Laminate Wood Flooring: Laminate Floor Installation

December 31, 2009
laminate wood flooring
This “article” comes from comments left by readers, with answers from The Flooring Lady. Since comments aren’t an option anymore I wanted you to have easier access to the wealth of information derived from the three-plus years of the questions and answers. This collection of Comments and replies covers how to install laminate floors.

I had laminate flooring installed in my kitchen and eating “nook” in 2006. The ends of some of the planks are separating, and I don’t know what to do about it. Has anyone seen anything like this?

The contractor who installed it as part of the kitchen remodel has gone out of business (big surprise with this kind of shoddy work!). The planks run under my counter cabinets, which are not open to the floor. I can slide the planks back together, but they will separate again. I have a box of the laminate left, to replace planks with, but would need help on how to do that.

My home improvement store suggested using some laminate glue to see if I can jury rig a solution, but I am thinking I may just need to bite the bullet and put another type of floor in, like tile.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
Tia at May 6, 2008 01:50 PM
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Hi Tia,
Do you know what kind of flooring was installed – does it show the brand, style or some kind of a product number on the box? Do you know if it’s the kind that just snaps together or is it the kind that glues together?

Actually, even if it’s the snap together kind, using some laminate flooring glue to make them stay together sounds like a pretty good idea. If the laminate is the snap together kind, and it’s obviously not staying interlocked, I would think that using some glue is a very good option and I wouldn’t consider it ‘jury rigging’ at all.
The Flooring Lady at May 6, 2008 09:26 PM

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Hi, my wife and I have recently put down laminate flooring in our basement. The only thing we are disappointed in is that when we walk on it, it seems to flex slightly in places. Is this common with laminate flooring or is there a design flaw during installation. Thanks for your input.
Nick at July 24, 2008 11:47 PM
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Hi Nick,

I would be my guess that the original floor wasn’t perfectly level as this is not a common flaw with laminate flooring.
The Flooring Lady at July 25, 2008 10:35 AM

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I am currently looking at putting laminate flooring over top of my vinyl flooring in my kitchen. I went to Lowes and they told me it was not good to put it in the kitchen due to it not being able to withstand water. I have read up, and there seems to be no real answer on this. Do you know if this is true?
Jerry at February 12, 2009 06:53 AM
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It can be done, you just have to be digilent about cleaning up water messes quickly. There are vinyl or linoleum flooring choices that are designed to look like wood that have a very realistic wood ‘look’. A friend of mine has flooring like this and it really does look like a wood floor – even has grain.
The Flooring Lady at February 19, 2009 08:57 AM

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This comment is for Jerry: We have been installing laminate flooring in our house.In the first room, we put down a moisture barrier and used the laminate with the attached underlay. Room had an echo, and sounded like plastic when walking across it.We recently put the same laminate in the kitchen over the existing square vinyl tiles. We love it! The tiles act as added cushion, thereby cutting out the “echo” and adding a firmness to the sound of the floor! You can definitely tell the difference in the two rooms. As far as the water thing, we are just being more careful to clean up spills! Hope this has helped you.
Pat at March 26, 2009 07:24 PM
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I love the laminate floors we have installed, but they really aren’t as shiny as I would have liked. I was wondering if it was possible to seal a laminate floor? If so, what product to I use?
Pat at March 26, 2009 07:34 PM
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Hi Pat,
It depends on what kind of flooring you have. Much of it these days have an aluminimum oxide finish (factory done of course). Your regular ol’ polyurethanes aren’t going to work with the factory finish. Best thing to do is to call the manufacturer to see what can be used.
The Flooring Lady at March 27, 2009 07:01 PM

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I would like to install laminate floors in my entry hall, great room, dining room, and kitchen. I currently have a small section of laminate by the front door and the echo is terrible. Is there any way to pick a laminate floor that will not have an echo?
Audrey at April 7, 2009 04:52 AM
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Hi Audrey,
Did you install anything under the laminate? Many people use cork tiles first to muffle sound.
The Flooring Lady at April 7, 2009 04:50 PM

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What is your opinion about installing laminate floor in the kitchen. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen and is concern about water spills.

