Top Tips to Achieve a Quality Installation for Floating Floors
Top tips to achieve a quality installation for floating floors
Whether you’re installing your new floating floor yourself or you’re engaging a professional installer, make sure to follow some of our experts’ top tips for a quality finish every time.
- Ensure correct subfloor preparation.
A finished floating floor – or any flooring for that matter – is only as good as its foundations. Uneven subfloors can cause creaking, squeaking or even hollow spots with bounce. Therefore, it’s paramount that the floor is levelled before installation. Levelling can be expensive but using someone who knows what they’re doing will pay dividends in the long run.
- Ensure the subfloor is clean and dry.
If the project involves a new build and there is new concrete slab, ensure that it is dry. If you’re ensure whether it is fully dry, utilize a concrete sealer or a builder’s plastic below the underlay.
- Ensure to use a high quality underlay.
For laminate flooring or installation over existing cork or vinyl flooring, ensure that your underlay is high quality. Higher quality underlay will minimize the footfall noise, resulting in a more quality sounding floor. Not only that but the high quality underlay will also provide a moisture barrier to prevent the floor from cupping or warping.
- Ensure that you’re using the correct underlay.
Especially if you’re going to have underfloor heating, ensure that you’re using the correct underlay. A poor installation may result in your underfloor heating being less effective and less efficient.
- Install an acoustic rated underlay.
For multi-level buildings, to ensure that you’re meeting NZ building regulations, install an acoustic rated underlay. The denser and thicker the underlay, the quieter it will be.
An acoustic rated underlay is also recommended for second stories on buildings as well as places like stairs & landings in family homes to reduce the overall noise generated from flooring.
- Remember to acclimatize the flooring prior to installation.
Acclimatizing the flooring before installation allows the flooring to breathe and adapt to its surroundings. To do this, we recommend storing the cartons in the area where it will be laid for a minimum of 3 to 4 days prior to installation but always check the individual instructions for your floor. Some floors also require an optimum temperature range for installation and failure to properly acclimatize may result in gaps, warping, cupping and compromise the expansion joins. It may also void the manufacturer’s warranty.
- Ensure your order of installation is correct.
Ensure all kitchen cabinetry is installed prior to laying the flooring. Heavy units can lock the flooring into place and prevent it from “floating”. This can cause the floor to peak in other areas.
Any finishing elements such as skirtings and toecaps should be installed last.
- Plan your finishing details.
Make sure to plan the junction of your floating floor with your carpet, tiles, sliding doors or full height windows. Some floors have matching trims but alternatively you can powder coat your trims ahead of time to match your window or door frames.
- Protect your flooring.
If trades are continuing in your home after the flooring has been laid, ensure you protect it with a temporary covering wall to wall. Stones or grit caught in a boot or under furniture can easily scratch your new floor. Ensure you use a low tack tape to skirting boards to protect your flooring correctly.
Words by L M Powell