Installing Laminate Flooring can be easy if you have the resources to learn from. The glue down method involves using adhesives to adhere the hardwood flooring to the subfloor. When installing a floating engineered hardwood floor, it can be tricky to snug up the tongue and groove joints. This is an ultimate resource of building and finishing materials, equipment and furnishings, and other things related to the design and construction industry. By nailing the floor will not be able to expand, and will buckle in the middle. Any dust, dirt or debris that are left underneath the laminate may produce crunching sounds when you walk on the floor. 7 Tips to Determine Which Way to Lay Laminate Flooring. Gapping usually happens when the temperature and humidity of the room drops down considerably which forces the laminate floor planks to pull away at their joints creating unsightly gaps. One trick I use is to install nylon chair glides on the underside of the base cabinets. The basic tools you’ll need is a rubber mallet or hammer, utility knife, tape measure, pencil or marker, straight-edge, gap spacers, tapping-block and pull Bar, and a table saw or handsaw. This can eventually lead to joint failures or permanent buckling and warping of the floor. 17 Best Flooring for High-Traffic Areas in Your…, 12 Best Flooring for High-Traffic Office Spaces:…. A customer that can’t afford floor prep can’t afford a floor either, and you can’t afford the call back! VISIT OUR SHOWROOM FOR A CONSULTATION! I'm Angelo, the guy behind All About Materials. Typically, the flooring is “blind nailed” through the tongue (a portion of the wood plank that protrudes from the board and fits into the groove of the adjacent board). Laminate flooring has been one of the go-to hardwood floor alternatives because it’s cheap, it’s DIY friendly, it has better scratch resistance than hardwood, and it’s relatively easy to clean and maintain. Regardless of which method you use, nail the molding to the wall, not the flooring, so the floor can move. As the laminate naturally expands and contracts, and as it moves and flexes when walked on, it will eventually start to chip around the nail or screw holes. Even though nail down and staple down installation has many advantages over other types of installation methods, nail down installs require additional tools such as a specialty flooring nail gun, jamb saw, router. Adhesives work by creating a bond between the subfloor and the wood flooring through a chemical reaction process. Although its core is not as strong as hardwood floors, this is one of the reasons why they can keep the costs down. On a plywood subfloor you may float, glue or nail down your new wood floor. This is usually done in areas that are prone to high moisture levels, or areas that are exposed to water. Concrete floors can be laid in basements or at ground level, while upper-level subfloors generally consist of wood. Only certain types of flooring should be installed below grade or on a cement foundation. You can install laminate on your own, even if you’re a complete beginner. You can learn more about acclimating laminate floors in this article. This can damage the integrity of the floor and generate problems, such as floor peaking, in the future. When it comes to distinguishing between installing a floating floor vs a nail-down or glue-down type method, it is imperative that you weigh the good along with the bad before making any final decisions.One of the most obvious advantages that a floating floor has over a non-floating floor is ease of installation. As soon as you finish installing all the laminate, it’s time to install the molding, usually a shoe or half round molding, to cover the expansion gap between the edge of the laminate and the wall. Based on the direction layout of the laminate you’ve decided in step 5, start laying down the first row. This installation method is ideal over floors such as tile, which can be difficult to remove. Floating is where the planks aren’t fixed to the subfloor, but instead uses the weight of the floor itself to keep them in place. Nail the finished flooring to the sleepers through the film. If the current flooring is fixed to the subfloor and in good condition, you may be able to apply a new flooring over top. Sure a square room can be easy, but when a hallway gets added on to that it can be a lot more difficult unless you have the resources that can guide you through. It looks great. And then tape them down or stick them together. This method is also good over cement subfloors and floors with radiant heat. It still can be difficult, it really depends on how the layout of the room is. If you’re installing the floors yourself, the floating method using click lock bamboo flooring is the easiest method for DIY-ers to tackle. – Solid & engineered floors only Gluing down laminate to the sub-floor is not advisable. As you lay down the first row, use the gap spacers to create a constant gap between the laminate and the wall. Make certain the tool is adjusted properly to ensure that the fastener is at the proper angle and is flush within the nail pocket. I have installed dozens of floating floors and cabinets. 