If you can follow instructions, pay attention to detail, and find someone to help; you can install laminate flooring. It can be very tricky, but you’ll be proud of your laminate flooring for years to come.
The first step is proper measurement. Grab a tape measure and measure your space precisely. Find a helper that can carry boxes, prepare planks and help with cutting. Each box of flooring is like gold. Accidentally damaging the locking system could make the planks useless.
Read the installation instructions carefully. This information will outline the necessary tools, proper underlayment, moldings, transitions, and glue that needed.
Before installing your laminate floor, ensure the subfloor is dry and level and in good shape. Make sure any loose debris or dirt is removed before the foam underlayment is installed. Remember to read the manufacturers instructions.
Clear a separate area to make your cuts. You’ll be using a saw, so somewhere outside or in the garage is good for this. The installation process is not complicated. It just requires time and patience.
YouTube is a great resource for tutorial videos. Be informed before you dive right into installing your laminate flooring. It will refresh and brighten your room in ways you never imagined.
Preventing harmful UV rays from entering your home minimizes the damage it can do to your floors. Sun rays can damage to your hardwood, cork, bamboo, and linoleum floors. Here are some ideas for protecting your floors to keep them looking better longer.
One of the most effective ways to safeguard your flooring is by applying solar films to windows. Curtains, shutters, awnings, and blinds can effectively keep sunlight out, but will also impede your view. Solar films can block up to 99.9% of harmful sun rays without blocking your view.
Some floors can be partially protected by applying special coatings to them. They can make a significant difference in reducing the impact of harmful sunlight if regularly applied
Rugs are a great way to add style, color and texture to a room while protecting your floors at the same time. Remember to rearrange your rugs regularly to prevent your floors from fading in certain areas.
Hardwood flooring is beautiful, classic, and allergy-friendly. Unfortunately, it isn’t the best option everywhere. Here’s where hardwood flooring belongs and where it doesn’t.
The Worst Rooms
Because of its superior qualities, some install hardwood flooring everywhere in their home and regret it. Here are our recommendations.
Bathroom: Water is like kryptonite to your hardwood floor. If you choose hardwood for the bathroom, expect to repair and replace it often.
Foyer: Nothing good happens to hardwood in the entryway. Dirt and sand are tracked in. Water and moisture from wet shoes seeps into crevices.
Laundry room: Opt for laminate or tile in this room. Done and done.
The Best Rooms
Dining room: Hardwood flooring will enhance your dining room’s design and maintain durability over time. Styles can complement your vibe whether formal or casual. Using soft pads on furniture will reduce noise and protect the hardwood finish.
Bedroom: Hardwood’s rich, appealing and romantic feel will complement your master suite lovely.
Living room: Hardwood stands up well to traffic, more-so if you maintain a no-shoes policy. The occasional spill won’t be a threat when if it’s cleaned quickly.
Home office: Increase productivity and provide an environment condusive to schmoozing with luxurious hardwood floors. It’s worth a shot!
Den: Hardwood floors accented with a large, comfy rug create a calm and cozy setting for unwinding with a book, casual conversation or a favorite show. It is safe to set your bookshelf on top of hardwood floors, and, as long as you don’t spill your wine on the floor, it will likely remain stain-free.
What About the Kitchen?
Hardwood has a place in every home, but not every room. Homeowners who love hardwood floors, especially with open floor plans. want to know if hardwood is okay for their kitchen. We say, “Do it… but consider the following.”
- Consider engineered hardwood. It has plywood base layers that resist moisture better than solid hardwood
- Always clean up spills quickly
- Follow the manufacturer or installer’s instructions and seal your floors regularly
Choosing the right flooring can feel like a headache. The wrong materials could lead to unexpected problems. Before making a decision, consider which materials work best in your climate.
Porcelain, Ceramic, and Stone Tile
Tile is suitable in almost any climate, but homes in colder regions might want to install heating underneath. That cool touch is a great in hot climates, including desert, humid, or tropical areas. Most tiles are water resistant and stand up to years of abuse, so you can mop to your heart’s content. While tile can last for many years, movement of the substrate can damage it in areas prone to earthquakes.
