How to make the floor reliable, beautiful, easy to install and at the same time inexpensive? These seemingly incompatible qualities are combined in a laminate. Because this flooring is being used more and more often. However, for the floor to serve for a long time, you just need to know the subtleties of technology. For example, before laying a laminate, you need to check how smooth the base is. The maximum permissible deviation is not more than 1-2 mm per meter of surface. Only under such a condition will it lie tight, will not bend and creak. If there are more swings, the lock may even break or crack the board.
If the base has irregularities whose dimensions exceed permissible, it must be leveled. For cement floors, everything is simple. a leveling screed is poured. Lay the laminate after the solution has gained at least 50% strength.
Laying a laminate is possible only on an equal level
If the base is an old wooden floor, it must be removed by technology, then a full cement floor must be made, with all the necessary layers (backfill, hydro and heat insulation, reinforcing belt and screed). It is possible to mount a heating system in this floor, and already lay a floor covering on the warm floor. Only in this case, it is necessary to use special varieties of laminate, which tolerate heat well. The cost of such a floor is high, and it takes a lot of time to install it. Therefore, this is not always done. If the logs and boards are not damaged, you can level the wooden floor with plywood, and already lay the laminate on it.
When leveling the wooden floor, all strongly protruding fragments are crushed with a planer or with a scraper, the cracks are sealed with putty. Plywood sheets are laid on the prepared old wooden floor (it is used more often, although any sheet material with a flat surface can be laid). They are attached with screws to the floor: around the perimeter after 15 cm, in the middle in a checkerboard pattern.
The joints of the sheets are shifted. they should not coincide (see the photo below). So the load is transmitted more evenly. Another point. leave some gaps between the sheets. they should not be fitted close to each other. Wood changes dimensions depending on humidity and temperature. And these gaps will give the necessary freedom so that there are no "humps" and distortions.
Laying plywood on a wooden floor under a laminate is a common way to prepare the base during repairs. If the wood has not been damaged, and the plywood is laid evenly, does not “play” and does not bend, this foundation serves for years
It looks like an old wooden floor, prepared for laying laminate
On a smooth and clean base, the substrate is laid first. It conceals those irregularities of 1-2 mm that are acceptable and makes the floor less "noisy". It serves for depreciation and better load balancing.
The substrate is made of several types:
Cork. Made from cork chips. It has good thermal insulation properties, absorbs sounds. Disadvantages: afraid of moisture and does not like heating. Therefore, the scope of its application is premises without underfloor heating, with normal importance and minimal risk of a "flood". That is, it is living rooms. Cork under the laminate is used infrequently: expensive. If it is laid, it is more under the parquet board. for the safety of the flooring.
Cork is the best, but also the most expensive type of substrate. Foil. a little cheaper, and its plus. it is suitable for underfloor heating
The most common foamed polyethylene backing
Foamed polystyrene. average quality and price
How to lay the substrate
The substrate under the laminate is rolled out (laid out) along the wall from which the laying will begin. In length, it should cover the entire floor from wall to wall. The lines of joints combine tightly, for convenience they are glued with tape. Sometimes panels are fixed with staples from a construction stapler. It’s faster, but it’s not very good to use staples. they can rub against boards and make an unpleasant sound. The next layer is spread as needed. you do not need to cover the entire floor immediately: it is better not to walk on the substrate.
In which direction to lay the laminate with your own hands? There are no strict rules, but there are recommendations. To make the joints along the boards less visible, the direction of light should go along the board. It turns out beautifully if you lay the cover at an angle. But this method is more complicated and more waste is obtained. You can lay it across the world. this is also practiced, and does not threaten with anything more than visual seams.
Video: Which Side Cut Laminate
Laying the laminate in relation to the window: layout of elements
The basic rule that must be observed when laminate flooring is the displacement of the seams. Minimum transverse seam should be at a distance of 40 cm from the other. So the strength of the flooring will be greater: the boards under load will not part.
The minimum distance between the seams in adjacent rows is 40 cm
Laying scheme of the laminate should be developed taking into account this rule. The easiest way to do it yourself is to offset half the board. Then each odd row starts with a whole, and each even row starts with a half (or vice versa).