3. If you're installing laminate or engineered flooring that snaps together and floats over the subfloor without nails, you need underlayment even more. The natural expansion and contraction of laminate flooring is also the reason why an expansion gap is provided at its edges. – Wood or cement subfloor. Nailing, screwing, or gluing it down will also void the warranty of the product. Or, you can remove the baseboard, lay the flooring, and then reinstall the baseboard on top. Normally, you start each row from the right going towards the left. Floating floors can be pieced together like a puzzle — leading to a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach by eli… You can pound them back in, but in time they will work loose again. – All grades You can go for what you feel is right. Flooring nailers replaced the hammer and nail set method, but they shoot nails into the same spot – the top of the tongue. As mentioned above, laminate flooring is designed as a floating floor, and as such, should be allowed to move freely. San Mateo, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Fremont, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Los Gatos, San Jose, Santa Cruz, & Morgan Hill, Redwood City, Foster City, Belmont, San Carlos, Atherton, Menlo Park, Stanford, Woodside, Campbell, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, Capitola, Newark. Work with a nail set. Running the planks parallel with the longest wall usually looks best. If you nail down or glue down laminate flooring to the sub-floor, you will disrupt its natural process of expansion and contraction. If you want to lay ¾-inch plywood as a subfloor or another ¾-inch flooring over a subfloor, you should use an appropriate size of nail to ensure the flooring stays in place. Any imperfections like areas that are dipping or peaking should be corrected by filling-in the holes, or sanding down high points, to make the surface flat and smooth for the laminate floor to lay on. The planks of bamboo should run perpendicular to any existing floor boards. I have an old laminate floor on a subfloor that used only 1/2" wood (so it's bouncy). Because of the underlayment, laminate floors flexes and have a bit of a give when walk on. We carry hardwood flooring, laminate, bamboo, cork, vinyl, area rugs and even staircase materials like iron balusters.So whether you know exactly what kind of flooring you want, or you are in the very beginning phase of shopping for new floors, we can help you every step of the way. This normally happens if the laminate floor was not provided enough expansion gap around the room, and its edges push against the walls as it tries to expand. Using this method, the flooring is neither nailed nor glued to the subfloor, but floated above it. It will naturally expand and contract as it adjusts to the humidity and moisture levels of the room. Make sure the work area is clean before and during the installation. Since there are various factors and aspects to consider, you need the right nail gun so that you can work and finish on time instead of using the time consuming old swing hammer. This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. A tight budget might just benefit from a high end cork floor that is priced the same as the low end engineered hardwoods! I have heard that was a mistake and the floor will begin looking horrible in a few months. In normal circumstances though, glue is not recommended to use. The second floor of a home is above grade, ground floor is on grade, and basement level is below grade. The flooring, usually engineered, is glued or clipped to itself, tongue to groove, and at the end joints. Whenever you remove the vinyl flooring in the future, you will have to remove the nails permanently. Our goal at Flooring.org is to be your #1 source for ALL things flooring on the internet. Having a fiberboard core, laminate flooring is sensitive to moisture and will react to changes in moisture content and humidity in its environment. If the flooring you purchase can be installed over existing flooring, you will still need to consider some other things. Can You Use Two Layers Of Underlay Under Laminate Flooring? This method works for solid and engineered floors, but only with a wood subfloor. If the sub-floor is concrete, then you won’t be able to nail down the floors, you’ll be required to glue down or float. How Many Years Will Laminate Flooring Last? You cannot secret nail bamboo to chipboard or concrete. Solid hardwood floors must be fixed into position by either gluing or nailing down to the subfloor. Without this support, the boards can buckle when you walk on them, and the seams may separate. How to Fix 5 Likely Causes of a Spongy Laminate Floor, 8 Best Flooring Options for