Laminate Flooring Underlay: How To Choose Underlayment And What You’ll Need
Laminate flooring is undeniably one of the most useful inventions. Made to have the appearance of natural stained wood flooring, the laminate is more affordable, does not need to be nailed in place, doesn’t need finishing treatments, and is damage resistant.
It is imperative to have a prior knowledge of the underlay to help you make the correct decision in selecting the right underlay for your floors. Their main objective is to provide a cushion to your floor against shocks of any kind. Any kind of defects in sub-flooring can be counteracted by laminating the floor. They also prove as a barrier to heat and moisture. Remember, getting a laminate underlay is not some kind of a luxury but an inevitability.
If it’s a concrete structure, ensure that the gaps are filled with compound mixture. Scuff off any deterrents like leftover carpet pieces or other impurities. If yours is a wooden block flooring make sure it’s even. It will be wise if you use plywood to level the bumps on your floor.
If your house is situated in a region that is prone to increase moisture levels at any point of the year, it’s important that you take necessary precautions. For people with solid floors like concrete, stone or brick, the damp proof filler is a must to cover up the gaps if any.
According to your needs and budget, you can choose foam, cork, and plywood or combinations of all of them as your laminate flooring underlay. Some come with built-in acoustic proof while others don’t. For the latter, you can buy one, but it can cost you dearly. The acoustic flooring is important for people staying on upper floors. People residing in ground floors should look out for underlayment that can tackle their moisture woes.
Laminating the floor is necessary for every flooring work that you take up. However, if your floor comes with underlay, you can skip the step. That’s because too much of underlay may lead to smoothness overkill and might lead to a lot of damage. For those who intend to have a smooth finishing of their wood flooring, it is important to know that one of the flooring aspects is laminate flooring underlay that can make floors look beautiful and comfortable for the purpose of cleaning.
Laminate underlays are in a roll form of about 6-8mm thickness. Apart from being 3ft wide, its length also ranges from 30 to 100 ft. Always ensure that the floor underlays that you pick covers the whole room or else you will have to undertake last-minute seams, which might not work in its favor. While buying floor underlays make sure that it will do as is promised. That is, for example, if you are laying the underlay on a concrete floor it should be resistant to moisture.
The Benefits of Laminating the Floor
Most people at one point or another in their lives have dreamt of having wooden flooring. Pulling back old carpets can lead to huge disappointment when we discover a bare cement floor underneath. It’s time you discovered the benefits of laminate flooring as a solution to your dreams.
Perhaps the reason this type of flooring has become increasingly popular is down to its versatility and durability as opposed to more traditional options such as hardwood flooring. Also, because it is so popular there is an extensive amount of possibilities available to you as regards budgets and style.
It stands to reason that because the material used to produce laminate flooring is made of synthetic fibers, it is far less costly than natural flooring. Also, the majority of hardware stores are now manufacturing their own range of laminate flooring which helps to keep prices low and the choices multiply. The only problem you will have is deciding which design best suits the decor of your home and your lifestyle.
2. Easy installation
Your laminate flooring comes packaged in tongue and groove planks which will be slotted into each other. Depending on the size of the room, it can take anywhere from a half day to a day to lay the floor tiles. Laying the tiles horizontally from the window will allow the tiles to pick up the light. It is usually recommended to leave the floor set for about a day before walking on it as this allows the tiles to take shape.
Because the tiles are laminated, this gives them extra strength and protection against wear and tear and marks such as those from high heels which easily dent a natural wood floor. Rooms with heavy traffic are unaffected and this is one of the main reasons why people with younger children choose this option. Grubby footprints are easily washed from the surface in no time, leaving your floor looking brand new again.
This type of flooring comes in a wide range of wood finishes from dark to light woods such as ash. As it is a replica of wood, it really adds the glamour to your floor without the need to break your bank. You can really style your room around the type of finish you have gone for; maybe you have chosen a dark wood look and enjoy the rich and sumptuous colors available in this particular color palette.
Laminate flooring has many layers built into it to protect against water damage and so forth. Added to this there will also be underlay applied to your floor beforehand and all of this means keeping the heat in your house instead of escaping through gaps and cracks in your floor. It is also possible to have an underfloor heating system installed and if you choose to go down this route it is something you need to factor in as part of your floor making a decision in order that you make the best choice.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Type of Flooring Underlays.
When purchasing wooden flooring, it’s essential to, first of all, consider a number of factors, including the environment, it will be in, and where it would be installed. Not only does is it an expensive option for flooring, but it can also attract insects like termites, which can be very difficult to get rid of. However, contrary to real wood, laminate flooring is a lot more convenient. Over the past few years, it has achieved immense popularity due to its meager cost and low maintenance.
Laminate flooring consists of a wood composite base with generally a photographic image laminated on top. The top coating consists of aluminum oxide, which equips the flooring with stability and durability. Some manufacturers make it convenient to install by making a glueless interlocking design on it. You can easily install laminate flooring by yourself; however, keep in mind that it is not recommended for bathrooms as it can easily swell due to exposure to water.
