The ‘Can-I-Install-Laminate-Flooring-Over-This?’ Guide

The ‘Can-I-Install-Laminate-Flooring-Over-This?’ Guide

We’ve listed alphabetically all of the flooring types available so that you can easily determine whether you can install laminate over that specific flooring type. Remember that laminate flooring, like American Concepts, is a floating floor; it will expand and contract as temperature and other conditions change. This means that the choice of subfloor, i.e., what you install laminate over, needs to provide the right support and meets the specifications listed above. Bamboo: Not recommended. Brick: No. Even with a brick floor in excellent condition, there is the potential for too much surface deviance that could stress the laminate-flooring locking system. And if the floor is below grade, moisture migration will be too difficult to control. Carpeting, tufted: No. Carpet, its padding, and all its staples must be completely removed — down to the subfloor — before you install laminate flooring. Carpeting, commercial or needle-bond: No. Some types and styles of commercial or “indoor/outdoor” carpeting may look harmless, but it and any adhesive used to glue it down must be removed before installing a laminate floor. Carpet tiles: No. Everything has to go. Only the subfloor may remain when you install laminate. Ceramic tiles: Yes. Again, provided the surface of the floor is flat and level (per our laminate subfloor specifications) and the condition of the floor is good. The tiles themselves must be smooth. You must use padding. Check for cracked or loose tiles and grout — these could be signs of a poor floor condition caused by settling that could cause problems for your laminate floor. Concrete slab (above grade): Yes. An above-grade concrete floor will most likely... Read More
How to Measure for Laminate Flooring in Three Steps

How to Measure for Laminate Flooring in Three Steps

Determining how much laminate flooring you need to buy is relatively simple, but it pays to measure properly. Follow these basic steps and then take advantage of the Flooring Calculator to make sure you order the right amount.Step 1.Figure out the square footage of each room in which you want to install laminate-wood floors. To do so, use a tape measure to determine the room’s length and width. Then multiply the length by the width to get your square footage. For instance, if the room is 12 feet wide and 12 feet long, you will need enough flooring for 144 square feet (12×12=144).Step 2.Add 10% to the square footage to accommodate cuts and waste. (If you’re choosing a tile pattern, add 20%). This is important because the cuts in the flooring need to be staggered. And you’ll want pieces left over just in case you need to mend or replace a board. So that’s 144 feet plus 10%, or 14 feet, for 158 square feet.Step 3.Check with a retailer to get your order just right; we recommend going through an authorized Swiss Krono Flooring dealer. Your measurements will certainly give you a good ballpark estimate when you multiply your square-foot needs by the retailer’s price per square foot. But little things can make a difference in the actual calculation. For instance, for installation in rooms larger than 40 feet long or 25 feet wide, a transition piece will be required. A professional will help make sure you have all the accessories you’ll need, from transition strips to underlayment to floor molding.Want to learn more about installing laminate flooring? Visit... Read More
Acclimating: Why It’s Essential to Wait 48 Hours

Acclimating: Why It’s Essential to Wait 48 Hours

A word of caution: Never install your new laminate floor as soon as the cartons arrive at your home. Any new laminate floor, like American Concepts, needs to sit in your house for at least 48 hours in the room it will be installed in order to acclimate or to become accustomed to a new climate or conditions.For example, if you live in the desert Southwest, where it’s very dry, and decided to take a vacation exploring the rain forest in Brazil, where’s it’s intensely humid, it might take you a few days to get used to – or get acclimated to – your new environment.Your new laminate flooring is no different. Its home environment — where it was made — is likely to be quite different from where it will be installed — your home — in terms of humidity levels and temperature. And there’s also extremes the flooring is exposed to during shipping and storage in a store or warehouse.Therefore, laminate flooring needs a little time to get acclimated. Why does laminate flooring need to be acclimated? All laminate flooring has a fiberboard core. In the case of Swiss Krono and its American Concepts line, it’s a high-density fiberboard (HDF) core.All wood, including HDF, is porous on a microscopic level, even though it may look quite solid. These tiny openings allow air inside the core, carrying with it whatever humidity there may be. The more humid the air, the more likelihood that planks will swell; the less humid the air, the more likelihood the planks will shrink. While this swelling or shrinking may be very slight, it could... Read More
Why You Should Put Underlayment Under Your Floor

Why You Should Put Underlayment Under Your Floor

We can admire the beauty, the texture, the luster and the faithful reproduction of natural wood or stone because we can see it. But what you can’t see – the floor’s underlayment – is just as important and deserves just as much attention.What is laminate flooring underlayment?Underlayment, or “padding” as it’s often called, is the spongy, closed-cell plastic foam sheet that comes in rolls. It is rolled out between the actual laminate flooring planks and the subfloor.Very often, particularly in a below-grade installation on a concrete basement floor, a vapor barrier is recommended in addition to the underlayment. That vapor barrier would go between the subfloor and the underlayment. “Combination underlayments,” as described on learn.builddirect.com, include an attached vapor barrier. Some laminate flooring planks come with the underlayment attached to each plank. Underlayment is not optional. If your laminate planks don’t have it already attached, we recommend that you buy rolls of underlayment on which to install your laminate floor.Is laminate flooring underlayment important?Its importance can’t be overstated. INSTALLFloors.org says, “Underlayment and subfloors are, arguably, the most important aspect of any flooring project in both residential and commercial settings. Proper selection and installation of underlayments and subfloors is crucial to the proper wear and stability of any flooring.”How does laminate flooring underlayment work?Underlayment does two things that are critical to a successful laminate flooring installation:1. Underlayment takes out any minor deviations in the subfloor.2. Underlayment delivers superior acoustical performance.If your laminate flooring planks already have an underlayment pad attached do not use additional underlayment because doing so will void your Swiss Krono warranty.What sizes do laminate flooring underlayments come... Read More