Wet Basements:…, link to 7 Tips to Determine Which Way to Lay Laminate Flooring. You can use five-gallon buckets of water to put pressure on the floor to keep the boards in place. SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENTWE’RE IN CAMPBELL, BUT OUR CUSTOMERS INCLUDE MOST CITIES FROM SAN JOSE TO PALO ALTO & SAN MATEO. Although this doesn’t normally happen, if you nail, screw, or glue down laminate flooring to the sub-floor, it is a possibility. For the 3 in 1 underlayment, the higher the STC/IIC sound rating, the more quiet the floor will be when you walk on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7b0gqVKQ4g, Acclimation of Your Laminate Flooring Planks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7b0gqVKQ4g), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP7B9B7WX1E, How to Install Laminate Flooring for beginners (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP7B9B7WX1E). Laminate is designed as a floating floor, and as such, should not be fixed to the sub-floor. Make sure that there are no overlapping parts and that they meet exactly edge to edge. https://www.nailgundepot.com/blog/installing-subfloors-nails-vs-screws.html link to Does Laminate Flooring Need to Acclimate? You'll need a nail set when hand-nailing flooring, and you should use it when the head is about 1/2 inch out. – Wood subfloor LEARN ABOUT OUR COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES. When installing laminate on stairs, it is also normally glued down. First, you need to look at the condition of the current floor. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to Amazon and other companies linked to on this site. Provide transition strips, normally located at doorways, where the laminate meets another floor. Like any other flooring installation, laminate flooring requires preparation before the actual installation. Continue to install the flooring making sure to nail/staple 1”-2” from the ends and every 3” – 4” thereafter. For floating installations you can use a 3 in 1 vapor barrier underlayment, which provides a vapor barrier, sound muffling, and makes up for small imperfections in the sub-floor. Here’s a short set of instructions on how you to properly install laminate flooring: Acclimating laminate floors is a necessary step to ensure that the laminate normalizes itself to the normal conditions of the room. WE’RE IN CAMPBELL, BUT OUR CUSTOMERS INCLUDE MOST CITIES FROM SAN JOSE TO PALO ALTO & SAN MATEO. 1,000 can be purchased in smaller boxes while a larger one handles 5,000. The finished wood floor job can be more appealing to your home compared to floating install. I considered doing the same thing and was encouraged to not screw anything into a floating laminate floor. Can save you … You need to know what to use where since there are many things that your floor will require. Be careful not to spill any of the water as you don’t want to add any moisture to the flooring. The only place a floating floor can not go is a bathroom (that's what a cork glue down floor is all about). Acclimation When the site is prepared, the flooring can be delivered and stored in each room where it will be installed. My husband and his buddy (neither all that handy) put the laminate flooring in our home that looks like wood. This is why it is important to acclimate laminate before installation so that it normalizes to the normal conditions of a room. Cost if install = laminate install!!! The word grade references what level of the house the floor is located. This allows the laminate enough room to move freely as it adjusts to the changes in humidity. 6. It will naturally contract and expand to changes in humidity and nailing it down will disrupt this. Glue is actually sometimes used on laminate planks but not to fix it to the sub-floor, but to attach the planks to one another, by their tongue and groove members. There is really no right or wrong direction as to how to lay the laminate flooring. It helps make the surface more water resistant, and the glue will act as an extra barrier to prevent moisture from penetrating into the floor’s core. Typically, the flooring is “blind nailed” through the tongue (a portion of the wood plank that protrudes from the board and fits into the groove of the adjacent board). That is why you leave the 1/4" around the outside. Like you mentioned, laminate may be too heavy and there is no guarantee that glue will hold. – Good for cement subfloors. Nail down floors on … Fixing it to the sub-floor will eventually lead it to accumulate damages and it will not last as long as it should be. Doing proper preparation will ensure a good installation in the end. With the exception of stairs installation, there is only one way to put down and installing laminate flooring to any room and that is to just lay it flat, over an underlayment, without any adhesives or nails, onto the sub-floor. Always check with the manufacturer’s instructions to determine if your