Linoleum & Vinyl
People often use the words vinyl and linoleum interchangeably, but they’re different materials. Vinyl is synthetic, but linoleum is a natural product made from ground cork and linseed oil. There are various, high-quality vinyl flooring options to realistically reproduce wood and stone patterns. The color is solid throughout, so it doesn’t show damage as easily. While they’re suitable in any climate, they can feel a bit cold underfoot. Both vinyl and linoleum are available in tiles and sheets. They also clean easily with a damp mop.
Carpet is soft and cushy and adds insulation and comfort in colder climates. Available in rolls and tiles, fuzzy and short fibers, there’s something for practically any living environment where water isn’t present. Basements and other rooms with persistent damp conditions can lead to problems with mold and mildew because the fibers and padding retain moisture. Everyday cleaning requires vacuuming, but stains are harder to deal with. Steam cleaning and spot treatments are necessary.
Newer high quality laminates have come a long way. Realistic wood texture embossed into their coating makes them practically indistinguishable from real hardwood. However, the edges of laminates swell in excessively damp conditions. Once the damage is done, the panel needs to be replaced. Only mop with a barely-damp mop.
Damp or dry conditions can be an issue for hardwood in some situations. Excessively dry conditions can dry out the wood, but high-quality sealers help to resist cracks. Dampness causes wood to swell and buckle the floor. Use a dehumidifier to regulate the humidity and help the floor stay put. Hardwoods feel cool under your feet, good in warm climates. They can be good in colder areas too. Ask a reputable flooring contractor to recommend varieties that work with radiant heat.
Engineered hardwood resists swelling and shrinking and is a good option for all climates.
When choosing flooring for any room in the house it’s important to weigh your options. Carpeting is quiet, comfortable to walk on, keeps your feet warm, and so on, but should stay out of a few rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen. Consider the traffic and type of activity that will go on in said room. So what rooms are most popular for carpeting?
Warm and soft underfoot, carpet is a common choice for bedrooms. With carpet there won’t be any sudden chill when you first get out of bed like a chilly stone or wood surface. Choose luxuriously soft Plush & Texture Carpets for formal elegance or Frieze or Berber for a more contemporary, casual look.
Living rooms are often highly trafficked areas where family and friends gather to visit. A carpeted room provides a warm atmosphere for conversation. Talk to the Ventura Flooring’s carpet experts about finding a carpet that is extra durable.
While not technically a room, putting carpet on stairs is a great idea as it provides additional grip. By absorbing sounds, carpet muffles noisy feet going up and down.
Carpet is great for rooms where kids spend a lot of time. Any falls will be cushioned compared to hardwood or tile and they can use the soft floor for sitting.
Your home will benefit from the look of wood flooring; the decision whether to use hardwood or laminate may depend on if you have pets, young kids or high traffic.
Laminate wood flooring is made from composite wood pressed together at high temperatures. Then the image of hardwood is placed over the composite wood. Hardwood flooring is made of harvested trees. In general, hardwood is significantly more expensive to buy and to install.
Hardwood can get scratched and is susceptible to damage from excessive moisture and wearing in high traffic areas. If you have a lot of sunlight in your home be aware that hardwood can fade. Hardwood is gorgeous and can add considerable value to your home. However, laminate wood flooring has integrated UV protection into its surface. Laminate is more durable and resists moisture and wear and tear. Laminate flooring is also easier to clean. However, it’s not as visually appealing and low quality laminate may look artificial.
Flooring is one component of your home that will have to be repaired at some point. Hardwood can be repaired by sanding imperfections and refinishing. Laminate flooring doesn’t repair easily.
Wooden floors may lose their sheen or luster and need reviving with an application of wood floor oil. Different shades of oil are available, including: clear, natural Oak, Walnut, white, grey and black. Oiling your floor can be a great opportunity to achieve a new, unique look, or simply revive the original appearance of your hardwood floor.
