Before any work begins, it’s important to properly measure your room to determine exactly how much flooring will be required. Your flooring dealer may either provide this service for free or possibly provide you with expert advice on the proper way to calculate your flooring estimate.
In general, every room in which a flooring installation will be taking place should be off limits to you and your family until the installation is complete. Regardless of how much time you’ve allowed for the installation, there is always the possibility of unforeseen problems, so make sure you build in an extra few days into your timetable for the project.
Below are a few items to expect prior to and during your installation:
Typically, if you live in a climate-controlled home, your laminate will be ready to install as soon as you bring it home. However, there are certain times, especially during periods of extreme temperature, when your flooring may need to acclimate. This means it will need to sit somewhere inside your home, usually in an unused room, for several days while it adjusts to the temperature and moisture conditions of your home. Your laminate installation instructions should offer a guideline for when acclimation is needed. And remember, if you need to acclimate you will have a few stacks of flooring to work around before the installation even begins.
You will need to set aside some time to move any furniture out of the installation room and possibly hire a third party to assist in moving any heavy appliances or electrical devices that may need to be disconnected and reconnected.
Unlike most flooring, Laminate can be installed over most pre-existing surfaces; however, you may need to remove the old flooring to accommodate for doors and transitions between rooms. Should you need to remove your existing floor, it’s a good idea to make arrangements for disposal ahead of time to avoid any potential delays.
Remove any molding and baseboard before you begin installing your laminate. This can be a bit tricky, and it is not uncommon to have to patch and repaint them before reinstalling.
Installing your laminate will require the use of various hand and power tools; your floor installation guidelines should provide you with a basic list of everything you need. Some dealers may also sell installation kits that include a number of items.
Your laminate installation will be rather noisy and disruptive as you cut and trim your flooring. It’s common practice to set up your saw outside to avoid making a mess; however, you should still expect a small amount of dust to collect as the flooring is installed.
Once the installation is complete, it’s a good idea to stay off your newly installed floor for a small amount of time to allow any adhesives that might have been used to set. As you move your furniture back into your newly resurfaced room, it might be a good time to consider felt or rubber pads on the bottom of any furniture that will come in direct contact with your new floors. This will help minimize any scratches or dents that may occur. It is also a good idea to test any appliances that were moved during the installation process to ensure there are no leaks or electrical problems. After all, you don’t want to risk damaging your beautiful new floor.
TIPS FOR PREVENTING DAMAGE
Keep pets’ nails trimmed and their paws clean. Pets can track in substances that cause scratching and stains.
Use a humidifier during heating seasons to help reduce wood shrinkage and humidity between 35% and 55%.
Wipe up spills and spots immediately with a gentle cleaner, such as Bona. We also recommend an organic vinegar & water solution. Mix with a few drops of essential oils for a pleasant smell.
Use ice to harden tough substances like wax or chewing gum, and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper or a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the surface and wipe the area clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth.
Invest in high quality floor mats and protective pads on heavy furniture for an extra layer of protection on your hardwood floors. Place floor mats at entrances and exits—they collect and trap corrosive substances that can be tracked in, like dirt, sand, oil, grit, asphalt, or even driveway sealer. Placing mats in high-traffic areas—in front of vanities, kitchen sinks, and stoves—is an effective way to reduce wear.
WHAT TO AVOID
Avoid walking on your hardwood floors with spiked or damage-heeled shoes.
Resist wet-mop, damp-mop, or cleaning your hardwood with water or other liquids.
Don’t use oil soaps, liquid or paste wax, or other household products containing lemon, citrus, or tung oil, or silicon to clean floors.
Stay away from harsh cleaning aids like steel wool pads, any scouring pads containing metal, or scouring powders.
Don’t use 2-in-1 cleaners that contain acrylics or urethane polish to restore gloss.