Many homeowners are disappointed to find out that solid hardwood flooring cannot be installed on a concrete slab. Well, at least there are some options. Floating floors are a great alternative to hardwood floors and can even be beneficial at some levels.

Not only can laminate flooring be installed on a concrete slab, but you can also do it yourself and achieve a result that lives up to expectations. All you have to do to give your basement a fresh look with floating flooring is to follow a specific procedure.

Step 1: Prepare the concrete slab for the floating floor installation

Before installing the floating floor, it is important to prepare the surface it will be installed on.

Remove the baseboards

First, you will have to remove the baseboards. The key to removing baseboards without damaging them is using the right tools: a hammer and a crowbar.

Level the ground

Next, it is recommended to level the concrete slab, so that the floor can be placed on an even surface. You can use some blended cement available at hardware stores to fill the lower parts of the slab, while a concrete grinder can be used to remove dents. Ideally, there should be no more than 3/16 inch (about 5 mm) variation every 10 feet (about 3 m).

Install a moisture barrier

Placing a vapour barrier and a foam subfloor on the concrete slab is also recommended since it will prevent future moisture accumulation.

Step 2: Floating floor installation

First and foremost, it is recommended to put the laminate flooring in the room where it will be installed. This will allow the floating floor to react to the ambient temperature and humidity.

Install the first rows of laminate flooring

Once the floor has acclimatized to the ambient conditions of the basement being renovated, use a table saw to cut the tongue of the first row of laminate flooring. Then, place the first row of flooring with the tongue on the wall side, making sure to keep an expansion joint (according to the manufacturer’s instructions).

Cut out the boards and assemble them

Next, cut out the first three rows of laminate and slide them near the wall. Cut each end with a miter saw or circular saw. Cut the laminate with the back of the board facing the saw. This will help prevent chipping. Alternate the joints at least 12 inches apart. Join the tongue and groove parts by inserting the tongue into the angled groove. When you cannot insert the tongue at an angle, use a tapping block and a hammer to place it correctly.

Put the finishing touches on it

Continue laying the floor until you are on the last row of the room. Use a jigsaw to make the necessary cuts to fit shapes such as heating vents.

To install the last row, measure the distance between the wall and the last row of laminate installed. Subtract the expansion joint width from this measurement and you will get the board width you need. Use a table saw to cut the final board to the desired size. Finally, install the transition strips and replace the baseboards.

For professional advice or help installing a floating floor, contact Excellence Construction

This sums up the procedure for installing a floating floor in your basement. Of course, if this is the first time you’ve tried it, give yourself time!

That said, if you’re in a hurry and want professional-quality results, don’t hesitate to contact Excellence Construction. Our team of experts will deliver a laminate floor that meets your expectations.