IF THE room is carpeted, remove the old carpeting and padding to expose the subfloor. If the room has a vinyl floor, you can install the floating floor right on top. Laminate flooring also can be laid over cement slab. However, you have to use special underlayment with vapour barrier to protect your laminate against moisture from concrete.
Start by removing all dust and dirt from the subfloor. Then, roll out the foam underlayment perpendicular to the direction of the planks. 3mm thick laminate underlayment will even out minor irregularities and help cushion the floating floor.
You can install a new floor with the existing skirting boards in place. Install the flooring and cover expansion gap between the floor and the skirting board with shoe moulding. Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to nail the mouldings to the wall or skirting, not to the floor.
You may need to trim the bottom of each door, to allow the flooring to slip underneath. Work from left to right when laying the floor planks across the room, with tongue edges facing out. Leave at least 1/2ins expansion gap between the flooring and the walls, transition mouldings, fireplace etc. During summer and winter time your laminate will expand and shrink so leaving some space for expansion is a critical issue when installing your floor.
START LAYING THE PLANKS
Lay out all the planks for the first row, checking to make sure the last one will be at least 8ft long. If necessary, cut the first plank so the last one will be long enough.
Set the first plank in place with its tongue edge facing out. Slip 1/2in thick spacers between the plank and the wall.
Install the second plank end to end with the first plank. When needed use hammer and short tapping block to connect the two planks. Do not over use your hammer as you may damage the locking system. Continue installing planks in the first row end to end. Use a handsaw or table saw to cut the last plank.
Lay out enough planks for the next three or four rows. Be sure to stagger all end joints from one row to the next by at least 12ins. Install the first plank in the second row, setting its end against a spacer block. Interlock the plank into the flooring in the first row so that the tongue-and-groove joints lock.
Continue to lay planks as you did for the first row, be sure to maintain spaces between the flooring and the walls.
Upon reaching the far wall, cut the planks in the last row to the required width using your saw. Double check if you have an adequate expansion gap between the last row and wall.
Slip the planks into place, and use a hammer and steel pull bar (if required) to draw the joints closed. Finish installation by installing shoe moulding. You can ask our experts at www.onlinetradesmen.ie for any advice.