Laminate floor tiles can be quite a bit easier to handle than regular hardwood flooring. They provide an option for areas where hardwood isn’t appropriate, as well, such as in kitchens and bathrooms. The ease of installation and handling with laminate flooring is part of the sales appeal of this product. Most people will have no trouble installing laminate tile, even if they’re not particularly handy. Laminate floor tiles do require some work, however, and you’ll have to plan ahead and do some creative cutting on some parts of the floor to get the fit just right.
Handling the Laminate Tile
Laminate tiles, just like hardwood, have to be acclimated to the home they’re going to be installed in. This is accomplished by letting them sit in the home for a while. Some laminate tiles will acclimate rather quickly, but you should give them at least 72 hours, just to be sure they’re ready to install. The tiles may shrink or expand a bit if you install them before they’re adjusted to the interior environment in your home. Check with your manufacturer to see how to do this part of the setup correctly, you’ll be glad you did when your floor tile is laid down straight and true.
Laminate Tiles Along the Wall
You may want to get plastic spacers to go along the wall and the edge of your laminate floor tiles. These spacers allow your laminate tiles room to expand and contract a bit at the margins, which is as inevitable as it is with wood floors. Most of the good laminate tile flooring out there makes use of interlocking edges that allow you to basically click one tile into place by locking it to the next. Laying your floor will consist largely of locking the planks into each other and will go much faster than you probably believe.
Getting Around Obstacles
Laminate flooring tiles can be cut and trimmed as needed. The most popular gauge for these tiles is 8mm, which is easy to work with but which is also thick enough to hold its shape and to provide a firm material when you’re making cuts into it. You can use a utility knife on most tiles, though some has to be cut with a saw, just as would be the case if you were working with wood.
When you get to areas where the laminate tiles won’t quite lock into place properly — such as under cabinets — you may want to use a bit of glue to hold the flooring tiles down firmly. This is optional, but it provides a better lock at the joint under these obstacles.
You can get laminate tiles that look like stone, wood, as well as a host of other designs. Depending upon your décor, you may find some products are more suitable than others. The end result, however, is that laminate floors allow you to get the look of any material you would make a tile floor out of, from wood to ceramic tiles. Plus, you can install the tiles in just about any room, eliminating one of the major inconveniences of wood flooring.