Guide To Put Laminate Flooring Over Hardwood

Laminate flooring provides a cost-effective and visually appealing alternative to traditional hardwood. Installing laminate over existing hardwood can be a practical choice, saving time and effort. However, proper preparation is crucial for a successful and long-lasting installation.

brown wooden coffee table near white wooden door

Pre-Installation Steps

Before embarking on the installation journey, carefully inspect the existing hardwood. Address any damages or needed repairs, ensuring a smooth and even surface for the laminate. Cleanliness and levelness are key factors that contribute to the success of the installation.

Choose laminate flooring that complements your aesthetic preferences and meets practical requirements. Consider the thickness and type of laminate that suits your needs. Additionally, explore various designs and colors to achieve the desired look for your space.

Necessary Materials and Tools

To protect the laminate from potential moisture issues, install a suitable moisture barrier. Options include moisture-resistant underlayment or a separate moisture barrier layer, depending on your specific requirements.

Select the appropriate underlayment padding based on your subfloor and laminate type. Quality underlayment provides sound absorption, stability, and a comfortable feel underfoot.

Gather the necessary tools, including a circular saw, tapping block, pull bar, and spacers. Ensure you have safety equipment such as safety glasses and knee pads for a smooth and secure installation process.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

  1. Clean the Hardwood Surface: Before laying down the moisture barrier, ensure the hardwood surface is free from dust, debris, and any protruding nails. Sweep and vacuum the area thoroughly.
  2. Roll Out the Moisture Barrier: Unroll the moisture barrier across the entire floor, ensuring it overlaps at seams by several inches. Secure the seams with adhesive or tape to create a continuous barrier.
  3. Trim Excess Barrier: Trim any excess moisture barrier along the edges of the room using a utility knife. Take care to cut precisely around corners and obstacles, providing a neat and snug fit.
  4. Unroll and Position Underlayment: Roll out the underlayment padding perpendicular to the direction you plan to install the laminate planks. Allow the padding to run up the walls slightly to provide additional protection.
  5. Secure Seams and Edges: Use adhesive or tape to secure seams between underlayment sheets. Additionally, affix the underlayment to the floor along the edges, ensuring a stable and smooth surface.
  6. Trim Excess Underlayment: Trim any excess underlayment along the edges using a utility knife. The goal is to achieve a clean and even underlayment layer without any overlap.
  7. Determine Plank Direction: Decide on the direction in which you want the laminate planks to run, usually parallel to the longest wall for aesthetic appeal and a spacious feel.
  8. Establish Reference Lines: Use a chalk line or straightedge to create reference lines on the underlayment, starting from the longest wall. These lines guide the first row of laminate planks, ensuring a straight and symmetrical layout.
  9. Begin Plank Installation: Lay the first row of laminate planks along the reference line, ensuring the tongue side faces the wall. Use spacers between the planks and walls to maintain the recommended expansion gap.
  10. Choose the Installation Method: Depending on the laminate type, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for either a glueless click-lock system or adhesive application. This step is crucial for securing the planks together.
  11. Interlock Planks: For click-lock systems, interlock the planks by angling and snapping them together. Apply even pressure to ensure a tight and secure fit.
  12. Adhesive Application: If using adhesive, apply it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away any excess adhesive from the surface of the laminate planks immediately.
  13. Place Spacers Along Edges: Insert spacers along the edges of the room, maintaining a consistent gap between the laminate planks and walls. This gap accommodates natural expansion and contraction due to temperature and humidity changes.
  14. Adjust as Needed: Regularly check and adjust the spacers as you progress with the installation. Ensure the gaps remain consistent to prevent potential issues with buckling or warping.
  15. Measure and Mark: Measure the remaining space at edges and corners where full planks won’t fit. Mark the measurements directly onto the laminate plank’s decorative side, ensuring accuracy.
  16. Use a Circular Saw: Carefully cut the marked planks using a circular saw. Ensure the saw blade is sharp to achieve clean and precise cuts. Exercise caution and wear appropriate safety gear during this step.
  17. Fit and Secure Cut Planks: Fit the cut planks into their designated spaces, ensuring a snug fit. Secure them in place following the chosen installation method, whether it’s the click-lock system or adhesive application.

Tips and Best Practices

Always adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific laminate product you are installing. This ensures the correct installation procedures are followed, maximizing the durability and lifespan of your flooring.

Be prepared to address common installation challenges such as uneven subfloors or transitions between rooms. Understanding troubleshooting techniques will help overcome obstacles and ensure a smooth installation process.

Maintain a cohesive look by ensuring a smooth transition between rooms. Pay attention to details like doorways and use appropriate transition molding to achieve a polished appearance.

Allow the laminate flooring to acclimate to the environment by storing it in the installation area for at least 48 hours before beginning the installation. This helps the planks adjust to the temperature and humidity of the space.

Finishing Touches

Complete the installation with transition molding along edges and doorways. This not only enhances the aesthetics but also provides a seamless and finished appearance.

After installation, follow proper cleaning and maintenance practices to preserve the beauty and longevity of your laminate flooring. Regular cleaning with a damp mop or vacuum, using manufacturer-recommended products, is essential.

Monitor the flooring for any post-installation issues, such as gaps or buckling. Promptly address any concerns to maintain the integrity of the installation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, installing laminate flooring over hardwood can be a rewarding project when approached with careful planning and attention to detail. By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll achieve a beautiful and durable result that enhances the appeal of your living space. Remember to consult professional assistance if needed and enjoy the benefits of your newly installed laminate flooring for years to come.