In today's world there are a huge number of different building materials. Sometimes such a wide range misleads the buyer. If we talk about flooring, laminate has become very popular lately. This is a very beautiful and reliable finishing material. But in order for it to last a long time and not deform, you need to know the rules for laying laminate. Installation and its technology will be discussed in our today's article.
What is this?
Laminate is a durable plate that is made from waste from the woodworking industry. The material used is wood dust and small sawdust. Due to this, the laminate is much cheaper than similar flooring. During production, these sawdust are glued together with strong epoxy compounds. As a result, the laminate becomes even stronger than natural wood. Bottomthe plate is covered with a layer of thin plastic. It protects the material from moisture absorption. A laminated film is attached to the top of the panel, which imitates the structure and color of natural wood. And to make the front part resistant to mechanical stress, it is additionally covered with a layer of transparent varnish.
How to choose the right material?
If we talk about the type of room, this flooring is used almost everywhere. This is:
- Living room.
- Children's room.
Please note that the thicker the protective layer at the board, the higher its class. For each of the above premises, the load is different. Accordingly, you need to use a different class of laminate. So, for the bedroom it is recommended to purchase products of class 21. For the living room and the nursery, a laminate is chosen under the number 22. But the corridor takes on the maximum load. In addition, dirt and sand often accumulate here. Therefore, the coating must be strong. For the corridor, it is recommended to purchase a laminate with a class of at least 23. And for the kitchen, a moisture-resistant coating of class 32 is suitable. You need to understand that the higher this value, the more expensive the laminate will be. But don't skimp. If a cheaper coating is chosen (for example, for a corridor), it will quickly lose its aesthetic appearance, and you will have to completely replace it.
As for the service life, following the installation rules and practical recommendations, the laminate can be used up to 20 years.But if a low-quality model (of an inappropriate class) was chosen, it will last no more than five years.
As noted by the reviews, the correct laying of the laminate begins with proper preparation. So, the material should acclimatize indoors, that is, lie down in the room for two days.
The next step is to prepare the base. How to lay laminate correctly? The instruction states that the installation of the coating can only be performed on a perfectly flat floor. To do this, use a long level and attach it to the base. The difference should not exceed two millimeters.
If it's a concrete floor
If the differences are more than two, but not less than five millimeters, you can use self-leveling mixtures. This will be the bulk floor. This method is very popular in construction. But if the differences are significant, you have to make a full-fledged screed. So, the floor is poured with a cement-sand mixture. But the disadvantage of this method is the long drying time. It will take at least 27 days for the floor to dry. Only after that you can lay the laminate (the order of work will be discussed a little later).
It is worth noting that the self-leveling floor needs a vapor barrier. What is used for this? Usually polyethylene film is used. Its thickness is 200 microns. The film is placed in the direction of laying the laminate. The overlap on adjacent rolls should be 20 centimeters, and on the walls - half as much. Additionally, the joints are glued with adhesive tape. This is necessary so that the film does not move.
Ifa cement-sand screed is being carried out, is a vapor barrier needed? Experts say that it is already provided for when pouring the solution itself. Therefore, the film does not need to be laid additionally.
If it's a wooden floor
Such a floor is considered to be of high quality when all the boards are securely nailed to the joists and are not covered with fungus. If there are any irregularities on the surface, they can be corrected by scraping the boards. But in advanced cases, you will have to completely re-lay the base.
If you need to prepare an uneven floor for laying laminate in a short time, you can go the other way - lay chipboard or plywood with a thickness of 10 millimeters or more. Such a coating does not need a vapor barrier. After installation, you can immediately start laying the laminate.
Unprepared surface mounting option
If the floor already has some kind of coating (linoleum or tile), you can mount the laminate directly on it, without preparation. The main thing is that the floor is even and strong. However, there are guidelines for surfaces that should not be laminated.
But installing laminate is prohibited on:
- Carpets (banal for hygiene reasons, as moisture can accumulate in the carpet and microorganisms will develop).
- Coupler, which has a built-in floor heating cable. Due to the large thickness of the coating, the efficiency of work (heating) of such a design will be minimal.
It is also forbidden to laylaminate in a chaotic manner and fastening plates on nails or self-tapping screws.
There are several types of tile connections:
- Lock system (may be Click or Lock).
Adhesive is used in rooms with the expected intensity of loads and with a high concentration of moisture. The procedure for laying laminate on a cement floor is done by pressing the panels together. Pre-glue is applied to the ends of the finishing elements. And then these joints are pressed. The result is a strong and moisture resistant joint. But reviews note several disadvantages of such coverage. This is:
- Low service life.
- Additional adhesive costs.
- Unrepairable base.
Therefore, this type is not recommended for use with underfloor heating. Otherwise, the glue will quickly dry out under the influence of temperature.
The more popular type is Click lock cover. The procedure for laying laminate flooring is quite simple. This results in a strong connection. The spike of one panel is inserted into the groove of the other at an angle of 45 degrees. Further, the fastened fragment takes root to the floor. The last board to completely snap the lock into place is knocked out with a bar or a rubber mallet.
The Lock system works a little differently. So, the panels are located in the same plane, and then the groove and spike of adjacent boards are combined and achieved with a bar tolatching. According to reviews, the strength of the connection is slightly lower than that of the previous version, but such a laminate is also cheaper.
