Is it possible to lay laminate flooring without screed and leveling the floors, on an old substrate, using a minimum of tools and maximum enthusiasm? You will learn about this from our master class with detailed step-by-step photo instructions and a description of each stage.
Laminated MDF panels are one of the most popular and technologically advanced floor finishing materials. The huge price range makes it in demand for any repair budget, and the ease of installation will allow you to apply it yourself, without resorting to the help of highly qualified specialists.
This finishing material requires only one condition – the absence of bends, curvatures and “steps” more than 3 mm. Budget panels (6–8 mm) are self-supporting, so they need the smoothest possible surface. Thicker (respectively, more expensive) panels “swallow” irregularities.
Attention! Level differences in the plane, “humps” are an unacceptable factor for laminate flooring. Gaps in the tongue-and-groove system may form, which will eventually lead to soaking (deterioration) of the material. Also, significant violations of the geometry of the floor or curvature of the base of the walls are unacceptable..
What you need. Room preparation (surface)
In our case, the basis for the new finish is an old, but solid and even, plank floor. Having checked the plane using the rule for the absence of steps, dips and humps, carefully dedust the surface. The main “enemy” is large rubbish: pebbles, chips. We clean off the “lambs” of the petrified old paint. Gaps up to 5 mm do not need to be filled.
- Saw with fine teeth (for laminate). Ideally – a jigsaw with an appropriate file and a plastic “safety cover”.
- Screwdriver with PH-2 bit.
- Miter box, retractable knife, tape, square, rule, ruler, tape measure, marker.
- Substrate (polyurethane foam) 5 mm.
- Laminated MDF panels 6 mm.
- Skirting board with fittings.
- Self-tapping screws. If the walls are stone, then with dowels and an impact drill.
Lay the substrate on the prepared surface of the base.
Since our floor is old and has deformations, we use a 5 mm thick underlay. We glue the joints with ordinary tape. You can fix it in places with a stapler (but not with nails or self-tapping screws!). In the case of a smoother and smoother substrate, a thinner substrate can be used..
Even if the geometry of the floor is somewhat disturbed, the first row should be laid parallel to the wall (keeping a gap of 3-5 mm from the wall). There should be no slots at the transverse joints.
Trimming on corners and overhangs. The markup is done as follows. Alternately applying the panel to one and the other side of the rectangular protrusion, mark its borders and draw lines under the square.
Cut out the excess part of the panel with a saw.
And we install the element in the design position.
A jigsaw is needed in case of complex protrusions, risers, channels.
Laying the second and subsequent rows. To do this, you need a trim panel with a lock on the left side. The panels have a tongue-and-groove system on four sides, resulting in a continuous smooth surface. Laying is usually done from left to right.
First, we connect the longitudinal locks of the panels, put the panel on the floor. Then we attach the trim to the right side (we connect the factory locks). Gently hammer the edge against the wall (3-5 mm gap). Adjust the rest of the panels in the same way until the transverse locks are tightly closed. We cut the last one, having previously measured it and maintaining a gap from the wall. Pressing a pry bar.
Thus, we fill the entire surface of the floor, trimming the edges near the walls if necessary.
Observe the gap between the seams (transverse joints should not coincide).
The last row is the most time consuming section. Even if the geometry of the floor is normal, it is almost always necessary to trim panels lengthwise. For this, all means are good, even a Bulgarian.
Attention! Consider the size of the lock when marking the trim panels.
Skirting board installation. We recommend choosing a skirting board with a cable channel. It will hide the heads of the screws. Cutting to size with a miter box, we mount the plinth and plugs.
Calculation of the cost of floor repair for a room 4×5 m, area 20 m2, perimeter 18 m:
Name Unit rev. Qty Unit price, rub. Cost, rub. 5 mm polyurethane foam backing sq. m 20 45 900 Panels laminated MDF (6 mm) sq. m 20 300 6000 Skirting board with fittings run. m 18 50 900 Total material 7800 Job 3000 Total material + work 10800
This is the final result. Just a few hours “without noise and dust” turned the old ugly floor into a new attractive interior element.