5 Common Mistakes When Laying Laminate Flooring

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5 Common Mistakes When Laying Laminate Flooring

The installation of laminate flooring in commercial or residential buildings is one of the common practices worldwide. Due to its unique design and pattern, it’s one of the most suitable flooring options sought out by many people. It is designed to adopt a similar look to flooring materials like hardwood, tiles, etc, and is made of a synthetic material coupled with a laminate protective layer.

Although laminate flooring might seem to be very attractive and worthwhile after installation, it does take caution and diligence to avoid making certain mistakes that can give a poor result.

Now we’ll take a look at some common mistakes to avoid when laying laminate flooring.

Laying Laminate Flooring With Subfloor Moisture

Laminate floors have a hygroscopic layer and are prone to moisture absorption. Thus, without properly ensuring that the subfloor is free of moisture or without sealing the laminate, the floor might have problems, one of which is peaked seams.

Moreover, laminate floors can expand or contract when there’s a change in moisture content or high exposure to humidity.

It’s best to either make use of a vinyl laminate floor, make use of waterproof glue, or silicone caulk to seal the laminate. Take caution to avoid spills and keep the floor dry as often as you can.

A Non Flat Floor

Laminate floors are designed to fit in a pattern and layout accordingly to create a flat and even surface. If however, yours isn’t the case, then it might be because the floor was laid on an even subfloor.

However, it’s advisable to ensure that the subfloor is constructed evenly and without bumps before installing a laminate floor. You can also make use of leveling compounds to ensure the evenness of the subfloor.

No Underlay

Without an underlay foam placed underneath the laminate, the flooring might experience damage and may not last long. The reason is that laminate floors are thin and without an evenly matched subfloor beneath, it might be uncomfortable to walk on.

Hence, using an underlay not only helps as a protective substrate for the thin laminate but also helps as a shock absorber, as an insulator, and as a means to help even out the subfloor as well.

Not Acclimating Laminate Flooring Before Installation

Laminate flooring materials need to be placed at the site of installation hours before it is being installed to ensure it gets used to the new environment and adjusts to changes in humidity levels. Laminate flooring will either expand or contract when there’s a change in humidity and this can in turn lead to buckling or warping.

It’s best to properly go through the manufacturer’s manual to know the exact time for acclimation. A time frame of about 24-72 hours is recommended to allow the flooring to acclimate.

No Room For Floating And Expansion Joints

Simply put, laminate floors need to be constructed in such a way that they float and the interlocking pieces are securely attached at the edges. This allows it to stick together without buckling or damaging the laminate floor.

In addition, laying laminate flooring across multiple rooms requires expansion joints. Without attaching the edges of the laminate properly and making use of expansion joints, you risk having a poorly constructed laminate floor and encountering issues like warping, buckling, etc.


Where’s the right place to start laying laminate flooring?

You must start laying laminate flooring from the left corner of the room while laying the first rows completely and with the edges (tongue side) facing the wall. This should be done in the same direction as the light source and/or the longest wall.

When’s the best time to walk on the laminate floor after installation?

It’s usually advised to avoid walking on a freshly installed laminate floor until 24 hours after installation and complete curation.

 Alex J
Alex J

Alex is the founder of the BFG, he has been in the flooring business for over 12 years and specialize in laying new floors, resurfacing old ones, and giving people practical advice on how to keep their floors looking beautiful.