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Common Laminate Flooring Laying Mistakes

Common Laminate Flooring Laying Mistakes

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Laying laminate flooring can transform the look and feel of your home, adding style and durability to your space. However, the process isn't without its challenges, and even seasoned DIY enthusiasts can encounter pitfalls along the way.

From improper acclimatisation to misaligned planks, several common mistakes can occur during installation. In this guide, we'll explore these common errors and provide valuable tips on how to avoid them, ensuring a smooth and flawless laminate flooring installation.

Before you buy – take Tapi’s expert advice

You may be in a rush to buy your new floor and install it, but we’d always advise that you use a professional fitter. We can arrange the perfect fit from one of our trusted partners. But if you feel confident enough to do it yourself, we have lots of hints and tips to support you in our guide on how to lay your own laminate flooring.

Common mistakes when laying laminate flooring: not acclimatising it!

Before you’ve even laid down a single plank, one of the most critical steps in laminate flooring installation is acclimating the planks to the environment in which they will be installed. That simply means making them the same temperature as the room they’re going in. If you don’t, the flooring could warp, buckle, or end up with gaps between the planks. To avoid this mistake, follow these steps:

  • Read the manufacturer's instructions: Different types of laminate flooring may require different acclimation periods. Be sure to carefully read and follow the manufacturer's guidelines.
  • Allow sufficient time: Typically, laminate flooring should acclimatise for at least 48 hours in the room where it will be installed. Ensure the temperature and humidity levels are consistent with the room's normal conditions during this period.
  • Keep the flooring flat: Store the laminate flooring boxes horizontally and avoid stacking them too high, as this can lead to uneven acclimation.
     

 

Uneven subfloor preparation

A smooth and level subfloor is essential for a successful laminate flooring installation. Failure to properly prepare the subfloor can result in squeaks, uneven flooring, and premature wear and tear. Here's how to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Inspect the subfloor: Before installation, thoroughly inspect the subfloor for any signs of damage, unevenness, or moisture. Address any issues before proceeding with installation.
  • Smooth the subfloor: Use a smoothing compound to smooth and fill in any low spots or indentations in the subfloor. Sand down high spots to create a smooth surface.
  • Moisture barrier: Install a moisture barrier, such as a vapour barrier or underlay, especially in areas prone to moisture, such as basements or newly laid subfloors.

Misaligned Planks

Misaligned planks can detract from the overall appearance of your laminate flooring and create tripping hazards. Proper planning and attention to detail can help you avoid this common mistake:

  • Plan the layout: Before installation, carefully plan the layout of the flooring to ensure a uniform appearance. Consider the direction of natural light and the flow of traffic in the room.
  • Use spacers: Place spacers between the planks and the walls to maintain a consistent expansion gap. This will help prevent buckling and ensure a professional-looking finish.
  • Check alignment regularly: As you lay each row of planks, ensure that the locking mechanisms have fully engaged before moving on to the next row/plank.   Periodically check the alignment against the wall,  adjusting as necessary to maintain straight lines and proper spacing.

How to fix some common laminate flooring mistakes

Despite careful planning and preparation, unexpected challenges may arise during laminate flooring installation. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you overcome common issues:

Dealing with damaged planks: If you encounter damaged planks during installation, set them aside and use them for cuts at the end of rows.

Fixing squeaks: Likely to be ill-prepared subfloor but could be a lack of expansion in which case the planks could be trimmed.

While laying laminate flooring can be a rewarding DIY project, it's not without its challenges. All of our laminates have a click installation, so none of them use glue. For those who prefer to leave it to the experts, hiring a professional flooring installer can ensure a flawless finish and peace of mind. Professional fitters have the experience and expertise to tackle even the most complex installations, saving you time and hassle in the process. We’ve even provided some information on what laminate flooring is if you want to understand more.

Take the next steps to install laminate flooring with Tapi

By avoiding common laminate flooring mistakes and following proper installation techniques, you can achieve a beautiful and durable floor that enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home. Whether you choose to tackle the project yourself or enlist the help of a professional, we can help you create the perfect floor.

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