Practicality, safety, variety of options and low cost have made laminate flooring the most popular finishing material in just a few years.
Laminate plank fixings allow you to lay them yourself. Most often, laminate is used for fine flooring, but in the last three to four years it has been used for effective wall and even ceiling decoration.
Laying laminate flooring with your own hands significantly reduces the cost of repairs, so more and more people are wondering how to properly lay the laminate with high quality.
Despite the simplicity of the procedure, there are points that are best known in advance.
The process of installing laminate flooring consists of five main steps:
1. Selecting a layout scheme.
2. Calculation of the number of panels.
3. Preparation of the necessary materials and tools.
4. Preparation of the sub-floor.
5. Laying the laminate.
Selecting a layout scheme:
When choosing a laminate, remember that it is not suitable for wet rooms and therefore is not placed in the bathroom.
Laminate is divided into strength classes. For apartments and houses, you can use grades 21 to 23, and for commercial use in places where there are a lot of people, laminate from 31 to 33 is suitable.
The number in the name is the number of years that the laminate of a particular class will last. The higher the class, the more expensive the laminate is. If you wish, you can safely buy a 31st, 32nd or 33rd grade laminate for finishing the floor in the hallway.
It all starts with lighting. Will the light from the windows accentuate or hide the seams? If long joints should not be noticeable, then they are laid out in the direction of the sun's rays. If, on the contrary, you want to emphasize the wooden texture of the floor and highlight the seams, then the laminate is bought with chamfers and laid parallel to the windows. If the laminate is not chamfered, it can also be laid diagonally. Other methods require experience.
When choosing a layout, you should also remember that the laminate breathes - it shrinks and expands depending on how the temperature changes inside the room. Because of this, it is customary to leave indents along the walls with a width of 8 to 5 mm, which allow the coating to grow freely.
Calculation of the number of panels
To begin with, measure the room for which the laminate is bought, taking into account all the protrusions, columns and niches. Don't forget about expansion joints (15 mm) for each wall.
To find out how many boards you need to buy, divide the total area found by the area of the board and round the result. Then the number of boards is divided by the number of pieces in a package - the number of packages is obtained. The result is rounded up.
The final amount of material depends on how it is installed. If diagonal laying is planned, then the purchase is increased by 15 - 20%, and for parallel or perpendicular - by 5 - 7%.
Preparation of materials and tools
To start laying laminate flooring, you need to have:
two types of backing: sound and vapor barrier;
water-repellent joint compound ("Moment", for example);
wedges for compensation indentation;
small wooden block :;
clamp (or bracket).
Preparing the sub floor
Laminate is laid only on a leveled surface. So it will not creak and will last longer. The maximum permissible differences in the height of the base are 2 mm per 2 square meters of the floor.
To level the base use:
self-leveling (bulk) polymer mixtures;
flooring from GVLV or multilayer plywood.
The result is checked by the building level. Before starting installation, the subfloor should be vacuumed to prevent small debris from getting into the joints. Otherwise, the new floor will squeak unpleasantly.
Before laying, the laminate should stand for a couple of days in the room for which it is intended to get used to the ambient temperature and humidity. You can't lay it right away!
Then the boards are freed from the packaging and the substrates are laid.
A vapor barrier layer is laid on the subfloor with an overlap, then a special soundproofing foam or cork covering. The sound insulation is laid end-to-end to avoid thickening. The seams are glued with metallized tape.
A technological gap must remain between the walls and the coating - plastic wedges of the appropriate size are used to comply with it.
Laying the laminate begins with the formation of the first row: the boards are combined with their ends. On the reverse side, each connection is gently tapped with a mallet, after placing a wooden block under it. Another row is formed in the same way.
Then the rows are connected together. They do this according to the manufacturer's instructions, but in general the process is simple: a tongue of the second row is inserted into the groove of the first row and the second row is gradually lowered to the floor. The procedure is repeated to the last row.
The last row requires special attention. Each board is measured separately, for which it is turned upside down and applied to the floor. A pencil mark is made taking into account the technological gap.