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01 December 2010

Lamton laminate flooring

So I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted, and what a week it was...  We got the whole basement painted, the concrete floors leveled, and the laminate floor installed. This is all much easier said than done. My whole body, but mostly my hands, are sore and numb. Perhaps a sign I'm getting too old for this kind of work... I paused for a few hours on Thanksgiving, to over eat, (thank you family for doing all the cooking) and take a little nap, then was back at it.

After much research in the laminate floor department, I decided to go with Lamton flooring, available only through BuildDirect. The price was right, it had great reviews, and looked like a quality product. The floor we installed, and pictured here is 12mm Peruvian Gingerwood. Because we were covering about 1100 sq. ft., having it delivered was ideal. We would have had to special order that amount (it took about 87 boxes) it from any other store and had to rent a trailer or paid for delivery anyway.
There is most definitely a learning curve when installing laminate floor. Luckily, my brother-in-law who has installed laminate in his own house helped me out throughout the project. Having at least two people to help really made it go faster. I meant to take a lot of pictures as we worked, but I never paused to get the camera, then it couldn't be found when search for by the youth. So, the picture above is the only picture I have of the process.
But because surprisingly little information is available online (and in print) about installing, I'm going to go back and hit on the important points of the installation process of Lamton laminate flooring.
1. It may sound tedious (because it is) but make sure that your subfloor is level. Get out the grinder (if you are laying over concrete), the self leveling compound and an 8 ft. straight edge and bring the floor level- no more than 1/4" to 1/2" per 8 ft. span. A little prep work goes a long way, otherwise your joints could pop out at some point and make for a lot more work later,  I don't even want to think about trying to fix this sort of problem later.

2. Build the floor starting with the tongue side against the wall, groove side out. This fact is only imparted for only a brief moment on the installation video and is perhaps the most important fact of all. I know the perils firsthand of building the opposite way- we installed a whole room backwards (with the groove side facing the wall when you start) and paid for it all day.
Here are the reasons why you start with the tongue side against the wall:
When you use the block and your hammer to pound the pieces together, you will be hitting against the tongue side, not the tender groove edge.  If you pound against the groove end, the groove easily gets damaged and leaving the damage debris caught in the joint, leaving you with a tiny, unsightly gap instead of a nice clean gap-free joint.
3. Trim the underpad when necessary. The installation video says to carefully inspect all of the flooring just after it arrives at your house, when it is acclimating. With 90+ boxes this was a daunting task... I would recommend a brief inspection upon arrival and a thorough inspection as you go along. Damaged pieces can usually be used somewhere during the project, where the trimming down of a piece is necessary- so set those aside. We kept an exacto knife handy and trimmed the underpad when it hung out over the edge of the piece, just to be safe.
All done- here is looking down the hall to the cold storage closet. We are very happy with the Lamton product, the look and quality. We still need to get the baseboards up, and the doorknobs on, a bit of electrical too. But, we are getting close to being completely finished- hooray!

1 comment:

Bess said...

It looks fabulous Noelle!


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