Thank you for your response.
B. Brown at April 13, 2009 06:39 AM
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Hello B. Brown,
Yes, this can work in a kitchen, though you do have to be diligent about cleaning up spills – but then again, you should be doing that with any type of flooring. Keep in mind too, that some manufacturers do not consider laminate a good choice for the kitchen.
The Flooring Lady at April 14, 2009 12:10 AM

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i installed a new aluminun oxide real hardwood floor 1 and a half years ago.now i have several pieces of finish coming up is there a way to replace in the middle of floor,or do i have to peplace the whole floor. floor still under warranty. they said they would put in a claim but u know how that is . help
help at April 13, 2009 10:23 AM
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Dear help,
It’s difficult to say – it depends on how big of an area it is, how many areas, etc. You can find detailed instructions on the internet by doing a search thru google.com. There are different methods for different situations. Hmmm….. sounds like a good subject for a series of articles at this site, doesn’t it?

So long as you haven’t done anything to void the flooring’s warranty, I believe that you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the inspector’s verdict.
The Flooring Lady at April 14, 2009 12:18 AM

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exactly how loud is laminated floors
i can not make up my mind laminated or hardwood floors. please help me to make the right choice
evelyn at June 13, 2009 10:13 PM
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HI
i forgot to mention this is new construction.
and is there different quality of laminated floors. if there is can i use the highend of laminated floors and it still be cheaper than hardwood flooring
help

evelyn
evelyn at June 14, 2009 06:03 AM
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Hi Evelyn,

How “loud” laminate flooring is would be rather subjective. There are different qualities of laminate flooring. Keep in mind the old adage “you get what you pay for” and that should serve you well when picking out your flooring. Laminate flooring is 25% cheaper than hardwood so you could afford the higher end laminate and still be paying less than if you purchased hardwood.
The Flooring Lady at June 17, 2009 11:58 AM

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We bought laminate with an underlay and we have been told by family members that we need to glue the laminate if using it in the kitchen. Is this true? And if so, do we use the underlay or what do we do???
Erika at September 6, 2009 06:24 PM

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Erika,

With underlay you don’t need to glue to the floor but glue each piece of wood to the next. When I had my laminate flooring installed in my kitchen the installer chose to add a layer of wood glue between planks. The glue helped keep the moisture from getting down into the planks. I would also recommend a rug in water prone areas.
The Flooring Lady at September 9, 2009 11:19 AM

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Hi, we purchased laminate flooring and it has been stored in our garage through winter and summer on the concrete floor in the original packaging. We are planning to use this flooring in the next week or so. Should I be concerned about warping due to temperature changes? I’m not sure how durable this stuff is with regard to temperature change. Wouldn’t you know; we had 3 feet of snow during winter and temps over 100 this summer! Today I brought the flooring into the house per advise from an expert to acclimate before installation. Please advise.
Tammy at September 8, 2009 09:57 PM

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Tammy,

The advice to bring in the laminate to acclimate it is correct. This really will be an issue of wait and see. I hope it goes well and it seems like you have been given excellent advice so far.
The Flooring Lady at September 11, 2009 11:36 AM

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Erika,

With underlay you don’t need to glue to the floor but glue each piece of wood to the next. When I had my laminate flooring installed in my kitchen the installer chose to add a layer of wood glue between planks. The glue helped keep the moisture from getting down into the planks. I would also recommend a rug in water prone areas.
The Flooring Lady at September 9, 2009 11:19 AM

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Must you always use underlayment? We’ll install on smooth tile and subfloor. Also, as you progress from room ro room, we are doing the entire house, must you use thresholds at each doorway?
thanks
Dona
Dona at September 10, 2009 05:57 AM
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Erika and Dona,

I’m not sure if you “must” use underlay with laminate flooring, but I did when I installed Pergo back in ’93. My understanding is that it helped muffle sounds for rooms below and maybe acted as cushioning and “grease to help the floor move as a unit”.

I was a novice back then and used the recommended styrofoam underlay Pergo suggested. Today I’d use a cork underlayment because I find it to be more environmentally friendly, and better for indoor air quality. Another reason I’d go that route is because I could hear the foam squeaking each time I stepped on the floor. I got used to it after awhile, but it wasn’t comfortable for me for several months. (your mileage may vary)
Lizzie Ann at September 11, 2009 07:28 AM

 

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