A floor can bolster or destroy the look of a room. Laminate flooring comes in various colors, patterns, grades, and types, so you can ensure that you get the style most suited to your home.
When choosing the right kind of flooring, keep the following tips in mind:
i. Area and Foot Traffic
Take into account the area where the flooring is to be installed. The type of room in question makes a big difference, as you have to take into account the expected footfall traffic. You will find “AC rating” on different types of laminate available on the market, this will determine which room the particular flooring is suitable for. When choosing a flooring for the bedroom, laminate “AC1” or “AC3” is usually recommended. Living room or hallway, which is subjected to more foot traffic, requires at least “AC3” laminate.
ii. Moisture Level
In determining the type of underlay, consider the level of moisture expected in the specific room. You also have to take into the account the type of core present in the laminate, as different types with offer a stronger guard for your floor from water damage. The denser the core, the more powerful it will be for protection against moisture.
You would obviously choose the laminate color that suits your room in terms of aesthetics. Selecting the wrong color can make the entire room look unattractive by reducing the harmony. If the room’s decor is rather neutral-colored, a lighter hue of flooring will look appropriate. If the room has been furnished with dark furniture, cherry-colored laminate will work to complement it. Also, keep in mind that scratching and soiling is easily noticeable on light-colored flooring, which makes it less suitable for places where a lot of foot traffic is expected.
Since the purpose is to complement the room, choose a pattern accordingly. If the room has subtle decor, it is best to use a similar accent. However, if you want to make a bold statement, pick a conspicuous pattern that highlights other aspects of the room as well.
Keep the above-mentioned tips in mind when purchasing your laminate flooring, and you will certainly end up making the right choice.
Easy steps for Laminate Flooring Underlay
Options in laminate flooring are numerous and vary in design from wood grain replication, to mimicking ceramic tile. Although laminate flooring still contains wood from our natural resources, the majority of the material used in laminate flooring contains no wood and bonds together in several layers in a process using high pressure and heat. The benefit of using laminate over wood flooring is that the various layers of cellulose fibers will allow expansion and contraction during humidity changes. Areas that contain high humidity levels like bathrooms are not suitable for laminate flooring.
Once you’ve made your choice in what type of laminate design you want to see in your home, you’ll need to pull together some basic tools for the job. Materials needed obviously include your laminate flooring, and if you have chosen a variety that does not come with underlay attached to the planks, you will need to buy some rolls of underlay as well.
You’ll also need protective sheeting, laminate adhesive, molding or baseboard, and threshold transitions. Basic hand tools include a hammer, a crow-bar or pull bar, spacers to use between sections of flooring or between walls and flooring, safety glasses, utility knife, gloves, a tape measure, power tools such as saws and drills. You may not necessarily need all these items, but they are handy to have should the need arise. Most of these tools are available in your local hardware shop, and many shops sell laminate flooring installation kits which include the tools most needed for the job.
Laminate Flooring Installation
Before you begin to install your laminate flooring, you must ensure your work surface is flat and clean. Remove any uneven areas that will affect your flat surface with a paint scraper, a putty knife, or, for stubborn lumps, a sander or grinder. Divots or dents should be made a level with wood filler or crack filler and left the appropriate time to dry. Remove all trim and transitions from walls and doorways.
When you are ready to start putting your floor down, you must first start with the underlay. Usually purchased in rolls, applying an underlay is a very simple task to complete and is essential in controlling excess noise. Roll the underlay out from one side of the room to the other and secure in place with adhesive strips found on the underlay, or tape.
Returning to the starting point with the remainder of the roll or the next roll of underlay, roll the next piece out across the room beside the last length of underlay and adhere the two pieces together at the seam, making sure to overlap them by approximately one centimeter. Continue until the floor surface is covered completely with underlay. Any excess can be cut away once the laminate flooring has been installed.
To best lay your laminate flooring underlay down in evenly, measure your room from one side to the other and divide by the width of one laminate plank. Add the remaining amount to the plank width and divide by two in order to balance to a room. Leave a half centimeter or full centimeter gap between the wall and first row of laminate planks for expansion room. Beginning on one side of the room, place spacers along the wall the give you the expansion area. Set the first plank down and then the next, end to end and secure in place.
At the end of the first row, you may need to cut the final piece in order to fit it in. Subtract half a centimeter from the measurement of the space between the wall and the end of the last piece laid before cutting your final piece. Use the off-cut to start your next row unless it is shorter than 20 centimeters. Continue in this way until the room is nearly competing. The final row may need to be cut along its length.
The final steps of installing laminate flooring underlay are the ones that demand the most patience. Cut the underlay so that it is even with the laminate flooring. Remove all spacers from the walls and install the molding or baseboard in order to hide the expansion gap. Remember to attach the molding to the walls and not the flooring so that the floor is able to expand and the contract as needed. Attach the transition pieces in doorways and level changes.
Therefore, it is important to laminate the floor with the most suitable underlayment because it gives the room the beauty that you discern and making the room comfortable to stay in. Therefore, by ensuring this possibility you have to make the right decision on the kind of floor underlay to be used that are best to cherish your memories