To determine the direction of laying, you should look in which direction the sun's rays fall. Based on this, there are several ways:
- Perpendicular to light direction.
Everywhere there are different rules and procedures for laying laminate flooring. Methods can also be:
The last scheme is highly cost-effective, since waste accounts for no more than 5 percent of the material. In this case, the cut off part of the last panel is the first board of the next row.
If strength is important, you can lay the laminate in a checkerboard pattern. But at the same time, the amount of waste will be 3 times more than in the previous case. In this situation, the next board is shifted by half relative to the previous one.
If you need to play up the interior of a compact room, designers recommend resorting to a diagonal laminate laying order. But whichever method is used, it is important that the boards in adjacent rows are offset from each other.
About the gap
Laminate during operation can change its size depending on the temperature and humidity of the room. Therefore, always before you lay the laminate with your own hands, you need to provide a gap. Else coatingwill swell. So, wedges are installed along the wall, which form a 10 mm gap. If the length of the room is more than 12 meters, then this parameter must be increased. The calculation is very simple. The length of the room is multiplied by 1.5. The resulting value will be the required temperature gap.
Tool and materials
Among the tools and materials we need to prepare:
- Wooden block.
- Rubber hammer.
- Expansion wedges.
- Wood saw.
Laying the sound-absorbing underlayment
This substrate performs several functions at once. It ensures the quality of the shock-absorbing layer, allows you to hide defects in the base and prevents heat from escaping.
You can choose the following types of backing:
- Polyethylene foam.
- From extruded polystyrene foam.
The choice should be made depending on the cost and some technical features. As for the thickness, it usually ranges from two to three millimeters. If the thickness is greater, the joints of the laminate will diverge during installation.
Laying laminate with the Click system
To do this, we need to measure the width of the room and calculate the same indicator of the last board. If it turns out to be less than five centimeters, it is necessary to evenly cut the panels in the last and in the first row. Also, do not forget about the temperature gap.
How to lay laminate? Wayassumes to start from the far left corner. In this case, the direction of the panels must correspond to the flow of incident light in the room. After installing the first board, you need to dock the next board to it from the end (as we said earlier, at an angle of 45 degrees). We lower the second board to the base. This will activate the lock. By the same principle, the whole series is assembled further. Last panel can:
- Enter full. In this case, the board for the next row is cut in half.
- Do not fit in a row. Here you need to cut the panel. The rest is not thrown away. It is used as the first board for the second row. In this case, the length of the last panel for the first and second row should not be less than 30 centimeters. This parameter is the minimum for offset joints when laying laminate flooring.
This is how the elements are staggered. When walking, the pressure will be distributed evenly between the panels. Squeaks and other troubles are excluded.
What is the procedure for laying laminate flooring in an apartment next? The second row is assembled in the same way. The board is connected at the ends. At the same time, the panels are not connected to the first row in any way. After assembly, you need to lift the second assembled fragment and install the spikes in the grooves of the first. This is done at an angle of 45 degrees. This operation is recommended to be performed with an assistant. While he fastens the row on one side, we fasten it on the other. Then the locks snap into place and the structure is pressed against the floor.
Then assembly is carried out in the samesequence, row by row. And when the entire laminate is laid, the spacer wedges should be removed. How can this gap be closed? This gap easily hides the baseboard.
Laying Laminate with Lock
Installation of panels in this case is not fundamentally different from the previous version. Here, too, you need to provide for gaps and calculate the width of the last board. However, you need to know how to properly attach these panels. The connection is horizontal to each other. Further, in order not to damage the panel, you need to knock out part of it with a hammer through the bar. You need to knock until the lock works. The panels of the second row are joined in the same way with the first. That is, the main difference between the Lock system is that the panels of the second row are latched individually, and not as a whole fragment. It is also worth knowing that the last board is pressed with a clamp.
Installation of adhesive laminate
In this case, the preparation will be similar. However, the differences are that glue must be applied to the end parts of the boards. Then you should knock out the panels with a hammer and a bar. Residues of glue must be removed immediately, otherwise they will spoil the appearance. You can clean the fixing agent with a normal damp cloth. The main thing is not to hesitate, otherwise it will dry out. The laying order itself is performed as follows:
- Work starts with two boards of the first row.
- Two panels of the second are joined to them.
- Next, a couple of elements of the first row are set.
- The same is done with the second one.
Pay attention! Afterafter the laying of three rows has been completed, a three-hour break must be observed. This is necessary in order for the glue to dry. When the last board was laid, you should wait another ten hours. After this time, the adhesive solution will dry completely. Do not walk on the floor during this time.
It is important to know not only the correct order of laying the laminate. From time to time it needs to be looked after. Fortunately, care is not so difficult. To do this, you only need a well-wrung, damp cloth. It is with it that you can wipe the laminate from dust and dirt. If stains or other stubborn dirt have formed on the coating, special detergents must be used.
Please note that in order to avoid deformation of the coating, it is recommended to put felt pads on the furniture legs. Thus, the laminate will not be scratched when moving heavy objects (sofa or cabinet). Well, in case of scratches, you should not be upset - there are special repair compounds to eliminate them.
So, we have considered the order of laying the laminate. As you can see, there are several ways to do the job. Everyone chooses the most suitable for themselves.