Installation & Care

Installation

The following simplified installation procedure is to give you,  “the end user”  a brief overview of the process that will occur to fit Laminate or Engineered Hardwood Floor into your home or office.

1. PREPARATION

Acclimatisation
The product to be fitted should be delivered to your home or office 48 hours prior to installation.  This allows the flooring to adapt to the temperature and moisture content (climate) of the environment where it is to be fitted.

The surface
Laminate floors can be installed on any hard flat surface.  Soft surfaces i.e. carpeting must first be completely removed.  Level tolerance (flatness) is 2mm per 2m. In our experience 98% of floors require some degree of leveling. The surface should be dry and dust free.
Newly poured concrete should be allowed to dry for 6 – 12 weeks (thickness dependant) prior to the installation of any laminate or wooden floor system.

To correct inconsistencies in level we recommend the use of Pavelite.  This is a quick drying cement based self leveling floor screed.  Generally if the thickness of the pavelite required is less than 6mm the laminate floor can usually still be layed on the same day that the pavelite is poured.

Underfloor heating
Several laminate floor products are able to withstand the heat generated by certain under floor heating systems. There are several considerations in this regard.  Please discuss with your laminate floor installation company.  Under floor heating units MUST NOT exceed 27 degrees celcius.

2. THE SUB FLOOR

ALL sub floors require a damp proof membrane (Plastic Underlay) We prefer to use a 250 micron black plastic.  The underlay should be overlapped by 20cm at joins and taped down. For laminates that do not have a factory installed silent system backing,  a foam underlay should be used on top of the plastic.  The type of foam used is generally a 2mm airothene.  In our experience airothene can give the floor a spongy feel and also makes the floor noisy.  We prefer,  and recommend the use of silent system foam which gives a much firmer quieter walk.

If the laminate is to be layed on top of existing parquet flooring we do not recommend the use of the damp proof underlay.  This can create a sweat space and ultimately could result in swelling and lifting of the parquet.   The best option is to remove the parquet completely, particularly if it is not level.

3. FLOOR INSTALLATION

We recommend that your floor is layed towards the prevailing light source or alternatively in the direction of the most common walk direction.  This of course is entirely up to you, but certain floors definitely look better when installed towards windows. This is easily decided at time of installation where we can lay a few planks down in various directions.

Most laminate floors today have an incorporated “drop and lock” locking mechanism.  Some products still use a click on the short end joint while others are full lock floors.  This makes most installations, quick with strong effective joints and does not require any glue.

All laminates will expand and contract over time.  This is due mainly to absorption of moisture from the atmosphere and is seasonal.  For this reason a perimeter expansion gap is required giving a resultant “floating Floor’ system. Simply put this means the floor is not attached to anything at all.  Expansion gap width changes from product to product dependant on the ability of the floor to withstand moisture absorption.  We prefer to use a 12mm gap to avoid the possibility of “lifting” due to expansion gap closure.

For the neatest finish we prefer to undercut wooden doorframes thereby giving the appearance that the floor goes underneath the frame.  Similarly on metal door frames we recommend and prefer to use a 16mm quadrant around the base of the frame.  This is the neatest possible finish.

Expansion widths can be widened for very large rooms but most products should not be layed at a length of more than 10 -15m without the necessary expansion gaps.

4. CLEANING & CARE

Use good quality doormats at all entrances to your home.  Ensure external doors have adequate protection against the elements, and that all windows above the floor are well sealed.

Use Floor protector pads for the feet of all heavy furniture.  Ensure that all pot plants have drip trays.    Kitchen appliances / taps / fridges etc above the floor must not leak. Wipe all spills immediately.

Sweep / dry vacuum DAILY.  Mop your floor WEEKLY. Use a few drops of sunlight liquid in warm water.  When mopping your floor, place an old towel under the bucket as a protection against spilling. After rinsing the mop, WRING IT WELL making sure that no drops of water fall onto the floor. The floor should be dry within +-5 minutes of being mopped  DO NOT USE TOO MUCH WATER.  When mopping tiles/vinyl etc. in areas bordering your laminate floor, ensure the finishes (Doorway rods, Skirtings Quadrants Etc) are kept DRY.

Do not allow any hard wheeled plastic toys to be played with on your floor. Make use of chair mats underneath chairs with wheels.

DO NOT use amonia or strong household cleaning fluids, scourer, or rough materials on your floor.

For stubborn marks use sunlight soap directly on a cloth or with hot water, or moisten a cloth with acetone or turpentine and rub dirt mark vigorously.

Downloadable Care Instructions