Concrete floors have proved to be an attractive option in home design. Dyes, texturing and staining can make concrete mimic anything from ceramic to brick; best of all, it is durable and low maintenance.
Despite its durability, concrete can crack over many years, and replacing a concrete floor can be a major undertaking. Laminating over the top is one solution, although this comes with its pwn challenges.
Preparing the concrete floor
Laminates need to be dry, clean and level. Since concrete is good at absorbing moisture, you should check the humidity of your concrete floor with a moisture meter. If the reading is greater than 4.5 per cent, the concrete may be unsuitable for laminate flooring.
If your floor has passed the humidity test, the next stage is to cover it with a vapour barrier at least 6mm thick. Joins should be overlapped by a few inches and secured with tape.
Lumps and dips in the concrete can cause laminate coverings to come apart, so it is important that these are repaired. Cracks in concrete can be filled with patch, while dips should be evened out with self-levelling concrete and bumps can be sanded down using a grinder. Where the general condition of the concrete floor is very poor, it is better to apply a grinder with a concrete scraper to the full surface and then apply a fresh layer of self-levelling concrete. Once the floor has been levelled, allow a few days for patch or self-levelling concrete to cure before testing for humidity again.
Choosing your laminate floor
Whether you use a glue-down option depends very much on the concrete. It is here that specialist advice may be useful, especially if you are considering laminating concrete stairs. To prepare it for adhesive, the concrete must be cleaned with a good masonry floor cleaner.
Another consideration when choosing your floor is that concrete, of course, is very hard; therefore, your laminate floor will feel much more comfortable to walk on if you add a layer of padding underneath. A choice of underlays and padding is available from online flooring outlets such as https://www.woodfloorwarehouse.co.uk/laminate-flooring.html.
Once your concrete has been prepared, you have as much freedom with the choice of your laminate floor as with any other sub-floor type, enabling you to transform your space into something special.