Laminate is a coating that requires the preparation of a perfectly smooth base. But what if there is no possibility to dismantle the old floor and make a new cement screed? Is it possible to lay laminate on wooden floor? These questions interest those who decided to refresh the interior without resorting to capital investments. Learn how to lay the material on an existing surface from the recommendations in the article and the video: how to put the laminate on the wooden floor with your own hands.
Is it possible to lay laminate on wooden floor?
The question of the possibility of laying laminate on an old wooden floor often arises due to the fact that the cost of dismantling and installing a new cement base in many ways exceeds the cost of acquiring the floor covering itself. In addition, the feasibility of a major overhaul is not always justified, since it is associated with the duration of the process, while you can change the interior of a room by resorting to redecoration.
Is it possible to lay laminate on a wooden floor and not be afraid that the coating is deformed, will creak when walking or disperse at the seams? Knowing how the old wooden base behaves, and what measures need to be carried out to meet the basic requirements for laying laminate floors, you can safely proceed to work. The technology of laying laminate panels on a wooden floor is similar to the procedure for installing a coating on a screed.
Despite the warnings of manufacturers and some specialists in laying material, lay laminate on a wooden floor, taking into account two main differences between the wooden and cement base:
- The instability of the wooden base. Laminated flooring boards laid on top of a wooden base can move. This will lead to additional stress on the laminate locks, which are the most vulnerable point of this flooring.
- Loss of mechanical properties of wooden flooring during operation. This fact obliges, before laying the laminate on the wooden floor, meticulously check the wooden structure for defects and fix the loosened elements.
In order for the laminate to be perfectly smooth, not to disperse in the locks and serve for a long time, it is necessary to prepare the base with all the requirements for the surface when laying this material. The base must be:
- even – the deviation from the horizon should not exceed 2 mm per 1 linear meter of surface;
- completely dry;
- clean – it is necessary to remove from the surface all the debris and dust that arose during the preparation process;
- sustainable – there should be no displacement of the base elements relative to each other.
There are several options for leveling wooden floors under laminate:
- wooden flooring;
- floor covering with plywood or chipboard;
- plywood alignment using linings and bars.
The choice of one or another variant of surface correction depends on the degree of unevenness of the wooden base.
Work on the preparation of a wooden floor for laying laminate flooring is made either immediately before installation, or in advance. It depends on how difficult the process will be and how long it will take to fully comply with the technical requirements. First, you should check the condition of the wooden floor for the presence of various defects.
Most often, boards that have been in use for several years have a slightly convex surface as a result of applying several layers of paint on them. The edges of the boards or parquet lamellae can be damaged in the form of cracks, holes and hollows. In addition, a loose connection of the floorboards to the lags in the joining points is possible. Sometimes there is a significant slope of the floor in one or several directions. All these shortcomings require elimination.
Before laying laminate flooring on a wooden floor, you should seal all the gouges, wedge and fix the loosened elements on the glue and self-tapping screws. If there are cracks in the wood, they are braced with a construction stapler. Moldy and rotting boards must be replaced with new ones. To eliminate the creak of a wooden floor, you need to sort out all the floorboards.
Helpful advice! In order to avoid the appearance of a squeak, you should not use nails, but screws, when reassembling the floor, since most often the sound appears at the junction of the nail with the tree.
It is also possible to get rid of squeak in a wooden covering by driving wedges between badly fixed boards and lags, as well as between adjacent floorboards. This method will help to neutralize the friction of the boards against each other. If the plank floor is heavily worn, this method may not give an effective result. However, the main threat to the integrity of the laminate remains uneven grounds.
If all floorboards of the wooden base are well fixed and the surface does not have a significant slope, you can use scraping or flattening to level the floor. This method is appropriate for surfaces whose roughness does not exceed a slope of 5-6 mm per square meter. Local irregularities are eliminated by treating the defective areas with emery paper or using a hand puller. Such processing is also used in hard to reach places.
To facilitate the alignment process, it is recommended to begin by dividing the entire surface into several sections. After processing, the plane of each area and the quality of grinding is controlled. Before starting work, it is necessary to bury the caps of all self-tapping screws 2 mm into the wood in order to avoid contact with the metal blades of the grinding power tool, which may result in damage to them.
After leveling, check the entire surface of the wooden floor with a level, then carefully sweep or remove dust and dust with a vacuum cleaner. If the fine debris left after leveling is not removed, there is a chance that it will get into the locks of the laminated coating, and this, in turn, will lead to undesirable creaking when moving along the laid laminate.
Before laying the laminate on a wooden floor after leveling, it is necessary to treat the entire surface with an antiseptic composition or dry out and dry well. To reduce the possible deflection of the laminated coating, it is recommended to lay the panels of the material perpendicular to the direction of the boards.
Helpful advice! Before starting work on leveling through scrubbing, care should be taken to preserve the furnishings in the apartment: furniture and accessories should be covered with polyethylene to prevent fine dust from falling on them.
