How To Put Laminate Flooring Over Concrete

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for those looking to update the look of their home, and it can also be a great option for concrete floors. However, installing laminate flooring over concrete can be a bit trickier than installing it over other types of flooring. In this article, we will explain the steps you need to take to properly install laminate flooring over concrete, as well as some tips to help you achieve the best results.

  1. Prepare the Concrete Surface: Before installing laminate flooring over concrete, the surface must be clean, level, and free of any debris or moisture. Use a concrete grinder to smooth out any rough or uneven areas. Clean the surface with a broom and dustpan, and then use a concrete sealer to seal any cracks or gaps. Allow the sealer to dry completely before proceeding.
  2. Measure the Room: Measure the length and width of the room to determine how much laminate flooring and underlayment you will need. Add an extra 10% to your measurement to allow for waste and cutouts around obstacles like doorways and stairs.
  3. Install the Underlayment: Lay a moisture barrier underlayment over the concrete surface. This will provide a layer of cushioning and insulation, and will also help to prevent moisture from seeping into the laminate flooring. Use a utility knife to cut the underlayment to fit the room.
  4. Install the Laminate Flooring: Begin installing the laminate flooring in the corner of the room, making sure to keep the end of the planks at least 6 inches away from any walls. Use a hammer and tapping block to secure the planks together, ensuring that the end joints are tight. Continue installing the laminate flooring across the room, cutting planks to fit as necessary.
  5. Finish the Edges: Use a laminate flooring end molding to finish the edges of the flooring where it meets the wall. This will create a smooth transition and will also help to hide any gaps or unevenness.
  6. Clean up: Sweep and vacuum the floor to remove any debris, and use a damp mop to clean the surface.

Tools and Supplies Needed

  • Concrete grinder
  • Concrete sealer
  • Tape measure
  • Moisture barrier underlayment
  • Laminate flooring
  • Hammer
  • Tapping block
  • Utility knife
  • Laminate flooring end molding
  • Mop
  • Broom and Dustpan

How do you prepare a concrete floor for laminate?

Preparing a concrete floor for laminate involves several steps to ensure that the surface is clean, level, and free of any debris or moisture. The following is a detailed guide on how to prepare a concrete floor for laminate:

  1. Clean the Surface: Use a broom and dustpan to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the surface of the concrete. Be sure to sweep the entire floor, including corners and edges, to ensure that the surface is completely clean.
  2. Check for Moisture: Use a moisture meter to check the concrete for excessive moisture. If the moisture level is above 4%, it’s necessary to use a concrete sealer or wait until the moisture level drops to a safe level before installing the laminate flooring.
  3. Level the Surface: Use a concrete grinder to smooth out any rough or uneven areas on the concrete. Be sure to wear protective gear, such as goggles and a dust mask, when using the grinder. The surface should be as level as possible to ensure that the laminate flooring is installed properly.
  4. Fill Cracks or Gaps: Use a concrete filler or sealer to fill any cracks or gaps in the concrete. Allow the filler or sealer to dry completely before proceeding.
  5. Prime the Surface: Apply a concrete primer to the surface of the concrete to ensure that the laminate flooring will adhere properly. This will also help to prevent any moisture from seeping into the laminate flooring. Allow the primer to dry completely before installing the laminate flooring.
  6. Check for Levelness: Use a level tool to check the surface for levelness. It’s important to ensure that the surface is as level as possible before installing the laminate flooring.

Tools and Supplies Needed:

  • Broom and Dustpan
  • Moisture meter
  • Concrete grinder
  • Concrete filler or sealer
  • Concrete primer
  • Level tool
  • Goggles
  • Dust mask

It’s important to take your time when preparing the concrete surface for laminate flooring, and to pay attention to every detail to ensure that the surface is as level and smooth as possible. This will help to ensure that the laminate flooring is installed properly, and will also help to prevent any moisture or debris from seeping into the laminate flooring.

Should you glue down laminate flooring

Whether or not to glue down laminate flooring over concrete is a matter of personal preference and the specific conditions of your flooring project. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to glue down laminate flooring over concrete:

Glue-down installation

This method involves applying adhesive to the back of the laminate planks and then pressing them into place on the concrete surface. This method is more permanent and is often used in commercial or high-traffic areas where the laminate flooring needs to be extra secure. It’s also good for concrete floors that are not completely level or have slight imperfections.

Floating installation

This method involves laying the laminate planks on top of an underlayment, which is then floated over the concrete surface. The planks are then secured together using a locking mechanism, but they are not attached to the concrete. This method is less permanent and is often used in residential settings where the laminate flooring can be removed or replaced more easily.

The condition of the concrete floor

If the concrete surface is not level, has cracks, or is not in good condition, a glue-down installation may be the best option. It will provide a more stable and secure installation for the laminate flooring.

The level of traffic:

If the area where the laminate flooring will be installed will experience heavy foot traffic or will be used in a commercial setting, a glue-down installation may be the best option.

Personal preference

Ultimately, the decision to glue down laminate flooring over concrete comes down to personal preference and the specific conditions of your flooring project.

It’s important to consult the manufacturer’s instructions and the specific conditions of your flooring project before making a decision on which method to use. It’s also recommended to seek the help of a professional flooring contractor for a better evaluation and installation.

Pros and cons of installing laminate flooring over concrete

Pros:

  • Durability: Laminate flooring is known for its durability and resistance to wear and tear. When installed over concrete, it can withstand heavy foot traffic and can be a great option for high-traffic areas.
  • Cost-effective: Laminate flooring is generally less expensive than hardwood or tile flooring, making it a cost-effective option for many homeowners.
  • Easy to install: Laminate flooring is relatively easy to install, and can be done by most DIYers with the proper tools and instructions.

Cons:

  • Slipperiness: Concrete floors can be slippery and may not provide the same level of traction as other types of flooring. This can be a concern if the area is prone to moisture or if children and elderly people will be using the space.
  • Coldness: Concrete floors can be cold and uninviting, and may not provide the same level of warmth as other types of flooring.
  • Moisture: Concrete floors can be prone to moisture, which can cause issues with the laminate flooring. It’s important to check the moisture level of the concrete before installing the laminate flooring and to use a moisture barrier to prevent moisture from seeping into the laminate.

It’s important to evaluate the specific conditions of your flooring project and weigh the pros and cons before deciding to install laminate flooring over concrete. It’s also important to be aware of the risks and take the necessary precautions to ensure that the laminate flooring is installed properly and that the surface is as level and smooth as possible.