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Installing Laminate Wood Flooring

Thu 08 Feb 2007 - 06:16

Installing Laminate Wood Flooring
By Eric B. Slarkowski

There is a new and beautiful alternative to natural hardwood floors and that is laminate wood flooring. Laminate wood flooring resembles natural hardwood floor but is available at a much lower cost. Recent improvements in the quality of materials have yielded laminate floors that are extremely durable as well as beautiful. Some laminate floors are virtually impossible to distinguish from hardwood floors. The top manufacturers of flooring are now manufacturing laminate flooring, so you will see fine laminate floors from Mannington, Shaw and Bruce flooring companies.

Laminate floor offer a very wide choice in colors and styles. You can have laminate floor that looks like hardwood, of course, and they are now available in styles that look like ceramic tile. The wood colors are available from very light to darkest dark, and everything in between. Since dark colors make a room look smaller, a large, formal setting would look better with dark flooring; use lighter wood colors to visually expand a small room.

Flooring stores and home improvement centers carry a wide variety of laminate flooring. You can also shop for discount brands of laminate flooring on the Internet. Think about the colors and styles you prefer, than start shopping for price. If the room you are redecorating is small, you may be able to find leftover material at a very reasonable price.

Laminates are installed differently than other floors. Instead of being attached to the sub floor, they are made of slats that interlock and "float" over the under surface, with a special adhesive that holds them in place.

A great advantage of laminate floors is that they can be installed over old flooring, whether it is wood, tile or vinyl. If you currently have carpeting, however, you will have to remove the carpet and the padding before you can install a laminate floor. Whatever surface you install over must be level before installation.

A professional can install this floor for you, but it is fairly easy to do by yourself. For one room, if it is not too large, you can probably tackle the job in one weekend. You may want to wait until you can take some time off if you intend to do a number of rooms. Having it done professionally will cost more, of course, but if you are not handy or don't have the time to devote to a project like this, it may be worthwhile to hire someone.

Once the floor is in, make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning. Lightly dusting or vacuuming will remove surface dirt, and if you have a stain, clean with a damp mop. That's about all the care laminate floors require, since you do not have to wax laminate floors.

When you do wash the floor, use only a slightly damp mop. Too much water can damage the coating, and letting water sit on it may damage the paper backing, since moisture will become trapped. Trapped moisture may cause mold in addition to damaging the laminate. Since bathrooms typically have a lot of moisture, it is not recommended that laminate floors be installed there, since the constant moisture will damage it.

Eric Slarkowski wrote predominantly for http://www.insidewoodworking.com, a website on how to install flooring , installing floors and other themes. You can have a look at his work on laminate wood flooring and how to install flooring at http://www.insidewoodworking.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Eric_B._Slarkowski

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