Common Mistakes When Laying Laminate Flooring

Laying laminate flooring can be a great DIY project for homeowners looking to update their home’s look and feel. However, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes that can occur during the installation process. Here are 10 mistakes to avoid when laying laminate flooring.

Not measuring the room properly

One of the most common mistakes when laying laminate flooring is not measuring the room or rooms that will be covered. Not having enough flooring can cause delays in the installation process, while having too much can result in unnecessary waste and added expenses.

To avoid this mistake, be sure to measure the length and width of each room, and add an extra 10% to account for any cuts or mistakes, read this article on where do you start when laying laminate flooring.

Not allowing for expansion space

Laminate flooring needs to have an expansion space of at least 5/8 inch around the perimeter of the room. This allows the flooring to expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes.

If this space is not allowed for, the flooring can warp or buckle, causing damage and the need for costly repairs. To ensure proper expansion space, use spacers or a piece of scrap laminate to maintain the correct distance between the flooring and the wall.

Not preparing the subfloor properly

The subfloor should be clean, dry, and level before laminate flooring is installed. If the subfloor is not prepared properly, it can cause the laminate flooring to not lay flat, resulting in an uneven and unsightly surface.

Additionally, any imperfections in the subfloor, such as cracks or holes, can cause the laminate to wear down more quickly. To prepare the subfloor, use a broom or vacuum to remove dust and debris, and repair any imperfections with a self-leveling compound.

Not using the proper underlayment

Underlayment is a necessary component for laminate flooring installation. It provides a barrier against moisture and helps to make the flooring feel more cushioned underfoot.

Not using the proper underlayment can cause the flooring to warp or buckle, resulting in damage and the need for costly repairs, read this article on underlayment for laminate flooring. To ensure proper installation, use a moisture barrier underlayment specifically designed for laminate flooring.

Not cutting the laminate flooring properly:

Laminate flooring should be cut with a saw that has a fine-toothed blade. Using a saw with a coarse blade can cause the laminate to chip or break.

Additionally, not cutting the laminate flooring properly can result in uneven edges, which can cause the flooring to not fit together properly. To avoid this mistake, use a saw with a fine-toothed blade, and take care when making cuts to ensure a clean and precise edge.

Not allowing the laminate flooring to acclimate to the room

Laminate flooring should be left in the room where it will be installed for at least 48 hours before installation. This allows the flooring to acclimate to the room’s temperature and humidity levels.

If the flooring is installed without acclimating, it can cause the flooring to warp or buckle, resulting in damage and the need for costly repairs. To ensure proper acclimation, leave the flooring in the room for at least 48 hours before installation, and keep the room’s temperature and humidity levels consistent.

Not using the proper adhesive

Laminate flooring should be glued together using a high-quality adhesive. Not using the proper adhesive can cause the flooring to come apart or not lay flat.

Additionally, using an adhesive that is not specifically designed for laminate flooring can cause the flooring to warp or buckle, resulting in damage and the need for costly repairs. To ensure proper installation, use a high-quality adhesive specifically designed for laminate flooring.

Not leaving enough space for door clearance

Laminate flooring should be installed so that there is a 1/4 inch gap between the flooring and any doors. This allows the flooring to expand and contract without causing damage to the doors.

If the flooring is installed too close to the doors, it can cause the doors to bind or stick, which can be both unsightly and inconvenient. To avoid this mistake, measure and mark the correct distance from the flooring to the doors before installing, read this article on do you need expansion gap for laminate flooring.

Not cleaning up after installation

Laminate flooring should be cleaned after installation to remove any excess adhesive or debris. Not cleaning up can cause dirt and dust to accumulate, which can damage the flooring over time.

Additionally, leaving debris on the flooring can make the surface more slippery, which can be dangerous. To ensure proper cleaning, use a damp cloth or mop to remove any excess adhesive or debris, and allow the flooring to dry completely before walking on it.

Not using the proper finish

Laminate flooring should be finished with a high-quality sealant or wax to protect it from scratches and scuffs. Not using the proper finish can cause the flooring to become dull or stained over time.

Using a finish that is not specifically designed for laminate flooring can cause the flooring to warp or buckle, resulting in damage and the need for costly repairs. To ensure proper finishing, use a high-quality sealant or wax specifically designed for laminate flooring, and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.