice and level your concrete flooring. You can install the planks side by slide and click them in with each other. Finishing off by trimming edges and sawing off excess plank material.
Although, there is a lot more than that goes into laminate flooring over concrete. This is why we have prepared a step-by-step process of preparing and installing laminate flooring where you can get additional steps on how to execute it right!
Starting the Process: What will you need?
Most Installation processes are easy, but it also depends on the type of laminate you have chosen for your home. The most abundantly available type is the click-lock laminate flooring that can be floored on the sub-floor.
You can start preparing by getting all the things you require during the process.
Here’s a little checklist for you to fully prepare yourself.
Floorboards: You obviously cannot start the process without getting floorboards. Always remember to buy at least 10% more square footage than your room requires. Why is that so? Because each room is built differently with different proportions. You might have to cut and trim and add additional pieces to make the perfect fit. More is always the safer option.
Tools: You will find yourself needing a lot of tools during the installation process. This includes saws, measuring tape, markers, and rubber mallets. On the safe side, keep all these tools even if you plan on hiring professionals.
Glue and Nails: Both adhesives and nails are used in the process of installing laminate floors. It purely depends on the type of flooring you have chosen. You can as the hardware store and get either adhesive or nails accordingly.
Underlayment: The underlayments depend on either the method of installation or the type of flooring you have underneath. Get advice from your hardware store on the best fit for concrete.
Preparing for Tongue and Groove Planks
If you happen to choose tongue and groove plants as your laminate choice, then you still need essentials like rubber mallets and the right underlayments.
You also need a saw to clean up the edges and make a sturdier structure for your toom. The easy thing about tongue and groove planks is that they fit right into place with slight pressure.
Another Pro Tip:
Read the manufacturer’s instructions! Planks usually come with a guide on the best and easiest way to install them. It always comes in handy to get to know the little hack that will make the process much more hassle-free.
It is recommended to leave a gap of at least ¼ on each side to give room for expansion over time. For concrete flooring, moisture is an important factor in preparing the subfloor beforehand, so your laminates look flawless in the end.
How Can You Prepare the Subfloor?
Preparing the subfloor is an essential aspect of the installation process. If you do it right then, your floor will look amazing in the end!
Age of the Concrete
If your concrete slabs are new, you should let them cure. This means you let the concrete settle in for at least 30 days. You should check it for both dryness, and how leveled it is.
The next step is to tackle cleanliness. Ensure that there is no dust or debris or infestation of mold or fungi that may have taken place.
Also, make sure that there is no permanent water damage that cracks or bends the concrete flooring. The surface should ideally be smooth. Try using a long level that can allow you to know if the floor is in the right condition.
If there is a variance of 3/16th of an inch every 10 feet, then you need to level it! You can do that with a grinder as well.
Choosing an Underlayment for Concrete flooring
Concrete flooring poses a lot of problems since it a porous material. Its moisture levels always tend to fluctuate, and this can damage the glue and adhesive-based laminate flooring.
This is why it is all the more important to have an underlayment that can fight off moisture and make up for cracks and bumps that would otherwise lead to uneven flooring.
You do not want your laminates to warp under, so here are some options you should consider when it comes to the right underlayment.
- Foam Barrier: The most common underlayment is a foam barrier, which can be a good option for moisture. It also absorbs any noise and seals the flooring through and through.
- Cork: Cork, while is expensive, is a great option for reducing noise and cracking when you walk on the flooring.
- Vinyl Backed: Vinyl-backed underlayments are recommended not only to reduce noise but are also suitable for moisture control.
Is it Necessary to Place the Moisture Barrier?
Moisture is the enemy of laminate flooring! You need to ensure that it has no moisture retention that can later damage the laminate planks.
You can do this by checking the humanity; if the meter reading shows something more than 4.5%, then you have a moisture problem and need to resolve it before installing the floor.
Once you are done with a moisture test, then you have a green light to go ahead with your process.
You can start the process of installing a plastic vapor barrier, which can be around 6mm thick. The laminate flooring your choose should ideally go well with any manufacturer-recommended underlayment.
Try using vinyl tape to secure the underlayment from coming out. It also adds a little padding that makes the flooring a lot more comfortable to walk on.
You can align the floorboards with a leveled side of the room, and then you can start lining the planks side by side, making sure they link in. A ‘click’ sound is something you should look out for!
How to Take Care of your Laminate
Laminate flooring is a great option. You can ideally install them in any room that does not deal with a lot of moisture. Try to keep it away from laundry rooms, yards, balconies, and bathrooms.
While its material is durable and long-lasting, it does have certain ways you can maintain it.
Many people wonder what the best way to clean the laminate afterward. Try using a slightly damp mop or a micro-fiber cloth that can clean off any stains.
Ideally, you should not let liquids sit on the flooring for too long, as they can be absorbed in. In addition to this, also avoid polishing or waxing the floor.