DIY by iFloors
iFloors - Laminate flooring
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iFloors DIY Floor Installation
Acclimatize the planks for 48 hours. Two days before you begin work, take the boxes of laminate into the room you’re flooring. If applicable set the thermostat at a normal temperature for the time of year. Put the unopened boxes flat on the floor, or stack them three or four high, log-cabin style. After 48 hours, they will have adjusted to the temperature and humidity of the room.
Install a vapor barrier
Install a vapor barrier as this would prevent rising damp. It’s recommended that you use a water proof tape to join the sheets of vapor barrier. Do not install a vapor barrier over a wood sub floor as this can sometimes result in mold, mildew and a warped floor.
Always use an underlay Always use an underlay above the vapor barrier and below the laminate flooring panels. Use a waterproof tape to stick the sides together. Allow underlay to overlap.
Install the panels parallel Install the panels parallel to the main light source; if there is no exterior light source, install the panels parallel to the longest wall.
start to lay the panels under the door frame If possible, start to lay the panels under the door frame and finish installing panels on a wall without a door frame.
cut away part of the frame Instead of trying to cut the flooring to fit around door frames, cut away part of the frame and slip the floor underneath. To do this, put a piece of flooring upside down on foam underlay next to the frame. Put a trim saw on the plank and cut at least 10cm into the frame. Pop out the waste with a screwdriver or chisel.
Start placing the panels Start placing the panels so that the open side of the panel faces you.
Remove the tongue on the panels Remove the tongue on the panels that will but up against the walls to allow room for spacers and to prevent problems from spills and moisture.
Lay the panels close together Lay the panels close together on the floor but do not lay them up against the wall yet.
Install the first and second row at the same time
Install the first and second row at the same time. This will help ensure that the end joints are perfectly square. Panels forced down without properly engaging the tongue into the groove can result in damage.
Maintain a minimum of 8mm clearances for expansion Maintain a minimum of 8mm clearances for expansion but where possible 10 - 12mm. (In very humid areas such as at the coast a 16mm expansion is recommended) Use 40 cm minimum size as the smallest usable piece at the ends of the rows. Laminate will always react to changes in temperature and humidity. It is for this reason that you should always have sufficient expansion gaps.
Generally a 10mm expansion should be sufficient Generally a 10mm expansion should be sufficient, but if the floor exceeds 8 meters in width or 12 meters in length it would be necessary to install further expansion gaps.
Where the rooms join up with each other at doorways, archways or other openings it’s necessary to place an expansion gap at these points as well.
Lock in the panels lengthwise. Allow 30cm minimum end-joint stagger row to row
Use a 10-12cm piece to hold the tongue Use a 10-12cm piece to hold the tongue and the groove on the same plane, this will limit end joint damage and ensure the planks engage square. Tap the end joints with multiple light taps, striking the tapping block evenly until end joints close. NOTE: tapping too hard or striking the tapping block unevenly can result in installation-related damage or peaking.
rotate the off cut section 180° To measure and cut the last piece in a row, rotate the off cut section 180°, mark accordingly, cut, rotate back 180° and slot into the space.
Fit the last panel Fit the last panel in the row using a pull bar.
expansion around fixed objects Always allow for expansion around fixed objects.
T-piece is required when the length of planks measures 60cm max An expansion gap T-piece is required when the length of planks measures 60cm max and when the width of planks measures 10cm max. Transition strips should be placed in all doorways directly under the door when the door is closed.
Cut the row along the wall Cut the row along the wall to account for the unevenness of the wall while leaving sufficient expansion gaps (5cm minimum plank width).
Ensure floor is able to expand Ensure floor is able to expand.
long edge joints cannot be installed using a 20° angle Some long edge joints cannot be installed using a 20° angle
Remove the top part of the tongue Remove the top part of the tongue and groove of the panels.
quality wood glue to make the connection Use a good quality wood glue to make the connection.
slot into the other panels Slide the panel into space horizontally and slot into the other panels. Use these modified planks under door frames, radiators, cabinet fronts, etc. Use the pull bar to slide the planks where needed.
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