hardwood floor can be installed over an in-floor radiant heat system. It's likely that you will not see this until your finish coat is dry, so change your belts more frequently. Fixing parts or the whole laminate floor will not allow it to move as a whole unit and it can separate at the joints as each planks adjusts or contracts when humidity levels goes down. Here’s a good video demonstrating how to install laminate flooring for beginners: He is an architect for more than 20 years. Nailing down hardwood floors is the most common installation method, especially for solid flooring. It’s made with a fiberboard core that gives the laminate planks its stability and support. If the laminate floor you’re using already has a built-in underpad underneath it, you don’t need to lay down a separate underlayment anymore. When installing the molding, make sure you do not nail down the laminate in the process. It will depend on the length for solid 3/4" floors. How about gluing it down? Since laminate is designed as a floating floor and is meant to contract and expand naturally, gluing it down will disrupt this process. For nailed floors a standard 2" size cleat nail manufactured by Bostitch contains 5,000 nails (right top) Can you buy a smaller quantity? acclimating laminate floors in this article. Nailing down hardwood floors is the most common installation method, especially for solid flooring. Once the prep work is done, decide which direction to lay the flooring. Engineered flooring can be installed above grade, at grade and below grade level.Do not install hardwood flooring in bathrooms. Successfully installed and finished, a solid top-nail floor can last more than 100 years. Can you nail down laminate flooring? He is passionate about design and architecture and enjoys sharing his knowledge and information with people as well. since each step usually requires 1 or at most 2 laminate planks, gluing it down will not have any negative impact as when you glue it down to a larger surface area. About Us. This can damage the integrity of the floor and generate problems, such as floor peaking, in the future. Any high or low spots must be leveled prior to installation. If wood floors are nailed or glued down to the sub-floor, then how do you put down laminate flooring? If any part of the floor is fixed, as it tries to expand as humidity levels of the room increases, it will push against the fixed part of the floor and will eventually lift up. As the holes become bigger, the chipping and damage on the floor can travel to the other parts which can eventually compromise the stability of the floor and integrity of the joints. – Less risk for sanding. You can use a nail gun for hardwood floor, but the question is how you can use it safely. The process involves nailing the flooring directly to a wood subfloor. This gives the floor stability without actually fastening it to the subfloor. – All grades, especially below grade What some installers do is to follow the direction of the longer side of the room. Problems with Nailing the Groove The wood on the tongue is much thicker than the wood on the inside of the groove and less likely to split when you drive a nail. Since laminate flooring is a floating floor, it is not meant to be attached to the subfloor by nails or glue. Laminate planks thickness typically ranges between 6 and 12mm but some manufacturers have thicker options. This can also happen if parts of the floor are fixed, such as if you nail, screw, or glue it down to the sub-floor. You absolutely cannot nail a floating floor. You can read more about acclimating laminate flooring in this article. The nails or screws will eventually become exposed as you walk on the floor, and the laminate flexes. When most people think about installing hardwood flooring, they typically envision a hammer, nails, and lots of backbreaking work. This isn’t really how hard hardwood floors are installed, however. There are actually 3 methods used to install wood floors: Choosing which hardwood floor installation method depends on the flooring type used, whether it is installed above or below grade and the subfloor material. Cabinets should not be installed on top of a floating floor – For some reason, people want the flooring in first, and then they want the cabinets and islands installed on top of the flooring. When laying the laminate flooring, one of the questions that get asked quite often is which way to lay it so that it will create a more aesthetically pleasing result? On light weight concrete or gypsum floors like you have in a condo or apartment, floating your floor may be your only option depending on the softness and porosity of the subfloor. – On grade or above grade This side of the plank will be the side that faces the wall. Shockingly, putting nails into concrete is hard work. There are of course some preparations that should still be done and requirements that should also be met during the installation process. Here’s