Hardwood is a consistently reliable choice for flooring material. It is attractive, sturdy, and if well-installed, long-lasting. Still, in some cases you may already have a flooring material down, and have questions about the process of installing hardwood over it.
If a room in your home has laminate flooring, you may be interested to install hardwood in its place. After all, hardwood is generally considered more attractive than laminate flooring. In such cases, the best choice is often simply to install hardwood over laminate. Read on to better understand the process.
Is Installing Hardwood Over Laminate Flooring the Best Way to Proceed?
Before getting into the details, it is worth asking whether installing hardwood on top of laminate flooring is the only method for completing the project. After all, you may be tempted to pull up your laminate flooring and simply install hardwood in its place.
Fortunately, this is not really necessary. So long as your laminate flooring is clean and level, installing hardwood on top of it is typically the fastest, and most affordable, means of installation.
Installing Hardwood Over Laminate Flooring
The following steps outline the general process for installing a hardwood floor over laminate flooring. While this job can sometimes be completed by homeowners, for best results, it is ideal to call a flooring professional.
Clean and Clear the Laminate Flooring
To properly install hardwood over laminate, the laminate flooring must be clean, clear, and leveled. First, carefully clean the laminate flooring, ideally by both vacuuming and sweeping. Ensure there are no major objects on the floor — like paint chips or nails — and that you remove as much dust and other debris as possible.
Next, ensure the floor is level. Check carefully, and use a levelling compound or sander as needed to level the floor.
Install the Underlayment
It is important to put a layer of underlayment between your laminate flooring and new hardwood boards. This will both help cushion the hardwood, and even more importantly, prevent moisture from saturating the hardwood boards from below.
There are several materials that can work as underlayment, but ideal choices include foam, cork, and plastic (with plastic being the cheapest). To apply underlayment, roll it out in sections as needed to cover the entire floor, cutting it off at the ends as necessary. Once the floor is covered, use tape or another adhesive to keep the pieces of underlayment together.
(Note: your laminate flooring may already have underlayment beneath. While a barrier between the laminate and hardwood is still essential — to prevent moisture from reaching the hardwood — your floor may have sufficient "give" and support from underlayment beneath the laminate.)
Install the Hardwood Boards
Once the underlayment is in place, you can begin to install the hardwood boards. This process will depend on the particular kind of hardwood you have purchased. The easiest option tends to be hardwood boards that lock into place, thus allowing your hardwood floor to essentially "float" on top of the underlayment. However, some hardwood floors may need to be secured to the underlayment.
Add Finishing Touches
Once your hardwood is down, ensure the floor is level and properly secured. Do any final cleanup — including removing debris wherever necessary and re-installing baseboards, if needed.
Install Your Hardwood Floors With a Professional
Installing hardwood over laminate flooring can sometimes be tricky. Hiring a professional can ensure the job is done right and lasts as long as possible.
Blue Ridge Floors has extensive experience installing hardwood floors, and can ensure that your new floor is put over laminate the right way, ensuring it will last.
For more information or to request a free quote, visit Blue Ridge Floors online or call 1-800-690-1779.