Are you interested in improving the look and feel of your property by installing laminate flooring but are worried about the concrete surface that is currently in its place? Well in this guide we will teach you exactly how to install laminate flooring on concrete without having to completely remove the concrete. This process is actually much easier and simpler than you may have ever thought. Let’s get started!
You will learn that it is actually possible to lay laminate planks and laminate flooring over many different types of concrete surfaces such as laying it over a concrete basement, laying it over concrete stairs at your home or office, and it is even possible to lay laminate over concrete subflooring. When installing laminate flooring it is vital that you do the process correctly or else you risk having subpar results that will require work in the near future.
Let’s learn how to install laminate flooring on concrete.
How To Install Laminate Flooring On Concrete
1. Allow Your Laminate Floorboards To Acclimatize To The Room
The first step in installing laminate flooring on concrete is to let the boards acclimatize to the room that they will be used. Allowing your new planks of laminate flooring to adjust and adapt themselves for a couple days before installing them allows you some wiggle room if there are any issues such as raised nails or cracks in some of the planks.
It is typically recommended that you leave your laminate floorboards in the room for around 72 hours to allow the flooring to get accustomed to the rooms temperature and humidity levels. These factors can force the flooring to slightly change size so it is vital to do this. This is especially important if you are laying laminate flooring over the concrete in your basement as the temperature and humidity levels in a basement are typically much different that your home.
2. Be Sure That The Subfloor Is Even And Flat Before You Begin Installing
If you begin installing your new laminated floors and find out that part of it is not flat, then this could lead to major problems like lifting up at certain spots which can pose a hazard if anyone were wearing shoes with heels.
If the subfloor is not even, you can use a tool like an iron to level out certain parts of it before installing your flooring. If this does not work or if there are significant issues with the concrete itself then you may need to consider having someone come in and pour brand new concrete so that it is flat for installing laminate floors on top of it.
Be sure that all nails were removed from previous carpet installation because they cause bumps under flooring which will be perceptible after laying down new laminated floor covering over them. Also do not forget about removing old glue residue left by padding under carpets as these spots can also become something to trip upon. All of this is vital to the success of your laminate flooring and should be inspected prior to laying laminate.
3. Clean The Concrete Surface Before Laying Laminate Floor
Before you lay laminate on your concrete surface, it is important that the concrete is clean and smooth. It is recommended that you sweep and power wash the surface so that the laminate will lay smoothly and the glue will stick properly. If you do not power wash the concrete, dust will stick to it and cause problems for your laminate. Also make sure that there are no cracks in the surface because this can lead to other issues as well.
If the concrete is severely dirty or worn, then it might be important to use a concrete grinder or a concrete surface cleaner in order to make sure the surface is prepared to lay laminate flooring. If the concrete surface is rough or has cracks then your laminate won’t lay evenly and can cause bumpy issues in the future.
4. Install Underlayment Over The Concrete Surface
Installing underlayment over the concrete surface is a very important step as it will help you avoid problems in installing laminate flooring on your concrete. If installing an adhesive, then this is even more crucial. An underlayment helps with insulation and moisture absorption to make sure that everything goes smoothly for installing laminate flooring on your new or refurbished basement space.
5. Make Sure That Laminate Floor Fits The Room Shape And Size Accurately
Ensuring that your plan lays out all of the measurements accurately makes sure that there are no issues later when installing laminate flooring. If not done correctly, corners can turn out too short or be cut at odd angles which leads to wasted material and extra work for your and your team. This is why planning and measuring the rooming is vital when laying laminate flooring.
6. Install The Laminate Planks On The Concrete Floor
After you have properly prepared the concrete and done all of your measurements, now it is time to lay laminate planks over the concrete flooring. To install the laminate planks, you will need wood glue and a pneumatic stapler. The first step is installing all of your underlayment for both sides of the laminate flooring. Next, lay down an even line of adhesive on one edge where two pieces meet then press together firmly to secure them in place while making sure that they are flat and level with each other.
Most laminate flooring models utilize a simple click-lock system in which the planks will match up and securely lock into place. This may take some time to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, then the process is rather simple to do. It is important that you leave room around the edges of the room in order to install your floorboards or baseboards. You should leave roughly 1/4 of an inch between the laminate flooring and the wall in order to install the baseboards.
After installing the laminate flooring on your concrete basement, you should wait 48 hours before installing any type of baseboard. You need to make sure that the room is completely dry before installing anything else in it so no damage is done to either surface. This can be hard for some people, but if you want a professional looking finished product then waiting until this point will aid greatly in getting there at the end of the project.
What Equipment Do I Need To Install Laminate Flooring On Concrete?
There are a handful of tools and equipment that are required in order to lay laminate flooring. You will need enough laminate floorboards to properly cover the entire room. It is important that you calculate the square footage of the area and buy a few extra floorboards just in case. Along with the floorboards, you will need an underlayment to protect the laminate from moisture.
All of the other tools and equipment required are standard construction tools such as a trowel, hammer, staple gun, measuring tape, utility knife, rubber mallet, a table saw, and personal protection equipment like gloves, safety goggles, and a helmet.
Can You Put Laminate Flooring Directly Over A Concrete Surface?
It is possible to install a laminate flooring directly over concrete but typically it isn’t recommended as an underlayment will provide better results for your project. Concrete is porus and typically doesn’t do well with water or moisture. An underlayment will protect the concrete and the laminate from becoming wet and damaged. So you can lay laminate directly on the concrete but we don’t recommend you doing so.
Can You Install Laminate Flooring On Uneven Concrete?
We do not recommend that you install laminate flooring on uneven concrete as the laminate will not lay evenly and it will cause structural issues to your floor. Laminate needs to be installed directly onto a flat surface for the best results. If it is installed on an uneven surface then it is possible for structural issues to arise, bubbles within the flooring to pop up, or even an annoying noise every time you take a step on the flooring. For these reasons, it is not recommended that you lay laminate over uneven concrete. You can grind the concrete until it is flat or have someone relay the concrete to insure that it is as flat as possible.
How Flat Must Concrete Be In Order To Install Laminate Flooring?
When you are laying laminate flooring on concrete it is important that the concrete is as flat as possible. If the concrete has a variance greater than half an inch throughout, then it will be difficult to evenly lay the laminate flooring. If the concrete isn’t flat then it is recommended that you either grind the concrete until it is flat, or you re-pour concrete to insure a flat surface.