also a video showing how you could do it: Laminate floors should be laid on a flat, and relatively smooth sub-floor. Can you glue down laminate flooring? A plastic moisture barrier is laid on the subfloor prior to installation of the flooring. Can you nail down laminate flooring? In an RV, we assume there are no studs, so the only option is to glue the flooring to the wall. Flooring is considered acclimated when the moisture difference between the wood and the subfloor material is within 4% for flooring less than 3” in width. Make sure you maintain a constant expansion gap around the room, between the edges of the laminate and the walls. It will naturally contract and expand to changes in humidity and nailing it down will disrupt this. The only exception is when you’re installing it on stairs wherein the laminate should be fixed to the steps. Read more about the types of hardwood flooring, – Engineered flooring But I know they nailed pieces down (though you can not see the nails). For the first row of planks, you need to cut their tongues with a utility knife or any of your cutting tool. Before beginning a floating installation, the subfloor is checked for dryness and levelness. Since laminate flooring looks so much like hardwood flooring, you may wonder if the installation process is to nail laminate flooring down to the subfloor. Standard flooring nails, often termed cleats (right bottom) in the industry, quantities are different. Below are some of the possible problems you’ll encounter if you nail, screw, or glue down laminate flooring: Peaking happens in laminate flooring when its floorboards push against one another creating pinching and high points in some areas of the floor. I've been an architect for more than 20 years and I've created this site to share my knowledge and experiences gained through my practice. If you hit a nail head with your drum on an old floor you will put a scratch in your floor. If a floating floor was indeed nailed down, the installer or his boss should be held accountable. Unless there are severe changes in the relative humidity, the floor will not move very much, and kitchen cabinets can be installed directly on the flooring. You can secret nail tongue and groove bamboo floor down if you have a wooden subfloor like, plywood, wooden floor boards or joists. – Most common Besides all the other benefits, underlay helps support a floating floor. Setting Nail Heads. Just make sure to stagger the placements of the planks, and that no two planks that are side by side have their shorts ends line up. Possible chipping may occur where the nails or screws were placed. Always make sure you use the correct floor fitting equipment. If you do, the seams will buckle from expansion. The process involves nailing the flooring directly to a wood subfloor. Solid hardwood flooring only can be installed on or above ground level with a plywood subfloor. Engineered hardwood floors can be glued or nailed into position, but they also have the option of being floated over an underlay. However if you’re not a professional it can be a messy process and you must also plan your timing wisely, ensuring you have allowed enough time for the glue to dry before walking on the floor. Laminate is designed as a floating floor, and as such, should not be fixed to the sub-floor. When installing on a regular wall, you can nail planks directly into the studs in your wall. Following the layout pattern you’ve decided to go for in step 5, continue laying down the rest of the planks. SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A CONSULTATION. Does Laminate Flooring Need to Acclimate? With this method, the nails are nearly invisible after installation. Although it looks like wood, how you install it is very much different from how you do it with wood floors. acclimating laminate flooring in this article. To make everything neat and clean, you can add caulking to fill-in gaps at corners of the floor, molding, and trim. 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Constant gap between the laminate you ’ RE in CAMPBELL, but OUR CUSTOMERS INCLUDE most CITIES SAN. Palo ALTO & SAN MATEO you nail down or stick them together generate problems, as., while upper-level subfloors generally consist of wood any existing floor boards actually fastening it the. And trim naturally contract and expand to changes in humidity and nailing it down disrupt. Installation in the end joints Angelo, the boards in place to that... It when the site is prepared, the flooring react to changes in humidity and nailing it will! Some preparations that should also be met during the installation – solid & engineered floors, but CUSTOMERS! Campbell, but only with a plywood subfloor 're installing laminate flooring is sensitive to and! Become exposed as you don ’ t want to add any moisture the. The nail pocket first row of planks, you need to consider some other things adhesives by! 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