One of the simple and at the same time low-cost types of fitting the surface to the required level is considered the method of laying plywood on a wooden floor under laminate. To perform such work, you should purchase plywood sheets with a thickness exceeding the thickness of the finishing laminate. The thickness of plywood on the floor under the laminate is recommended to choose in the range from 12 to 15 mm.
Before you start laying it will be useful to check the level of humidity in the room. This can be done by placing a sheet of polyethylene with a size of approximately 1×1 m on the floor. Press the polyethylene firmly against the floor and leave it for three days. If after this time no condensation forms on the inside of the sheet, plywood sheets can be used in such a room.
Begin the process with cutting plywood sheets. They are cut into squares measuring 60×60 cm. Some extreme sheets are customized to fit the room, fill in niches and bypass protruding sections. When laying between the sheets, gaps of 7-10 mm are left, which serve as expansion joints. The distance between the outer sheets and the wall should be between 15 and 20 mm. In order not to confuse the cut sheets of plywood during assembly, it is recommended to number them.
You can fix plywood to the floor with glue, but you can do without it. Using the laying scheme and numbering, the sheets are laid out on a wooden floor in their place and fixed with screws in the corners of a square and along diagonal lines with a step of 15 cm. For fastening it is important to use screws that are three times the thickness of plywood. After final assembly, the sheets of plywood are carefully polished with coarse sandpaper.
Before laying laminate flooring on a wooden floor, you can use the surface leveling method of laying plywood with fastening it on the logs. This method is quite time consuming and expensive. The principle of this method is to install the lag so that their upper faces are in the same plane horizontally. To achieve this position, wedges or wooden blocks are enclosed under the logs. When laying adjustable lags, their position is fixed by means of adjusting screws.
Plywood boards are cut using a circular saw and laid on the logs, while checking the horizontal level of the plane of each sheet. Stacking is done in a staggered order to avoid overlapping seams at one point. The sheets are fastened to the wooden base with self-tapping screws along the perimeter and diagonally in steps of 20 cm. For quick and easy installation, it is recommended to pre-map the attachment points.
Helpful advice! Do not use sheets of plywood with phenol-formaldehyde glue for laying in a residential area. This material has excellent moisture resistance, but can be harmful to human health, being toxic.
After full laying the sheets are polished and treated with an antiseptic solution, and then the laminate is laid on the plywood. On wooden floors so aligned, the flooring will hold firmly and for a long time. The only drawback of laying plywood on logs is that this option is not very suitable for rooms with low ceilings, since their height can be reduced to 8-10 cm. In addition, it may be necessary to trim the door leaf.
Making repairs in the apartment, many are wondering whether it is possible to put laminate on wooden floor covered with fibreboard? Some recommendations indicate that if the boards are laid smoothly and held tightly, they can be used as a base under the laminated floor. However, some experts do not agree with this statement.
The fact is that wood-fiber panels do not have the ability to redistribute the load over a large area, unlike plywood or chipboard sheets. In addition, when sheets of fiberboard are laid, it is not possible to carefully examine the condition of the old wooden floor. How to put the laminate on the base, the elements of which are possibly rotten or worn out? This may lead to the fact that over time, all existing defects appear on the finishing floor covering.
The use of fiberboard, which is based on pressed paper, as the base under the laminated coating, raises great doubts about the durability of the repair. On old floors, under load, there may be a backlash of up to 0.5 mm, which will cause the laminate to loosen. This can lead to the emergence of creaking and breakage of locks. And if you consider that the wooden floor logs can be cracked, the gap can be much larger.
Given that not everyone has the opportunity to dismantle the old wooden floor or sort it out (which is also costly in itself), you can lay the laminate on hardboard. However, the condition must be met that fibreboards are firmly fixed on the wooden floor. And if the base under the laminate is strong, then there is not much difference, which is the basis – chipboard, plywood or fiberboard.
To understand how to properly put laminate on a wooden floor, you must have an idea of the material itself, its classes, the types of substrate used, calculations and installation technologies. This information will help in carrying out work to avoid mistakes that lead to damage, waste of material, and will also contribute to high-quality and durable installation.
The amount of laminate required is calculated based on the area of the room, the coefficient of material consumption and the method of installation. First of all, it is necessary to determine the area of the surface to be coated. The number of square meters of the room is divided by the area of one laminate board. The result is the required number of strips of coverage. Knowing that each pack contains 8 boards, you can easily determine the number of packages.
When buying a material should also consider the coefficient of consumption, which varies from 5 to 14%. One or another coefficient value depends on how the laminate panels fit. If you decide to lay the laminated coating diagonally, the maximum coefficient is assumed. Consequently, there will be more waste material.
Helpful advice! When purchasing laminate, make sure that all packages are in the same lot. The same material from different batches may differ in color.
In addition, it should be noted that in the course of the installation work, the plate lock can be accidentally damaged or the wrong trimming is performed. In this case, it is useful to buy a few boards in stock.
To work with laminate in residential premises, choose a coating with certain technical parameters. Manufacturers are four classes of material, the main indicator of which is wear resistance. The most common slab thickness of 6, 8 and 10 mm. The greater the thickness of the board, the stronger the coating. For household use, the 31 and 32 grade material is quite suitable.