If the length of one element exceeds 1.2 m, then you can shift the second row by 1/3, the third by 2/3 of the length (as in the photo above). It turns out a kind of "ladder". In some types of laminate (expensive), the minimum displacement of the rows is much smaller. maybe 15 cm. This is indicated on the package or in the accompanying instruction.
You can lay the laminate "ladder", only you need to observe the minimum allowable displacement of the seam. On the right is a laying pattern with a long board length and low offset
How to lay a laminate with your own hands: step by step instructions
The laying technology is the same: there are only some features when connecting elements depending on locks. The procedure will be as follows:
- The substrate is laid on a leveled base, its joints are glued with tape.
- Wedges or pieces of plywood 10-15 mm thick are installed around the perimeter of the room. Laminate boards will abut against them. In this way, create a compensation gap around the entire perimeter of the room. It is needed so that the coating does not swell in the heat or in high humidity.
- Along one of the walls. usually opposite from the entrance. laying of the first row begins. The first row has a spike to the wall (it can be cut). The entire row rests on the wedges measuring the gap. The extreme rests against the wedges also with a side lock (it can also be cut off).
The technology of laying laminate in a graphic image
If the geometry of the room is correct, no difficulties. If there are distortions, you will have to cut it. Questions may arise when finishing the threshold: the board near the jambs is not cut smoothly, but in an arc, while maintaining a gap of 10-15 mm. Why in an arc? So under the door platband of any shape there will be no hole.
Laying methods for the laminate: two locks. two methods (video instructions)
The technology for laying laminate flooring depends on which of the locks on your floor. They are made of two types. “click” (Click) and “lock” (Lock). You will not get confused, because the packaging of each pack contains a system, and many have pictograms explaining the principle of stacking.
The method of laying it depends on the system of locks of the laminate
Hammerless Method. Click Lock
When using click locks, it’s more convenient to assemble the boards one by one. The system is named so because of the characteristic click that is heard when the tenon enters the groove. With such a system, side locks are first connected, then longitudinal. It happens like this:
- the installed element is brought to the side mounted at an angle of 45 °,
- with a light touch, the spike is inserted into the groove, knocking out the back of the hand;
- lower the board to the floor, it turns out to be connected to the side surface to the left;
- so collect the entire first row;
- in the second row, the first board is installed in the same way, only with a longitudinal groove: at an angle of 45 ° we bring it, insert it into the groove and push it a little until it clicks, lower it down;
- the next boards in the second row are first connected with a side lock;
- at the boards joined together by the sidewalls, they raise the edge a couple of centimeters;
- insert a longitudinal tenon into the groove of the previous ones;
- with a slight effort they snap in, if necessary, knock them out only with the palm of your hand.
Graphical representation of a laminate installation process with a click lock
How to lay a laminate with a click lock, see the video.
How to lay with a lock "Lock" (Lock)
Here the lock should be inserted on the side and the assembly method is different. You will need a piece of laminate with a spike and a light hammer (rubber mallet). The boards are laid out on the floor, corrected so that they lie exactly one relative to the other. They move the spike close to the groove, insert a piece of laminate on the other side and tap it with a hammer, achieving a connection.
How to lay down a laminate with the "lock" system
The method is also uncomplicated, but requires caution: with a hammer you can hit too hard and break the lock. Then you have to use another element.
With this method, it is more convenient to lay the laminate first collecting individual rows, and then connecting them. Schematically, this is shown in the photo below.
So it’s more convenient to lay the laminate with your own hands with the “lock” system
See the video for more details on this method. There is no sound, but everything is clear.
The methods described above for laying a laminate can be made almost airtight, in any case, the amount of water that can get into the interswitch space can be greatly reduced. To do this, use special glue. They grease the spikes of the stacked boards. The composition retains its elasticity for 10 minutes, therefore they apply glue immediately before installation.
The disadvantage of this technology is that the coating becomes almost monolithic. If you need to replace one or more boards, this will not work.
How to cut laminate flooring evenly
You can cut laminate boards:
- jigsaw (most convenient);
- hand-held circular saw.
To prevent burrs from forming on the front surface, it should lie “face” up. In order for the cut to be even, use guides. rulers (planks) of metal or wood. When using a hacksaw, the ruler should not give the opportunity to "climb" to the desired half.
You can not only use the square to draw lines, but also use it as a guide when cutting
When cutting across it is more convenient to use squares. It is pressed to the long side, the second serves as a guide.