Laminate - one of the most popular materials for flooring - not only has excellent aesthetic qualities and is suitable for any interior design, but also very economical - it is much cheaper than natural parquet.
In addition, the construction of the laminated flooring elements by the manufacturers laid the possibility of simple installation with their own hands even by people who do not have much experience in decorating. Of course, even the simplest technology has its own subtleties, so you need to thoroughly study the process of laying laminated flooring.
Variety of styling patterns
Before you start installing the laminate with your own hands, you need to carry out one of the most important procedures for any job - planning. In order to create a floor project, you do not need to be a professional designer - just basic knowledge of mathematics and drawing skills are enough.
To choose the pattern of the layout of the parquet board and the optimal coloring, you need to make a drawing of the trimmed room, on which all sizes will be indicated. The starting point for laying the coating is natural light sources, that is, windows.
Accordingly, relative to the windows, a scheme is chosen according to which the laminate will be mounted:
- perpendicular to the window openings, which will lead to the coincidence of the direction of the boards and sunlight, which will hide the joints between the elements of the flooring;
- parallel to the window, creating a shadow at the seams and thereby highlighting them;
- at any indirect angle.
There are expensive options for laminated flooring, in which each board is equipped with universal locks on the edges, allowing you to dock individual elements at any possible angle to each other. For example, you can connect the longitudinal sides with the transverse faces, creating original patterns from the parquet board on the floor.
However, as an inexperienced worker, you may not want to take risks and try to lay your own hands on an expensive coating, the installation of which requires serious skills. Therefore, it will be easier to choose a traditional laminate with different locks on the end faces and on the sides.
Which of the three schemes to choose? It depends on the characteristics of the room, as well as on personal preferences. It is worth considering that the perpendicular option creates the appearance of solidity of the floor, parallel - the illusion of a wider room, and angular - visually enlarges the room of small sizes.
You need to start work with the choice of a laying scheme because the amount of required material depends on this. So, depending on which template you decide to lay the laminate on, you need to stock up:
- about 6% with a large number of parquet boards when choosing direct schemes;
- 15% with large - with the diagonal version, since it requires constant sawing of boards.
Based on the drawing of the room, calculate the area covered by the parquet. Parquet packages indicate how many square meters this bundle of material will cover.
Planning is also needed for the following reasons:
It is highly unlikely that the length of the boards will be a multiple of the length of the room. Therefore, the boards will have to be cut with their own hands. Trimming used to complement the laid out row should have a length of at least 30 cm.
The width of the parquet as well as the length does not match the size of the room. The last row, again, consists of sawn boards, the width of which should be strictly greater than 5 cm. If the gap is narrower, you can cut the first row. Obviously, this needs to be thought out in advance, because if at the end of the installation it is found that the remaining gap is too narrow, you will have to lay the entire laminate anew. In addition, uniform sawing will ensure floor symmetry.
To make the joints more reliable, the boards must be staggered, displacing the end joints in adjacent rows by at least a third of the length of the board. For symmetry, you can repeat the pattern through one or two stripes. If asymmetry is closer to you, it is not necessary to adhere to any sequence. The main thing is to observe the minimum minimum dimensions of the edge inserts indicated earlier.
Please note that it is impossible to lay the parquet close to the walls, so that it is not damaged due to the inevitable size fluctuations due to temperature changes. A small gap left around the perimeter of the room, then closes with skirting boards. This gap should be about a half centimeter wide to completely protect the coating.
Careful preparation requires not only the basis of the floor, but also the laminate itself. The base preparation procedure includes:
- repair - sealing putty of all chips, cracks and other surface defects;
- alignment - depending on the magnitude of the elevation differences, it can be done by grinding, constructing a screed or laying plywood, drywall or gypsum fiber sheets on your own logs;
- cleaning - washing, garbage collection, sweeping.
As a result of preparation, a clean and almost perfectly flat surface should be obtained, the curvature of which should not exceed 2 mm.
The preparation of the material is to let it lie down a bit in the room before laying. It usually takes about two days to adapt to the conditions. After that, the parquet can be unpacked and sorted. If you find elements that are strikingly different in tone from the rest, you should stack them so that the color changes uniformly and an invisible gradient is obtained.
Note that addiction of the material should occur with air humidity in the range of 50-60% and room temperature. The panels are arranged horizontally in the center of the room so that the adaptation is as effective as possible and after laying the parquet does not deform anymore.
When all the basic stages have been completed, you can proceed with the installation of the floor yourself.
In general, a laminate is laid as follows:
- The concrete base is covered with a dense plastic film to protect the flooring from moisture and condensation. The wooden base does not require waterproofing. Cloth films overlap, covering the edges by 20 cm, and are fixed with tape.
- A cork wood, foamed polyethylene or expanded polystyrene foam substrate is laid. It is laid end-to-end and is also fastened with adhesive tape. The direction of the backing sheets should be perpendicular to the direction of the parquet boards.
- The first row is put. For a proper fit, they are knocked together by a rubber mallet through a block so as not to break the fastening system.
- The second row is formed.
- Both rows are connected by the method specified by the parquet manufacturer.
- The collected coating fragment is applied to the wall. Between it and the wall should be installed spacers to provide a gap of the desired width.
- According to the same scheme, the rest of the parquet rows are laid out.
- To assemble the last row, consisting of scraps, each parquet element is measured separately so as not to deviate from the straight line due to the unevenness of the wall.
- To attach the extreme boards with their own hands, a special bracket or a simple nail puller is used.
After the installation is complete, a skirting board is fastened around the perimeter, covering the damper gaps. Skirting boards are attached to the walls, and not to the floor covering.