GENERAL INSTALLATION GUIDELINES FOR LAMINATE FLOORING
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GENERAL INSTALLATION GUIDELINES
Mannington Laminate Floors
Mannington Laminate Floors provides a full line of laminate flooring products in various styles, decors, and product constructions. The information contained in this chapter is relevant and pertinent to all Mannington Laminate Flooring products. A thorough understanding and careful consideration of these installation guidelines will contribute to a successful installation.
Storage & Handling
NOTE: Open cartons just prior to installation.
When storing pallets, do not stack them more than three high and make certain they are protected from forklift trucks or other traffic. Also, during storage, carefully protect package corners and lay boxes horizontally. The storage area must be climate-controlled with a temperature range between 65ºF and 100ºF (18ºC and 32ºC) and a relative humidity in the 40% to 65% range.
Flooring products can be heavy and bulky. Be good to yourself and always use proper lifting techniques when handling these products. Whenever possible make use of material-handling equipment such as dollies or material carts. Never lift more than you can safely handle; get assistance. Flooring products can be damaged by rough handling before installation. Exercise care when handling and transporting these products.
Before starting the job, always check the flooring materials to ensure they are the correct pattern, style, and color. Also make sure that the size and amount of the products are sufficient to complete the installation. Inspect the materials closely before installation for any visible defects. Mannington Flooring products are manufactured to high-quality standards and are carefully inspected before leaving our facility. Occasionally, however, defects are not detected. If you notice a visible defect in the flooring product, stop the installation and contact your local Mannington Distributor for assistance.
Always handle cartons carefully so you will not damage the product inside. Always store flooring horizontally in the original, unopened package. Do not puncture packaging. Cartons should not be opened until time of installation. Even if packaging is opened a few days before installation, atmospheric conditions may permanently alter the product thus making it more difficult to install.
Wipe planks with a soft cloth and thoroughly inspect before installation. Mannington laminate Floors does not cover claims for repair labor or replacement when a plank with visual
defects has been permanently installed.
Although not required for glueless laminate, for best results condition the unopened cartons in the area where the floor will be installed for approximately 48 hours. Jobsite temperature should be 65°F or higher and the relative humidity should not exceed 65%.
If the jobsite is more than 900 sq ft, or has a plank length or width of more than 30', additional expansion joints will be required. Mannington T-Moldings should be used.
As with all flooring installations, the site must be climate-controlled. The temperature should be at least 65°F and the relative humidity should not exceed 65%. It is particularly important to maintain these temperature and humidity requirements for at least 48 hours before, during, and after installation. Further more, these conditions must be maintained for the life of the laminate floor product.
Never install Mannington Laminate Floors in high-humidity areas where the floor is usually wet (steam rooms, saunas).
The structural integrity of the jobsite is critical for a satisfactory flooring installation. The type and method of construction, grade level, and flooring system components all impact the installation of flooring products. Many times local building codes establish only minimum requirements for flooring systems. These minimum requirements may not provide sufficient rigidity for successful
installation and continued performance of flooring products. Hardwood, laminate, and porcelain flooring products require that the subfloor system is free of deflection.
Structural flooring systems are either constructed of concrete (or cement-like materials) or wood. The following description of each of these structural flooring constructions should provide flooring installers with enough information to make intelligent decisions regarding the suitability of these systems with flooring installation. For more comprehensive information, contact the manufacturer of the particular flooring system. The American Concrete Institute (Ml, 248-848-3700) and the American Plywood Association (WA, 253-565-6600) can provide details for their respective products.
Subfloor/Underfloor Recommendations & Requirements
As the installer, you must judge whether the subfloor meets the following requirements.
The subfloor must be structurally sound, clean, dry smooth, and free of any defects such as loose boards and squeaks due to improper installation of plywood or joists.
Subfloor variations should not exceed 1/8" in 6' (3.18 mm in 1.8 m). Use a 6' level
or straightedge to check for variation. All high spots must be sanded or ground.
Fill low spots, cracks, and depressions with Mannington MVP 2023 or equivalent.
Mannington Laminate Flooring may be installed over radiant-healed subfloors provided the surface temperature of the system does not exceed 90°F. Before installing Mannington Laminate Flooring over newly constructed radiant-heating systems, operate the system at maximum capacity to force any residual moisture from the cementitious topping of the radiant heating system. Then set the thermostat to a comfortable room temperature for the installation.
Concrete floors must be fully cured, dry and smooth.
You may install Mannington Laminate Floors over existing resilient floor coverings, wood flooring, and ceramic tile (grout joints must be leveled). Do not install Mannington Laminate Floors over carpet. Remove all carpet before proceeding with a Mannington Laminate Floors installation and examine the subfloor underneath. Make any repairs to the subfloor, if necessary, prior to installation.
AquaBarrier™II Underlayment must be used over the entire installation area when installing over below or on-grade concrete subfloors. AquaBarrier II Underlayment combines an underlayment cushion with a moisture barrier film in one sheet. This saves time during installation because there is only one sheet to install, not two.