Why Leveling Matters Before Installing Laminate Floors

Laminate floors are “floating” floors, and as such, are not fastened to the subfloor. That actually makes the condition of the subfloor more critical to the success of your installation. Left unleveled, a subfloor that isn’t smooth and flat could cause your laminate flooring planks to squeak or separate.When you check how level your subfloor is, you’re looking for a peak or valley more than 1/8 of an inch within 40 inches of grade. These subtle differences can sometimes be hard to spot just by looking. Here’s our favorite way to determine whether the subfloor is level, and what to do if it isn’t level.1. Take any laminate plank and lay it on its end, dragging it across the subfloor. As you find a low spot, mark it with a green marker; find a high spot, mark it with a red marker.2. Once you’ve determined the low and the high spots, you’ll want to even out those differences. We recommend using a Portland-based leveler or leveling compound to fill in and grind down the peaks. Allow the leveler to dry overnight before beginning installation.As with any product, always read the complete leveling compound instructions first.The goal while thinking about leveling the subfloor is to have a clean, smooth and level surface upon which to install Swiss Krono laminate flooring. Remember, laminate flooring with attached underlayment padding can accept a deviance of 1/8 of an inch over 40 inches. Any low spots of 3/16 of an inch or greater must be filled in with leveling... Read More
It’s Easy to Install Laminate Flooring With Basic Skills

It’s Easy to Install Laminate Flooring With Basic Skills

Laminate flooring has a reputation for being easy to install. Really?Well, that all depends on what level of experience you have. These guidelines will help you assess what skills you need to properly install laminate flooring and determine how easy your particular project is if you plan on “doing it yourself.” Remember, everyone is different – and these are just guidelines. Beginner This level requires only hands and eyes, some knee pads, safety goggles, a dust mask and some hand tools.What can you do at this level? Plenty! Move furniture and remove the old flooring Remove the tack strips (if the room was carpeted) Conduct a simple test for moisture in concrete subfloor with a mat test Purchase and load the laminate flooring Arrange and acclimate the planks Read the installation instructions Inspect the condition of the laminate planks Roll out, cut and install the laminate flooring underlayment Lay out the planks and engage the locking system to install Measure, mark and cut planks Apply and clean up glue if needed Apply silicone sealant, especially in areas where moisture may be more likely (where sinks, toilets, bath tubs, refrigerators and washing machines will sit; in front of entrances from outside; etc.) Take care of and maintain your beautiful laminate floor Advanced Beginner With a little simple carpentry work under your belt, and a scroll or hand saw in their tool box, most advanced beginners also can do the following: Make subfloor corrections (leveling out the subfloor with a leveling compound) Under-cut a door casing (read”How to Install Laminate Flooring Under a Door Jamb” and watch our video) Build a... Read More

Tools and Accessories You’ll Need to Install Your Floor

Use this checklist to get ready before you start your laminate flooring project. Make sure you have everything on hand so that everything goes smoothly. And don’t forget: Read the installation instructions that come with your Swiss Krono laminate floor thoroughly before starting and properly acclimate your laminate flooring for at least 48 hours in the space where it will be installed.These are tools we recommend: Moisture-test kit 6-mil polyethylene film (when installing over concrete) Underlayment pad Laminate glue (if installing in a bathroom or within 5 feet of a sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, pool entrance or mud room) Hammer Tapping block Spacers Door jam/undercut saw Fine-tooth jig saw, high-tooth or -count circular saw Pull bar Sharp chisel Tape measure Pencil Carpenter level Felt floor protectors Safety glasses Dust mask Filler repair putty These are accessories we recommend for installing laminate flooring: Installation kit for laminate flooring Specialized premium tools for installing wood and laminate floors. May include an adjustable heavy-gauge pull bar, expansion spacers and a heavy-duty tapping block. For more insights into pads, installation, and other related topics, check out these links on the Swiss Krono website: The Importance of Underlayment for Laminate Flooring The “Can-I-Install-Laminate-Over-This?” Guide In the Swiss Krono FAQ, you’ll find the following resources: Sound Quality Underlayment How To Install Laminate on... Read More
Be Sure Your Floor and Subfloor Meet Specifications

Be Sure Your Floor and Subfloor Meet Specifications

Regardless of whether a type of floor can be covered over, Swiss Krono always recommends that if you can remove the old floor, do it. It lessens the risk for problems down the road.We require a clean, dry, flat, level subfloor so our laminate flooring product performs best. All subfloors (and floors you can cover over) must meet these specifications: Clean, smooth, dry and debris-free Must be level within a surface deviance of no more than 1/8 inch over 40 inches. Any low spots must be filled in with a leveling compound. The area must be covered with an underlayment padding unless planks already have pad attached. This is not optional. Must use a 6-mil vapor barrier below the underlayment padding if installing on a concrete subfloor. Always follow local ordinances and building codes before replacing or covering over any flooring. Check with your trash pickup service before disposing of old flooring for the correct way in your area. Be responsible! Always follow installation instructions and wear proper safety gear (eye protection and dust... Read More