Laminate flooring installation is DIY friendly and easy, but there is subfloor preparation steps and requirements you should be aware of before you begin installing.
Laminate flooring is a floating floor system, meaning it covers any floor surface without being fixed to it. This makes it possible to cover almost anything –from linoleum to vinyl, ceramic to hardwood, and of course concrete and plywood subfloors. Here are our installation recommendations based on the type of your subfloor.
Wood Subfloors: The wood subfloor must be level, dry, free of any loose debris, and able to support normally expected loads without deflection. Subfloor variations should not exceed 1/8” in 8’. Subfloors that are not in compliance with these requirements must be repaired prior to installation of laminate flooring.
Concrete Subfloors: Concrete subfloors must meet all requirements of a wood subfloor. Additionally, in all installations over cement subfloor moisture barrier underlayment must be used to protect your floor against moisture.
Vinyl, Linoleum, Tiles and Sheet Products: You can install laminate floors right over vinyl and linoleum products only when they are in good condition. When these products have been damaged, and you can see loose, torn or uneven areas you need to remove them prior installation. Always use approved underlayment when installing laminate flooring.
Ceramic Tile: Installation over ceramic tiles requires “floating” or filling grout areas that do not conform 1/8” levelness standard with properly prepared and applied leveling compound. Always follow manufacturers leveling instructions and be sure to use approved moisture barrier underlayment with any laminate flooring installation over ceramic tiles.
Carpet: Laminate floors should never be installed over existing carpet. Please note that carpet underlayment is not approved to be used in laminate floor installation, so you have to remove it as well.
Radiant Heated Subfloors: All manufacturers of laminate flooring allowing installation over radiant heated subfloors. This installation requires that the heat must be turned down to 60°F for one week before installation- so that your floor can properly acclimate to the room temperature. When laminate flooring is installed over radiant heated subfloor, make sure the temperature of the heating system is below 80°F all the time and do not turn off the hating if the temperature outside is less than freezing. As with installing over concrete , a vapor barrier is required to protect your laminate floors against moisture.