Turn the lights down low and grab a cup of cocoa, Papa Bear has a scary flooring story to relate. The tales are true, but the names have been changed so I don’t get beat up.
Laminate flooring has become very popular due to low maintenance and cost, but even do it yourselfers need to follow these basic installation rules.
Since laminate is a floating floor i.e.: it clicks together and is not glued to the concrete, it is forgiving of uneven floors. But since it is not glued to the concrete, something needs to anchor it or the same uneven flooring can make your laminate unstable. My commercial client has a laminate floor and a flood. She needed only 100 Sq.Ft. replaced. Simple right? Problem one. No paperwork so I had no idea who the manufacturer was for the flooring. Why is this important? Well first of all I need to match the style and color so no one knows we patched the floor. She did not care; after all it is just a break room.
Okay. Problem two. Most laminate locking systems (the click part) are proprietary and do not click to other floors. So the new floor will not attach to the old floor. She was okay with that also. (She is very nice) Problem three. Remember the part about the floating floor? We always remove the wood wall molding and slide your laminate floor underneath so that it does not move. Hers was held down by rubber wall molding like you would see in inexpensive retail spaces. It allowed to the floor to move up and down and sideways like a carnival ride. There are gaps throughout where the boards are moving. The original retailer has disappeared and the installer who repaired it last time will not service his client. Probably hates money. Repairs are already time consuming, and here we have a floor that is moving as I repair it. But, and this is the important part, the client was able to get this floor cheap. Of course for not much more, I would have done this correctly, kept the paperwork for her and left her with a full box oflaminate for repairs.
That’s what licensed contractors do; we make it easy and right. Remember, it is better to do it right the first time.