Installing Laminate and Hardwood Flooring

Purchasing flooring is a costly expenditure, and the price of installation must be included when calculating the total price of discount flooring. A popular choice for many is a warm and inviting wood look floor, which is available in hardwood and laminate flooring. Hardwood floors are timeless and classic, and can last for years. Laminate is the new, discounted alternative to hardwood, but it has been perfected to a point where it may even be confused with the real thing! Both flooring choices have pros and cons, among them, the methods of installation.

Consider the Professionals

As a general rule, hardwood floors should be installed by a professional. Installation can be complicated, especially with floors that are unfinished, and must be sanded and finished on the job site. Laminate flooring, on the other hand, is manufactured with a unique click lock system that makes it easy for do-it-yourselfers. Those who want to take on the task on their own and save the cost of flooring installation should be sure to take some necessary precautions.

Compare Quotes

Before deciding on self-installation for flooring, remember that some skill is needed, along with time and necessary preparation. The way the floor is laid will affect its wear for years to come. If you don’t have the necessary skills, time, or inclination to do the job right, it may be a good idea to hire a professional installer for either hardwood flooring or laminate. After receiving quotes from a few installers, they should be compared based on their price quotes and their reputations. Scrimping on a good installer may not be wise in the long run, because fixing your floor if it was not done right may rack up high bills.

Preparing for Self-Installation

Before installing hardwood flooring, be careful to check that the subfloor is suitable for installation, and is clean, dry, and flat. The flooring should be brought into the area where it will be laid a few days in advance so that it has a chance to acclimate to its environment. Different tools may also be needed for installation of hardwood flooring based on the type of wood. Consult with a flooring retailer, the manufacturer, online articles, or a DIY book before installation. Prepare yourself with a timetable and clear goals, the necessary tools, and enough assistance.

Laminate flooring is produced with lock and groove edges that make installation clean and relatively easy. As with hardwood, the floor tiles or planks should be brought into the area where it is being laid a few days before installation so that the floor will be acclimated to the room’s temperature and level of humidity. This will help avoid buckling, and ensure that the flooring pieces fit together snugly. A manufacturer’s guide should also be followed. Many manufacturers even provide video tutorials or manuals. The actual process of installation should not be difficult, as laminate flooring comes prefinished. It is installed as a floating floor; it is not adhered to the subfloor. This eliminates the need for messy glue or nails.

The installation of discount flooring is equally, or almost as important as the flooring choice itself. Take the time to explore your options, and your floor will thank you for years to come.

Tom Foley is a flooring consultant and home improvement expert for Affordafloors. Affordafloors offers a wide selection of discount flooring, with options of hardwood, laminate flooring, and other flooring from brand names. They also offer excellent customer service, with free advice and help with everything from décor to installation from their home improvement experts.

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