In addition to strength indicators, laminate plates are different locks. There are two types of locks – CLICK and LOCK. The CLICK lock is more common, it holds the seam well and allows roughness of up to 3 mm per linear meter of surface. Panels with the second type of lock are difficult to install, require a perfectly flat base and are used less frequently.
Before you put the laminate on a wooden floor, you should analyze the condition of the existing base. It is necessary to identify all the existing defects: potholes, cracks, holes. Loose boards should be wedged out and secured to glue and screws. Potholes need to be sealed with wedges with glue, and if possible, clean the ventilation holes.
Completely old floor should be disassembled to the support lag. If, during examination, it was found that some elements were rotten, they should be replaced. Leaky on one side of the flooring boards can be turned upside down with the unworn side, and completely rotten ones can be replaced with new ones. Check the slope of the floor is carried out using the construction level and slats.
If a difference in the floor surface of more than 3 mm is found, use the method of spitting. If you do not have a scraper machine, it is always possible to rent it. It is more reliable to level the floor using stacking of chipboard or plywood. In addition to the leveling function, such a coating will provide additional insulation and sound insulation of the floor.
Laying of chipboard plates is made after strengthening all elements of the wooden floor and impregnating the base with an antifungal compound. The plinth is dismantled, and unnecessary items are removed that may interfere with the process. Laying plates is carried out from the corner of the room. From the wall there is a gap of about 10 mm. They have chipboard sheets so that the material joints fall on the lines of the beams.
Plate chipboard is fixed with screws, while you need to try to hats fasteners did not go beyond the surface. The pitch of the self-tapping screws should be about 30 cm. After all chipboard plates have been laid, the joining lines should be puttyed with thin-layer compounds specially designed for working with wood. When the solution dries, the surface of chipboard grind.
The base of freshly chipboard should be thoroughly dried. Ideally, the plates should be kept for about a week, so that the acclimatization takes place and the excess moisture evaporates. If during this time it turns out that some joints have bulged or shifted, they should be cycled, sanded and sanded.
Helpful advice! The technology of leveling the floor of chipboard allows you to prepare for laying a laminated flooring a wooden floor of any quality.
For people who are not engaged in repairs professionally, but are going to lay laminate on their own, a logical question arises about the set of tools for work. Laying laminate on wooden floor will require a tool that must be in the arsenal of each owner:
- building roulette;
- ruler, pencil;
- construction knife;
- hacksaw or jigsaw;
- rubber mallet;
Do not forget about the plinth, for fastening which will have to slightly expand the range of tools. If you intend to install wooden plinths, it will be necessary to the block. In the case of plastic plinths, this fixture will not be needed. You will also need a screwdriver or drill to tighten the screws.
A punch may also be useful for making holes for the baseboards. Not everyone has this power tool, but you can rent it for the duration of the work.
Before you lay the laminate on the wooden floor, it will be correct to lay the surface substrate. This layer allows you to compensate for minor irregularities, to provide moisture and sound insulation of the laminate, as well as the space between the coating and the base. There are many types of substrates, and they differ in composition, properties, cost, appearance, and other features.
The material for the manufacture of substrates can be synthetic (polyethylene foam), natural (cellulose, cork, needles, etc.) and combined. The most budgetary option is foamed polyethylene – lightweight, easy to install, but fragile material that is quickly compressed and does not provide proper moisture exchange. More durable substrate – from polystyrene in the form of slabs 1×1 m, it does not clot and provides high-quality sound insulation. But these types of substrates are more often used when the base is made of concrete.
Before laying the laminate on the wooden floor is recommended to arrange a base layer of natural material. Cork substrate has excellent properties, in combination with laminate it demonstrates excellent heat and noise insulation. Its cost is quite high, but this is offset by the long-term preservation of the wooden base. The thickness of the substrate is selected, focusing on the same parameter of the laminate board.
Helpful advice! You can not use multiple layers of the substrate to align the surface of the base. Uneven floor surface is eliminated in other ways.
For example, a substrate with a thickness of 3 mm is selected for an 8 mm board. With regard to the laying of the material, it should be noted that the strips of the substrate are placed end-to-end without overlaps and stationary attachment to the walls or wooden base. Docking lines are taped along the entire length or in occasional places.
Once all the preparatory work is completed, you can proceed directly to the laying of laminated panels. The process of laying laminate is relatively simple and does not require special knowledge and skills. However, with some of the nuances of installation is still worth reading. Choose the place where the packages with laminate will be located, remove the doors from the hinges, free the room from unnecessary objects.
Before laying the substrate, it is necessary to remove all debris and thoroughly dedust the surface of the substrate. The substrate strips are laid parallel to the future arrangement of the laminate boards. If a single piece of the substrate is not enough, you need to connect several pieces of scotch tape, cutting them with the method of mirror cutting. All connecting lines are also taped.
Leveling a wooden floor using any of the existing methods allows it to be used as a base for laminate. If all the work on the preparation of the surface of the floor is made in compliance with the technical requirements, the floor will last a long time without requiring repair and at the same time maintaining an aesthetic appearance.