Installing a floating floor
Laminated floors, also called floating floors, are the great novelty of the last decade. Their ability to withstand scratching, their true wood look and their affordability has made them very appealing to customers. Another advantage of these floors is their easy-to-install design.
Materials required: three-in-one subfloor membrane; floating floor planks; finishing nails.
Tools required: chalk line; tape measure; pencil; crowbar; hand saw; spacers; wood block; installation bar; utility knife; miter saw; hand saw; screwdriver; nailing gun; hammer.
Order of the steps:
- Remove the old floor covering and check the state of the underlay.
- Check the perpendicularity of the walls.
- Remove the baseboards with a crowbar. Remove the thresholds, using a screwdriver. If the doorframes are already installed, use a hand saw to cut off 1/16" more than the thickness of the new flooring. This will allow you to slide the planks under the door.
- Lay a membrane over the underlay. This will provide a better support, a better soundproofing and will even act as a vapour-seal. Follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing the membrane. Unroll the subfloor in such a manner as to cover a couple of rows at a time.
- Install the planks (see the following steps).
- Install the baseboards on the walls and the thresholds with finishing nails.
Start installing the planks in a corner, the grooved side facing the wall. Always leave a 5/16" space between the planks and the walls. Use spacers to do so. Start by installing three rows following the 1, 1/3, 2/3 rule. This rule states that the first plank of the first row must be full length, the first plank of the second row must be 1/3 of its length and the first plank of the third row must be 2/3 of its length. And so on, and so on…
To adjust and interlock the planks together, use a wood block designed to that effect. To precisely measure the last plank, turn it over. Place the plank next to the installed row, tongue on tongue. Remember to leave an 8 mm (5/16") expansion space and draw a mark on the back of the plank. To avoid chipping, saw the plank upside down.
Unroll another strip of membrane along the first one and cut it with a utility knife. Make sure that the overlap follows the first strip and that the end edges go up against the walls. Remove the white film from the adhesive surface. Place the overlap completely over the first strip and press to keep everything in place.