Keeping your newly oiled floor looking fresh and revitalized is easy. Wipe any water spills immediately. Always remove shoes and footwear before walking on the floor to prevent scratches and damage to your floor. Apply anti-scratch felt pads to the bottom of furniture. Sweep your floor daily to remove dirt and dust. Clean with a wood floor cleaning spray and microfiber cloth on a weekly basis. Always use products that are specifically designed for hardwood floors when oiling. Always read and follow the instructions carefully.
New flooring is a great home improvement project that makes the whole house feel better. And if you’re thinking of DIY flooring installation, you’ll save about half what it would cost to hire a professional.
Know your subfloor. In most cases it’s either wood or concrete — each has dos and don’ts when it comes to choosing the right flooring. If installation guidelines aren’t included, look for them on the manufacturer’s website. Also search YouTube on the subject to get familiar with the process. Buy the proper tools or rent them from your local rent-it shop. Ask the staff how they should be properly operated.
Some flooring installations are designed for a DIY. Here’s a quick rundown on skill levels needed for various flooring installation projects.
For the easiest install, DIYers should go with the floating floor. Engineered wood flooring is available as a glue-down, nail-down, and floating floor system with snap-together edges.
A laminate floor with a floating system is very DIY-friendly. You’ll need some skill and patience to meander doorways.
A rented flooring nail gun makes nailing down hardwood flooring easier once you get the hang of it. Your biggest challenge is dealing with warped boards to keep rows straight.
Ceramic tile flooring installation requires moderate to high levels of skill. Laying out the design and understanding how to start off a ceramic tile floor installation are keys to success, especially when it comes to notching tile around obstacles.
Each room in your home comes with its own challenges. A flooring material that’s perfect for one space may not work in another.
Laundry Room and Bathroom
Tile is a traditional choice in these rooms because it holds up well in wet places. Porcelain also allows for barrier-free, design-forward, showers, where the bathroom floor extends straight into the shower without any lip. Choose a more textured product rather than one with a highly polished surface to avoid slippery floors. An electric heating element under the tiles can also be installed and connected to a timer control.
Porcelain tile outperforms every other flooring material for resistance to scratching and denting. It’s a natural fit for high-traffic areas of the home. Plus, it comes in a range of styles to fit any décor. Tile is also low-maintenance. It never needs more than a vacuuming and mopping and will last a lifetime.
Sunroom or Enclosed Porch
Tile will stand up to most of the abuse it gets in these rooms. Porcelain tiles can be designed to look like handmade ceramic tiles in addition to faux wood and stone. Choose a tile that’s rated for outdoor use in your climate if your porch isn’t fully heated and protected from the elements.
Tile is a great option for people with pets. Tile is a durable, easy to clean, liquid-proof surface with tons of different design options. But, for animals with bladder-control issues it might be a challenge to keep the grout clean. If you’re dreaming of wood floors, but don’t want to risk it, consider faux-wood tiles.
Luxury vinyl is another great option for pet owners. It’s durable, quiet, long lasting, and resistant to moisture, dents, and scratches. It’s affordable and most vinyl floor tiles and mimic stone or wood patterns beautifully.
Laminate is an extremely strong artificial wood product. It has a sealant layer that resists scratches and scuffs. Laminate is less expensive than concrete, wood, or most tile. The only possible issue with this laminate flooring is that the layer that protects it is very slippery.
If you must have carpet, consider something specifically designed to resist pet stains and odors. A nonwhite neutral color won’t show dirt as quickly. Vacuum often to keep fur from building up.
Pets don’t have to ruin your dreams of having hardwood floors. Make sure dog nails are kept trimmed and messes are wiped up immediately. Go for the hardest wood you can find, such as teak, mesquite, or hard maple. Consider engineered hardwood with the most scratch-resistant finish available. A matte or low-gloss look will hide scratches better. Finish your floor with a scratch-resistant finish. Also consider distressed or reclaimed wood.