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5 common mistakes when laying laminate flooring (and ways to avoid them)

Buy too little material, don’t let the planks acclimatize, and forget about the waterproofing film – we list these and other mistakes that are often made and tell you how to avoid them.

If laminate flooring is installed professionally, it will last for years and decades. But practice shows that there are many mistakes made by those who are not sufficiently familiar with the technology of work. We pay attention to the most common ones and suggest ways to avoid them.

1. Not enough material purchased

The choice of laminate in specialized stores is huge. More and more new collections are being brought to the attention of consumers, and old ones are being discontinued. Therefore, it is important to immediately buy or order the required amount of material. Most of those who decide to save money and buy material back to back will have to face forced pauses in repairs. Not to mention the fact that the selected collection of the same production batch may not be available in the store, and another will be slightly different in color.

How to avoid

Pre-measure the room where you plan to install the new flooring. Add 10% to the resulting square meters to insure yourself in case of an emergency. In a room with many different recesses, niches, corners, columns, and other design features, the supply of planks should be a little larger – 15%. Don’t be afraid to buy too much; the leftover laminate may come in handy in the future when one or more planks have to be replaced due to major damage.

2. The planks were not allowed to acclimatize

A significant part of the laminate planks is made up of crushed wood. And this natural material, under the influence of various external factors (humidity and temperature), can swell or, conversely, shrink. The finished floor covering may warp due to the expansion of initially dry planks, or unaesthetic cracks will appear between individual elements that had high humidity.

How to avoid

Before laying, the laminate should be kept in the room where it will be laid for at least two days. This time is enough for the material to acclimatize and adapt to the microclimate of the room.

3. No waterproofing

Laminate planks are more resistant to water and moisture than wood flooring. But this useful property “works” only when water “comes” from above. On the back side, the laminate planks are not prepared for constant exposure to moisture.

How to avoid

Before laying the floor covering on the subfloor, especially mineral, be sure to spreadsheets of waterproofing film. After all, concrete screeds, both newly poured and old, are not completely dry. Moreover, they can absorb and release moisture into the environment. It is the waterproofing film that ensures that this dangerous substance does not reach the laminate. Otherwise, the material will absorb it, and an unpleasant odor and mold will appear, which will negatively affect the well-being of the apartment’s inhabitants and lead to premature destruction of the coating.

By the way, if the sheets of waterproofing film are placed a few centimeters on the walls, then the baseboards will also be protected from moisture.

4. No sound insulation

If you lay laminate directly on a concrete screed, then walking on it in shoes, especially with hard soles or heels, will be accompanied by a characteristic clicking sound. And although it does not cause any damage to the laminate, it noticeably reduces the quality of life of household members, especially neighbors from lower apartments.

How to avoid

A soundproofing substrate 2-3 mm thick will help neutralize this effect, which is extremely important for residents of multi-story buildings. It will actively dampen the impact noise that occurs when moving across the floor, and will slightly smooth out the unevenness of the base.

5. No expansion gap

Such mistakes are often found among home or novice craftsmen. Its effects are especially noticeable on floor coverings in large rooms.

How to avoid

As we have already said, laminate planks, consisting of wood, periodically expand and contract with fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Therefore, they are laid in a “floating” way, without attaching to the base, and a small compensation gap around the perimeter of the room leaves the laminate room for minor movements.

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