Getting your floor ready for HDF laminate flooring installation
HDF Laminate flooring is an affordable and good option for you if you want to upgrade your home’s flooring. It is available in a variety of textures and colours to suit your interior space. Moreover, it is long-lasting and easy to keep clean, making it a fantastic option to consider.
HDF Laminate flooring can be installed in all rooms. But it is in your best interest not to install it in bathrooms, laundry rooms and other moisture-rich places. Moisture can make it prone to damage.
What is a Subfloor?
Your subfloor is the base layer for your wooden laminate flooring project. Ensuring subfloor preparation is vital to prevent your HDF laminate flooring from damage. It will also prevent any unnecessary difficulties during installation.
The existing floor must be prepared properly to ensure flawless installation of the HDF laminate flooring. There are multiple things that you need to take care of when preparing your floor. We break them down into simple follow able steps:
Ensure moisture levels are correct
Your wooden laminate flooring is made up of HDF board. It is, therefore, very important to ensure the moisture levels in the desired location. High moisture levels will eventually penetrate the core of your HDF laminate flooring, expanding it from the inside. This will cause it to warp and deform over time and also deform adjacent pieces.
It will be wise not to subject your flooring to moist conditions, and hence, your subfloor needs to be dry and moisture free.
Concrete Subfloors can be tested for dampness using a simple “sheet test”. You will require a square sheet of plastic 25 inch x25 inch and duct tape. Get rid of any standing water on the concrete, as it may interfere with your test results. Next, you want to adhere the plastic sheet to the concrete firmly using duct tape. This will block any moisture from escaping. Leave it for 48 hours, and then check if any moisture has beaded up inside the sheet.
In case you have a wooden subfloor, you will have to buy a moisture meter from a hardware store. Prefer a digital pin less moisture meter over other ones as it measures moisture using a direct contact electrode method. Corners with drains have more moisture and need to be checked properly.
Check the tile subfloor for cracks and chips to ensure that no moisture seeps through them and causes harm to the laminate flooring.
A HDF laminate flooring piece will not fit perfectly on an uneven surface. It may crush or wobble depending on the dips or heaves in the tile flooring.
Use a level instrument to identify unevenness in a concrete surface. Use a concrete leveller to fill up the dips and a concrete grinder to flatten any elevation.
It is important to secure any loose boards for a firm application of wooden laminate flooring. Any protruding screw heads and nails will need to be removed or screwed back into the surface to the same level as that of the subfloor. Use a sand grainer or wood planer to level other elevations.
You can also call a professional for help if your floor is particularly damaged or uneven.
Any broken or chipped-down tile pieces should be fixed before applying HDF laminate flooring for optimum results at the end of the application. Fixing major deformations will require you to seek professional help.
Prepare door trims and door jambs
Since you are applying completely new laminated flooring planks above your existing floor, the height of the floor is going to increase. It is, therefore, important to trim door jambs and door trims optimally so that the door doesn’t scratch or rub against the floor.
Ensure Clean floor
You must clean the floor and make it free of any kind of dust, particles or adhesives. Otherwise, it may lead to unevenness in the application of your HDF laminate flooring. It may also cause a random clicking sound if the application is not smooth or done over a large particle. Use a vacuum cleaner and then thoroughly mop the subfloor.
Use a moisture barrier
If your subfloor is a concrete surface or any other surface that is prone to moisture, it is recommended that a moisture barrier surface is added on top of the subfloor. This will protect your laminate wooden flooring from moisture damage.
This will have two benefits:
- It will provide extra insulation and make the floor more comfortable to walk on.
- It will also provide a certain level of soundproofing.
Many HDF laminate floors come with an underlay that serves as a moisture barrier. But if yours doesn't have an underlay, it is recommended that you install a moisture barrier on top of your subfloor.
Acclimate the HDF laminate flooring in the room you will use it
HDF Laminate flooring shrinks, expands and warps under different temperatures and humidity. You must let your laminate flooring acclimatize to the room it will be installed in. You should leave your laminate flooring in the room for at least 48-72 hours before you install it. But it is recommended that you read the manufacturer’s manual for precise details. Acclimatizing the laminate flooring will ensure a smooth and even fit on the subfloor.
Everything mentioned above is a rule of thumb on how to make your floor ready for HDF laminate flooring installation. However, different manufacturers build their floorings differently and may/ may not require you to follow a few extra things. It is, therefore, important to read the manufacturer’s manual for any specific instructions.
Your floor is now ready for HDF laminate flooring installation. Here is a step-by-step guide for installing laminate flooring.