Laminate floors are suitable alternatives to hardwood floors in many aspects. Laminate flooring takes less time, effort, and patience. If taken care of properly, it can look glamorous for a long time, and it’s relatively simple to install. Today, I am going to share my experience of how long it will take to install laminate flooring.
How Do You Install Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is scratch-resistant and comes in a range of colors and styles. This lovely material mimics natural hardwood but can be acquired at a low cost.
However, The time duration it takes to install laminate flooring depends on your room size, desired space, operational efficiency, and more. Usually, for an average space of 1000-square-foot, it takes around two or three days, depending on the operational efficiency of a professional, to install it.
Properly acclimating the flooring to the room’s temperature and humidity levels before installation and hiring a professional installer when necessary can help ensure a successful and timely installation process.
To install it, you need to follow some steps. Here’s a step-by-step process to install laminate flooring
Step 1: Test your Flooring Layout
Test-fit several laminate planks in your space to see how they will look. It’s easier to use the flooring than measuring and calculating for small to medium-sized rooms. Arrange planks side by side, then arrange a length of planks ends to end. Pull up the planks and place them in a neighboring spot once you’ve determined the general pattern.
Step 2: Trim the Door Jambs
When laying flooring around doors, removing some trim from the entrances is generally better than cutting your flooring materials to match an odd shape. Trimming some wood off the bottom of your frame allows your flooring to fit below for a seamless look.
Place a laminate over your underlayment, then line it against the door frame. Then, to remove the small piece of wood, use a jamb saw.
Step 3: Install the Underlayment
Laying down underlay for laminate flooring is always recommended. This thin, dense foam layer helps absorb sound, provides a thermal barrier, makes walking more comfortable on the laminate, and helps bridge minor gaps and bumps on the underlying floor. The thin, thick foam layer absorbs sound, acts as a heat barrier, making walking on the laminate more comfortable, and helps bridge small gaps and bumps in the underlying floor.
Step 4: Lay the Rows
Begin your first row by positioning the plank’s tongue against the wall. Trimming off the tongue is unnecessary, as the baseboard will cover a bit of your first and last row. But you can do that using a utility knife if you want.
Place the groove of the next piece, then press down to snap it into place. Use ⅜ inch spacers along the wall. This will allow the expansion and contraction of the flooring to continue over time.
Place a plank that is either longer or shorter than the first in the first row to begin the second and following rows. While installing the following rows, you may need to wriggle the planks into the groove and snap them into place. We recommend using a tapping block or a pull bar to secure the planks.
It would be best if you trimmed the width off your planks to install the last row. To fit the planks into the tight space, put them at an angle while installing the last row.
Benefits of Using Laminate Flooring
Laminate is a sturdy, scratch-resistant, and long-lasting flooring material protected by a solid external layer and resin coating. It’s ideal for homes with pets and children.
Laminate flooring’s composite wood composition is durable, and the uppermost layer of laminate also has excellent scratch resistance. The top layer of it can survive rowdy children and pet claws. The color of your floors will last longer and not fade because of UV resistance.
Simple to Maintain
Laminate flooring is simple to maintain. You can easily remove spills and markings using a soft microfiber cloth, and dirt and dust can be easily swept or vacuumed away.
Simple to Install
Laminate flooring is much easier to install than other types of flooring. Because the boards are designed to interlock, which makes them simple to work with. Moreover, laminate flooring can be floated over most existing floors, which reduces installation time compared to other types of flooring that need to be glued, stapled, or nailed down.
Limitations and Drawbacks of Laminate Flooring
Not Suitable For Refinishing
Laminate flooring will not suit you if you want to refinish it. These floors cannot be refinished properly. It has only one single layer, which will gradually deteriorate over time. But several layer protection products cannot be used to refinish this product. This means you won’t be able to alter the overall appearance of this flooring type in your home.
It contains Dangerous Chemical Compounds
Most laminate floors usually contain some chemical compounds like Formaldehyde which are dangerous for the environment. These can also have some volatile organic chemical substances, which are hazardous and can degrade the environment.
Can Make Unwanted Noice
If you do not install the laminate floor properly, it can make unwanted noise. However, to help combat this issue, there are noise-reducing underlayment options. So make sure to install it properly.
Laminate flooring can provide a slippery surface in certain rooms, which can lead things to fall. However, you can reduce it by taking precautionary steps.
Things to Avoid When Setting up Laminate Floor
Not Letting Laminate Flooring Acclimate
Acclimation allows the flooring to sit in the area where it will be put so that it can adjust to the temperature and humidity before installation.
The core of the planks of laminate flooring is made of wood fiberboard. This layer is highly porous, and changes in humidity or temperature will alter it. This is why acclimating laminate before installation is crucial.
Not Using Underlayment
Laminate flooring is prone to bending. It can quickly become a problem. When laminate flooring is installed without underlayment, you will see the majority of the defects on the subfloor.
Laying the Laminate Floor on an Uneven floor
Make sure your floor is entirely even before laying the laminate floor. If bumps or raised sections are on the floor, fix them. The uneven floor can create openings between the boards if you don’t.
How Long Should Laminate Flooring Sit Before Installation?
To acclimate, make the floor sit for at least 48 hours. Unlike natural wood, laminate is a synthetic product not affected by moisture. The only thing that would have any effect is temperature. Still, thermal expansion is negligible unless it’s freezing and will warm up as fast as you can install it.
Can you double up on the underlay for laminate flooring?
Doubling up on the underlay for laminate flooring can cause the joints to withstand too much movement. In the vertical direction, the laminate locking joints will not be solid. The other movement caused by a multilayer underlayment can lead the joints to deteriorate.
Does Underlay Make a Difference?
An underlay will protect your laminate against damage and increase its lifespan while providing other benefits such as noise reduction, comfort, and insulation.
How Much Does it Cost to Laminate Floor?
Usually, on average, it costs $2.00 – $3.00 per square foot to install, and the total cost per square foot should be around $4 – $8 for textured 12-mm-thick planks.
Ultimately, the time it takes to install laminate flooring depends on many things, such as your room size and operational efficiency. Installing it gives you advantages like it is long-lasting, stain, fade, scratch resistant, and simple to maintain.
On the other hand, some disadvantages are that you cannot refinish it, and it is slippery. When installing it, there are a few mistakes to avoid, such as not letting it acclimate, not using underlayment, and laying the laminate floor on an uneven floor.