You did it! You managed to wade through all the countless choices and picked the perfect laminate floor for your room makeover. Time to begin your floor installation. Congratulations are in order, but before you can lie down on your new floor like a human bearskin rug, sipping some wine and watching “Dancing with the Stars,” you have some prep work to do. (Even if you’re hiring a professional installer.)
The good news: you can totally handle this.
Before the Big Day
Before the installers start, here are a few things you’ll need to do:
Acclimate the Flooring
Plan to pick up your flooring several days before you plan to install. Laminate flooring needs to acclimate to the humidity level in your house from 48 to 72 hours depending upon the recommendations for the particular product being installed. So bring it home and store it in the room you’re redoing. Once your installers get there, they will check the moisture levels in the home and to ensure it is at the proper level for installation.
Clear the Area!
Small end tables, area rugs, lightweight chairs, anything on the floor that you can move yourself to another room: do it. Who will take better care of your things than you? Don’t worry about the heavy stuff, though. Let the installers move that.
Pen those Pets
Installers do most of their cutting outside, which means the door will be opening and shutting a lot. To keep escaping pets to a minimum, take the critters to a friend’s house or make sure they’re secured in a part of the house that won’t need to be used by the installers.
There will be saws. There will be cutting. And, there must be power. So make sure you’ve identified at least two good outlets for your installer to use. One should be outside: a garage location is ideal in the event that it rains or snows. And one should be inside, in a room free from pets and breakables.
Work From Home? Not on Installation Day.
If you work from home, you’ll need to realize that installing a floor is noisy. So conference calls, video chats, important meetings … all of these should be scheduled for another day or another location.
Installation Day? What Happens Now?
When the professionals arrive to install your new floors, it’s OK to jump up and down in the air and hug them. This is exciting! But before they start, you’ll want to review the area and make sure all the breakables and small furniture has been cleared out, the pets are at the neighbors, and electrical outlets are ready for use.
Then it’s the professionals’ turn.
Remove the Old Floor
The first thing they will do is tear up the carpet or old flooring to expose the subfloor. Laminate flooring is designed to float over almost any type of existing subfloor including wood, vinyl or ceramic tile and concrete. It requires an underlayment to ensure that the product performs to optimum requirements and meets the terms of the warranty.
A quality underlayment is key to making your laminate floors feel and sound like natural wood. It provides a sound and vapor barrier, which is especially helpful if the planks are installed over concrete. The installers will sweep and clean the subfloor and then check that it is level. Underlayment can also help smooth any unevenness in the subfloor.
Mix and Match
Your installer will open all the cartons and mix up the planks to maximize the natural feel of the floor.
Click, Click, Uniclic
Correctly installing a Quick•Step floor is all about the preparation. Once the floor is clean and level, the underlayment is in place, and the planks are randomized, installation is rapid. Quick•Step laminate flooring clicks together and forms a tight joint with the patented Uniclic locking system. No glue or nails are required, and the finished floor will float over your subfloor to allow for expansion and contraction during the seasons.
The Finishing Touches
Baseboard, quarter-round accents, and transitional pieces are the final piece of the puzzle, but they make a room pop.
Your Floor is Installed. Now What?
Remember: there are no glue or nails required for a laminate floor. So here’s how long you have to wait before you walk on it:
As long as it takes to pour yourself a glass of wine.
Walk on it! Enjoy it! Invite the neighbors who so kindly watched your dog! Let them bring their dog; the floors can take it!
Then, to keep your floors looking as good as the day they were installed, simply vacuum with a vacuum designed for hard surfaces, use a dust mop, or clean them with a slightly damp (not wet) mop before drying them with a clean, cotton cloth. Regular cleaning should be done with either Performance Accessories Hard Surface Cleaner or plain water (distilled if your area has particularly hard water) lightly misted on mophead.
And that’s it! Be prepared for your floor installation day and it will be smooth as can be. And if you want to revamp another room, check out all the great choices on us.quick-step.com.