How to independently lay a laminate
The most popular floor covering, which is used in the repair of apartments, is laminate. One of the reasons for its wide popularity is the extreme ease of installation. Thanks to her, the owner of the apartment can lay the laminate on its own without sacrificing quality. The subtleties of this work are described below.
The choice and purchase of laminateThe huge choice of all kinds of colors and patterns is another reason for the popularity of the laminate. Manufacturers are constantly expanding the range. Even for the most sophisticated design ideas, there are two or three suitable options for colors and patterns. When choosing laminate, pay attention to the following nuances: • Thicker material is more durable. The thicker the laminate, the higher the profile of the locks, and, therefore, the adhesion of the elements. • A laminate with a chamfer around the perimeter of the elements is preferable. It looks more natural. In addition, the chamfer masks small gaps that may appear during operation. • Some varieties of laminate are sold with the substrate already glued.Such a laminate absorbs sound better than steps and is somewhat easier to install.
Requirements for a baseLaminate flooring is a very “democratic” material. It can be successfully laid on old coverings: on parquet, linoleum, ceramic tile, wooden floor and, of course, on a concrete floor. The main requirement is that the ground should be level. Most laminate manufacturers recommend that the curvature of the floor does not exceed 2 mm when measured with a meter rail. It is important that the substrate is dry. If you are going to lay laminate on a newly made cement screed, be sure to make a vapor barrier: cover the entire floor surface with polyethylene with an overlap of 30–40 cm.
Prepare tools and materialsTo avoid wasting extra work time, at hand should be all the necessary materials and tools: • Laminate in sufficient quantities and the substrate. Please note. That part of the material goes into trimming. • Plinth, connecting elements for it and fasteners. • Electric jigsaw and 2-3 replaceable files for it.
• Hammer, small mount or nail catcher. • • Roulette, square,pencil or marker for marking.All types of laminate are laid in a“ floating way ”: the material is not fixed to the base. With changes in humidity, the material "breathes" - its geometrical dimensions change. To compensate for these changes, a gap of 8–10 mm between the wall and the laid covering is left around the perimeter of the room. It is closed with a plinth. Usually the rows of laminate are arranged along the rays of light from the window. Nevertheless, it is possible to lay laminate in the transverse direction and even at an angle of 45 degrees. Often, but not always, laminate flooring starts from the wall in which the door is located or closest to it. Taking all these considerations into account, we determine where we will start the installation and get to work.2. Putting the first row. The last element in the row is cut to length and put it at the beginning of the next row. Having collected completely two rows, we check their straightness with the help of a tight thread. 3. Make sure that the distance between short joints in adjacent rows is at least 30–35 cm. If necessary, start the next row with a longer or shorter element.4. We continue laying. When 3-4 rows are ready, we arrange a deformation gap between the laid covering and the wall. It is convenient to use small pieces of laminate, sawn from scraps. 5. As required, we lay out the substrate and continue laying. We make sure that there are no slits between the elements. Eliminate them with gentle hammer blows through the spacer,made from pruned laminate.6. The elements of the laminate in the last row have to be cut to the width. The room may not be rectangular. To cut a part of the desired width, mark the cut line “in place”, as shown in the picture.7. To insert the elements of the last row into locks without slots, use a mount or a nail. 8. After finishing the installation, install skirting boards.• To cut laminate chips along there was less cutting, use special files with a reverse tooth,like in the photo, either mark and cut the laminate from the reverse side.• Carefully check the cleanliness of the grooves in the locks: the smallest speck - and a gap appears at the junction. On a light laminate, the slits are particularly noticeable. • To cut holes for heating pipes, use a narrow saw for the cut. Fill the gap between the laminate and the pipe with parquet sealant in the color of the laminate. Laying the laminate in a room of 18-20 square meters. meters requires no more than 4-5 hours. One person can handle it.
General installation considerationsDo not be too lazy to learn the instructions for laying laminate. The general principles of work for all types of laminate are the same, but there are some nuances in working with different types of laminate. Pay attention to which direction - from left to right or right to left - you need to collect rows. Find out how the elements are connected by the short side.
Work flow1.Spread the first row of substrate onto the clean swept floor base. (If a vapor barrier is required, we first spread it out and lay the substrate on top.)
Some useful tips• Laminate packs require very careful treatment. It is easy to damage the locks and even not to notice. If this does happen, the damaged elements can be used along the edges, so that the parts with chips are trimmed.
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