Laminate flooring is a great option for the home. It provides beauty at an affordable price. If you have a concrete subfloor, however, can you install laminate over it?
It is possible to install laminate flooring directly over concrete. As a general recommendation, however, you should be using underlayment and in many cases, an additional vapor barrier when you have a concrete subfloor.
As is the case with many home DIY projects, there are decisions to be made when installing laminate flooring. This is especially true if you have a concrete subfloor because you don’t want to ruin your floor or have it damaged after the installation.
Can You Install Laminate Over Concrete? (How To)
Since laminate flooring can essentially be installed on any flat surface that is free of defects, concrete would make an obvious good choice for installation. That being said, the recommendation of using a vapor barrier is important because of the possibility of moisture. In addition, the underlayment will make the flooring quieter and more comfortable under your feet.
One important factor to consider when installing a laminate floor or doing any DIY project is your personal safety. There are a few things to consider in this regard for the installation of laminate floors.
Safety Glasses – You really can’t underestimate the benefit of wearing quality safety glasses. Make sure that they are rated as safety glasses because prescription glasses will not protect your eyes.
Gloves – A good pair of all-purpose gloves will work well for installing a laminate floor. It gives you the use of your hands while at the same time, protecting them.
Respirator – When cutting the laminate floor, you should be wearing a disposable particulate respirator, such as an N95 mask.
Kneepads – It doesn’t take long to damage your knees and a nice pair of kneepads will help you to work on the floor without getting uncomfortable in the process.
Let’s take a look at some of the considerations for installing laminate over concrete. When you take the right precautions, you will find that you have a floor that lasts for many years.
What Tools Do You Need To Install Laminate Over Concrete?
When preparing to install laminate over concrete, it’s a good idea to get all of your tools in one place. In that way, you will be able to start the job and see it through to completion.
Here are the tools needed for installing laminate over concrete:
chop saw (optional)
circular saw (optional)
vinyl (laminate) floor cutter (optional)
drill with bits
five in one tool
You may notice that I have a number of optional saws listed. Typically, you would only need one saw and if you are cutting in the same room, I would recommend using the jigsaw.
If you can set up a station elsewhere, you may want to have a chop saw because it can cut the laminate easily and quickly. It makes a lot of dust, so you should not cut with a chop saw in the same room where you are installing the floor.
What Preparation Do You Need To Install Laminate Over Concrete?
There are a number of things to do when preparing for installing laminate over concrete. These are steps that should not be skipped because they can affect the quality of the installation.
A key factor for installing laminate over concrete or over any other subfloor is to allow the laminate to acclimate. This would require that you put the boxes of laminate flooring in the room for anywhere from 48-72 hours.
We will discuss the acclamation of laminate flooring more in this section. We will also discuss some other important factors for preparing to install laminate over concrete.
1. Overage – When purchasing floorboards, always buy at least 10% more than you need. The overage will ensure that you have enough despite waste and you will have some leftover in case repairs are necessary at some point in the future.
2. Curing – If the concrete floor has been recently poured, you should wait a minimum of 90 days before you install laminate over it. Newly poured concrete has an excess of moisture that evaporates over time. If you install laminate too soon over new concrete, the extra moisture will cause it to buckle.
3. Acclimate – as a general rule, you should acclimate the flooring for anywhere between 48-72 hours. There may be specific instructions on the boxes for the flooring you are using.
Do not open the boxes but keep them intact. Put them in the middle of the room, not stacking them so air is able to access as much of the boxes as possible.
If you don’t acclimate the laminate, it will shrink or expand after the installation, causing buckling, separation, and many other problems.
How To Install Laminate Over Concrete
Do you have the area prepped and ready for the installation of laminate? Here’s how to install it over concrete successfully.
1. Baseboard Removal – Remove the baseboard and any other obstacle that would keep you from installing the laminate without let up. Since the laminate will be installed under the new baseboard and it will likely be at a new elevation, you should remove them first and then reinstall them after the floor is down.
2. Clean – You really can’t underestimate the need to have a clean floor before you install the new laminate. Sweep the floor, vacuum it with a shop vac and then sweep it again. Make sure you check the floor thoroughly for any nails or other defects because they will show through the laminate and ruin it.
3. Underlayment – Use a high-quality vapor barrier and underlayment on top of the concrete. You can purchase a commercial underlayment for laminate floors but corkboard is the best choice. It will provide you with a soft, yet solid underlayment that will reduce noise and keep the floor slightly soft under your feet.
4. First Row – Install the first row of the laminate floor. Make sure that you are choosing the pieces of laminate carefully so you don’t have a noticeable pattern.
5. Install the Field – Continue to install the laminate floor from the first row to the other side of the room. Work an entire row at a time, being careful to cut the ends at random links so you don’t have a noticeable pattern in the joints. Make sure each row is tight before moving on to the next.
6. Final Row – The final row is the most difficult row of laminate to install. You will likely have to rip the laminate floor to size. Be sure you don’t install the laminate tight against the wall, as it could buckle as the floor expands and contracts. Make sure you have a tight joint before proceeding.
7. Baseboards – Reinstall the baseboards over top of the laminate floor. You can put the baseboard directly against the laminate floor but don’t have it so tight that you keep the floor from naturally moving as it expands and contracts.
Can You Also Put Laminate Over Concrete Stairs?
If you have concrete stairs, is laminate a good choice? What can you do to make the installation successful?
Covering stairs made of concrete with laminate flooring is very similar to covering any concrete surface with laminate flooring. As long as you prepare the surface properly by using a vapor barrier and underlayment, you can install a laminate floor and enjoy the beauty of your staircase.
There are some specific things that need to be considered. For example, you should always install the laminate flooring with the run of the stair and not the rise.
Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on August 21, 2022.
Additionally, there are nosing pieces that are typically made by most laminate flooring manufacturers. These can fit on the front edge of the tread, allowing you to finish off the edge and leave behind a beautiful-looking end result.
Can You Also Put Laminate Over Cement Board?
Are you considering putting down Hardy cement board before installing a laminate floor? What needs to be considered?
Hardy cement board is not a strong structural option for installation under a laminate floor. It can be done, but it is not the best choice possible. If you are installing the cement board because of moisture, you can put laminate flooring over it but make sure you use a vapor barrier.
Cement board is not as structurally strong as other types of subfloor, such as plywood or a concrete slab. It does have some advantages, however, such as being stiff so that certain types of floor don’t crack. It will help to keep the laminate floor from shifting.
As long as you install the Hardy board and attach it down solidly, there is no reason you can’t install laminate flooring over it. It is better if you use another type of subfloor, but the option is there if you absolutely need it.
Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on August 21, 2022.
You can install laminate flooring successfully over concrete. In fact, concrete is an excellent subfloor. As long as the concrete is sound and free of major defects, you can put down a vapor barrier and some underlayment before installing the laminate. You will have a floor that is both beautiful and solid.
ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on August 21, 2022.