In this article, you will learn how to properly lay laminate on a concrete floor with a substrate with step-by-step consideration of each of the stages of this technology: learn how to choose a coating material, prepare the basis for further work, determine which flooring will be suitable as a substrate and perform floor covering installation. In addition, the possibility of installing a system of underfloor heating under the laminate will be considered.
Technology laying laminate on a concrete floor: preparation for work
Works on the installation of laminated flooring are carried out in several stages. First, the selection of materials and tools, as well as preparing the base. Then, the substrate is laid and the laminate panels are installed.
As a rule, it takes about 5-15 days to prepare the base, depending on the method of preparation and the materials used in the work. For laying the substrate, as well as direct installation of the coating, it will take from 1 to 3 days. The duration of the work depends not only on the size of the room being processed, but also on the qualifications of specialists.
Note! Laminate, as a versatile material, can be mounted on almost any base, but only concrete floor can provide durability.
Laminate flooring offers many advantages:
- simple installation system;
- neat and smooth surface;
- long service life coverage;
- ease of care and cleaning;
- a certain level of insulation;
- excellent decorative properties (material imitates a natural wooden surface).
In order to choose the method of preparing the base and proceed to the execution of these works, one should decide in advance on the type of material to be coated. Technical and operational characteristics of the laminate largely determine the further technology.
The general classification includes the following types (classes) of material:
- 21 – flooring for residential premises with a low level of loads on the floor surface, these include children’s rooms and bedrooms;
- 22 – floor covering for rooms with an average load, for example, a living room, a dining room;
- 23 – floor coverings in residential premises with a fairly high permeability, for example, a kitchen, hallway, corridor;
- 31 – coverage for office premises with low traffic, this category includes meeting rooms, classrooms;
- 32 – commercial coverings for rooms with medium traffic, for example, cabinets accommodating several workplaces or reception rooms;
- 33 – floor coverings in rooms with a very large cross, the scope of application of the laminate applies to public places, such as shops, shopping centers, banks, halls, libraries and schools, etc.
Helpful advice! When choosing laminated panels, be guided by the marking in the form of numbers. For example, “2” at the beginning of the number will tell you that there is a covering for residential premises in front of you. For office rooms and other premises with high floor loads, you need to purchase a commercial type of laminate, marked with the number “3”.
Do not purchase commercial type coverage for residential premises and vice versa. Laminate flooring with a high level of resistance in low-traffic areas will be a waste of money. While the material intended for installation in living rooms, very quickly will become unsuitable if you put it in the office.
Laminated panel consists of several layers. Laminate can have a base of different materials, due to which its physical properties are determined, and variants of coatings are available for sale without it. As a result, the type of basis or lack thereof influences the preparatory work and technology in general.
There are several varieties of moisture resistant material. In each case, there are special requirements for the installation of the coating:
|The basis of moisture resistant material||Coverage Features||Base Requirements||Panel thickness, mm||Service life, years||Additional recommendations|
|Particleboard / MDF |
(material on a rigid basis)
|The surface withstands wet cleaning, pools of spilled water||Installation on concrete floor with pre-laid substrate||5-10||3-5||Scope of application: nurseries, living rooms, bedrooms, hallways. Not recommended for use in bathrooms and bathrooms|
|Composite plastic laminate with ethylene vinyl acetate interlayer||The surface is able to withstand elevated levels of humidity, as in the bathroom.||Smooth concrete surface with thermal insulation||5-9||10-14||Scope of application extends not only a bathroom, but also on a hall|
|Flexible laminate (material without a rigid base)||The surface is able to withstand elevated levels of humidity, as in the bathroom.||Ideally flat surface (concrete floor leveled with plywood)||4-9||15-20||Allowed to install on the coating of linoleum or ceramic tiles, located on top of the concrete base|
Helpful advice! Flexible or vinyl laminate can be laid on the cement floor. Most of these coatings have an adhesive base, so if you intend to install on a cement base, you should purchase material without an adhesive layer. In this case, a special adhesive composition is used to fix the panels.
According to the installation technology, between the flooring in the form of a laminate and a concrete base there is a substrate, as well as a film layer. Often, those who make the installation of lamellas on their own, think about whether you need a film under the laminate or it will be enough to confine one substrate.
Experts recommend not to lower this stage of work and lay out the film coating on the prepared floor, so you should calculate in advance the necessary amount of material and purchase it.
A preliminary calculation of the material can be performed on the basis of the requirements of the technology for the formation of a vapor barrier layer. The polyethylene film is sold in rolls and lay overlapped to eliminate the appearance of gaps between the strips. For this, the vapor barrier sections are stacked with an overlap of 10-20 cm over each other. The film coating should reach the surface of the walls approximately 2-3 cm.
Before you complete the flooring of the film under the laminate, do not forget to thoroughly clean and vacuum the base. The laid material at the joints is fixed together with a special adhesive tape. The use of a vapor barrier prevents the penetration of condensate, which forms on the concrete surface, into the laminate.
To ensure a quality result, a special substrate is placed under the coating. The modern range offers dozens of materials with different characteristics specifically for this purpose.
Conventionally, substrates placed under a laminated coating on a concrete floor are divided into two categories: materials of natural and artificial origin. Most of the materials for the substrate are available in rolls, but there are also sheet varieties.
The group of natural materials is cork. This type of substrate can be sold in both sheet and roll form. The thickness of the product is 2-4 mm.
Helpful advice! Use this type of substrate in combination with laminate, which has in its composition cork layer. This way you can improve the sound and thermal insulation of the room.
Cork has some drawbacks. For its installation requires a perfectly flat base surface, as well as the use of a dense polyethylene film as a vapor barrier. In addition, the concrete floor must be very well cleaned up to the treatment with a vacuum cleaner so that even small particles of debris and dust do not remain on the surface.
After a high-quality preparation, the cork substrate fits perfectly on any type of base, it greatly simplifies the process of installation of the laminate.
Often izolon is used as a substrate. This type of material is artificially obtained by foaming polyethylene. On sale there are products of two types – standard and supplemented with a foil interlayer.
Isolon with foil side reflects its heat flux due to its shiny surface. This increases the level of thermal insulation of the room. This advantage is particularly relevant for homeowners on the ground floor, since in such apartments usually most of the heat is absorbed by the basement through the floor.
If there are no problems with the need for additional weatherization, you can save your money by buying a regular isolon without a foil layer. It is much cheaper than the previous version of the material.
Helpful advice! Izolon has a related material, also used as a substrate in the process of installing laminate. It is called polyform and belongs to the budget category of coverage. Use it if you want to limit the minimum cost.
There are other types of artificial substrates:
- heat flex;
- porypleks, etc.
The raw materials for their manufacture are gas-filled polymeric materials. These substrates can be rolled and sheet.
There are several ways to level the base of the concrete floor under the laying of laminated panels. From what method you choose, will depend on further steps for the installation of flooring.
At the preliminary stage, the following tools can be used to level the floor:
- special self-leveling compound (self-leveling floors);
- the obreshetka made on the basis of wooden bars;
- plywood sheets.