Laying Laminate Flooring

6 Common Mistakes When Laying Laminate Flooring

More than ever, homeowners are choosing to kit their properties with premium, cost-effective and stylish laminate designs. As one of the most popular flooring options on the market, laminate flooring is renowned for its affordability and durability, 

However, it's crucial to note that improper installation can lead to a whole host of problems, including peeling, warping, and buckling. 

Avoid this and protect your investment by equipping yourself with the knowledge and tools to install your laminate flooring properly. Stay with Mersey Flooring for tips and expert advice! 

1. Not sealing the flooring

Most laminate flooring products are high-density fiberboard cores with a decorative layer on top. While this layer is typically resistant to scratches, moisture can still seep in and cause damage over time. 

Sealing your laminate flooring is essential to protecting it from spills and stains, like dropping your morning coffee. Leaving your laminate flooring unsealed can cause moisture to see through your fibreboard, causing the planks to separate or warp. 

Reducing the structural integrity of your flooring can lead to unsightly gaps between your fibreboards. Spills and stains may even begin leaving permanent marks on your floor and become harder to clean over time. 

To avoid this, you must seal your laminate flooring properly. Clean your floor thoroughly before applying a specially-designed laminate sealer in thin, even coats. 

Allow it to dry completely before walking on the flooring or moving furniture back into the room: this will give the sealer time to cure and provide maximum protection for your laminate flooring.

2. Not choosing the correct room 

Choosing the correct room for your laminate flooring is crucial to ensuring its longevity. Laminate flooring is unsuitable for some environments, so understanding how it deals with heavy foot traffic and humidity is vital to avoid problems.

Rooms not recommended for laminate flooring include bathrooms, laundry rooms, and areas with high humidity or moisture, such as basements. These places in the home can be prone to water damage, which can cause laminate flooring to warp and buckle. 

When settling on a product, you must also consider the level of foot traffic it will receive. High-traffic areas, such as hallways and living rooms, will require more durable flooring options to ensure their durability. 

3. Not letting your laminate flooring acclimate

Acclimating your laminate flooring is an essential step in the installation process that many homeowners overlook. Acclimation involves allowing the flooring to adjust to the temperature and humidity of the room where you will later install it. 

You must set aside ample time for acclimation if you don’t want to damage your new flooring. If your room of choice is too hot or cold when you begin the installation, your fibreboard may expand or contract and leave unsightly gaps between the boards. 

Acclimation is essential to protecting the integrity and aesthetics of your laminate. Here are a few tips we recommend when preparing your flooring for installation: 

  • Store the boxes of laminate flooring in the room where you will install it: This will allow the flooring to adjust to the temperature and humidity of the room.
  • Keep the boxes of laminate flooring unopened: This will prevent any moisture from getting into the boxes and affecting the flooring.
  • Leave the boxes of laminate flooring in the room for at least 48 hours: This will give the flooring enough time to acclimate properly.

4. Not laying your floor on an even surface

Laminate flooring is a floating floor, meaning it is not directly attached to the subfloor.

Instead, laminate goes over an underlayment on top of the subfloor. Laying your laminate flooring in a smooth, level manner requires an even surface. Otherwise, you may face issues with squeaky boards! 

Avoid making this mistake by following our tips for ensuring a level surface:

  • Check the subfloor for any uneven spots or damage: Before installing the underlayment, it's necessary to ensure the subfloor is in good condition. Use a level to check for any low or high spots.
  • Use a self-levelling compound to level any uneven spots: If you find any low areas on your subfloor, you can use a self-levelling compound to even out the surface. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully!

5. Not using an underlay 

Underlayment is a crucial component of a laminate flooring installation: it is the layer that sits between the subfloor and laminate boards, serving various functions such as sound absorption, cushioning and acting as a moisture barrier. 

If you do not use an underlay in your laminate installation, you may soon be walking on a very uncomfortable surface! Plus, any accidental spills could cause more severe, long-lasting damage. 

Selecting the correct underlay can make all the difference to your laminate flooring, which is why we’ve listed the main types on the market and some tips for selecting the right product: 

  • Foam Underlay: This is the most common type of underlay and is composed of foam material. It provides a good amount of cushioning and sound insulation and is suitable for most laminate flooring installations.
  • Cork Underlay: Cork underlay is composed of wood materials and is an excellent choice for sound insulation and moisture resistance. If you want to install laminate flooring in a room with high moisture levels, cork underlay will protect your boards from high humidity and moisture levels. 
  • Rubber Underlay: This type of underlay is made of rubber material and provides excellent sound insulation and cushioning. It is a good choice for areas with heavy foot traffic, such as hallways or entryways.

6. Not leaving enough room for expansion

Laminate flooring is a material that expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. 

As a result, you must leave space around the perimeter of your room to allow this. If you forgo this step in the installation, you could damage the boards, walls or baseboards, leading to a costly floor replacement. 

Luckily, Mersey Flooring is here to help. Follow our spacing tips to ensure that your laminate flooring lasts for the long haul:

  • Use spacers: Spacers are small pieces of material placed around the room’s perimeter to create a gap between the flooring and the walls. These gaps allow for natural expansion and contraction while the quality of your laminate is maintained. 
  • Follow manufacturer recommendations: Different types of laminate flooring may require different amounts of space for expansion. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for your specific type of flooring.
  • Consider the climate: If you live in an area with extreme temperature or humidity changes, leave a larger gap around the perimeter of your room to allow for more expansion and contraction.

Choose Mersey Flooring for your Laminate Flooring Needs! 

If you purchase laminate flooring from Mersey Flooring, we want to help you get the most out of your new home decor. Our experienced team of professionals can help you avoid common mistakes and ensure a high-quality and long-lasting installation.

We offer countless laminate flooring options: from planks to tiles, herringbone to waterproof: we stock products from fourteen industry-leading brands. 

The Mersey Flooring team will work with you to select the best type of flooring and underlay and advise you on how to seal, acclimate and install your laminate on an even surface with room for expansion.

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