Wood Underlayment Panels
When installing a laminate floor over a wood subfloor system, it is recommended to first install wood panel or composition panel underlayment sheets to provide a smooth, clean surface. Install underlayment panels just before the installation of the finished flooring and protect them from construction traffic or other potential damage or staining. As with most other construction materials, condition the underlayment panels to the environment in which you will be installing them. If panels are not conditioned, it could result in "telegraphing" of the subfloor seams.
When selecting underlayment panels, be certain they are specifically designed for this purpose. These panels should have a minimum thickness of 1/4".
Any panels selected for use as underlayment must meet the following criteria:
Possess dimensional stability.
Provide a smooth, fully sanded face so graining or texturing will not show through.
Offer resistance to both static and impact indentation.
Be free of any surface components that may cause staining such as plastic fillers, marking inks, sealers, etc.
Offer uniform density, porosity, and thickness.
Provide a written warranty for suitability and performance from the panel manufacturer or a history of proven performance.
The APA establishes manufacturing and performance standards, as well as grade designations, for veneered plywood, composite panels, or non-veneered panels. APA grade-designated underlayments all meet the previously mentioned criteria. APA plywood grades suitable for areas to be covered with resilient floor coverings are:
APA C-C Plugged EXT
Veneer-faced Sturd-I-Floor with "sanded face"
Marine EXT or sanded plywood grades marked "Plugged crossbands under face," "Plugged crossbands (or core)," "Plugged innerplies," or "Meets Underlayment Requirements."
Underlayment panels of lauan plywood have an established history of proven performance but they do not typically carry a manufacturer's written warranty. If lauan is selected as an underlayment it should meet these specifications:
Type 1 (EXT) Exterior - indicates the panel has an exterior or fully waterproof glue bond. This may also be designated by the letter "P".
Acceptable face grades are OVL, CC, and BB - the minimum acceptable grade is OVL (Overlay grade).
Acceptable minimum thickness is 5.2 mm.
Field testing has proved that Type 2 (lNT) lauan panels will cause installation problems. The variable porosity and moisture sensitivity of the planks may cause adhesive bond failure, panel edge swelling, and/or panel delamination.
CAUTION: It has been reported that certain panels manufactured in South America, which are similar in appearance to lauan, contain substances that may cause staining. If the source and grade of the panel is not known, do not use it as underlayment for resilient flooring products.
Other Underlayment Panels
Several composite panel manufacturers have indicated that composite panels are suitable for use as an underlayment for resilient flooring installations. These panels may be constructed of wood chips, pressed board, cementitious, or gypsum-based compounds. Mannington's position regarding these types of panels, and any other type of panel, is that their suitability and performance characteristics must be warranted by the panel manufacturer.
NOTE: Any appearance- or performance-related complaints appearing after the installation of the resilient flooring, but attributable to the underlayment, are the responsibility of the panel manufacturer or panel installer.
We strongly suggest you obtain, read, and understand the warranties offered for any underlayment panel. Ask pertinent questions of the panel manufacturer or supplier regarding suitability for intended use, structural requirements of the subfloor, or any limitations of the panel regarding specific types of resilient products before starting the actual installation.
Lightweight Concrete Over Wood Subfloor Systems
The APA Design and Construction Guide specifies construction requirements for this type of flooring system. These toppings may consist of lightweight concrete or gypsum-based compounds and are typically used to control noise transmission in multifamily, commercial, and industrial construction.
NOTE: All warranties to the suitability of these toppings with resilient flooring installations, as well as all performance-related properties, are the responsibility of the compound manufacturer or installer.
ASBESTOS WARNING: Do not sand, dry sweep, dry scrape, drill, saw, beadblast, or mechanically chip or pulverize existing resilient flooring, backing, lining felt, paint, asphaltic "cutback" adhesives, or other adhesives. These products may contain asbestos fibers or crystalline silica. Avoid creating dust. Inhalation of such dust is a cancer and respiratory tract hazard. Smoking by individuals exposed to asbestos fibers greatly increases the risk of serious bodily harm. Unless positively certain that the product is a non-asbestos-containing material, you must presume it contains asbestos. Regulations may require that the material be tested to determine asbestos content. The Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) document "Recommended Work Practices for Removal of Resilient Floor Coverings" should be consulted for a defined set of instructions addressed to the task of removing all resilient floor covering structures.
Molds and Moisture
If there are visible indications of mold and mildew, the source of the problem must be located and corrected. This includes making any structural repairs that may be necessary. The flooring must not be installed until both problems have been addressed.
For additional information, we suggest you refer to the U.S. EPA website: www.eoa.gov/iaq/ listed under index section titled Molds & Moisture. "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home" and "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings" both available from the U.S. EPA, are two examples of pertinent documents.
RFCI Stand Alone Statement Regarding Mold and Mildew
Issues concerning mold and mildew are gaining increased attention from both the residential and commercial property owners, as well as the public at large. In virtually all situations, if there is a mold issue, there is an excessive moisture issue. In order to prevent, control, or remediate mold and mildew, one must first identify, evaluate and eliminate the source of excessive moisture.
Prior to removing an existing floor following the RFCI Recommended Work Practices for Removal of Resilient Coverings (unless state or local law requires other measures) or installing a new floor, if there are visible indications of mold or mildew or the presence of a strong musty odor in the area where the flooring is to be removed or installed, the source of the problem
should be identified and corrected before proceeding with the flooring work. Visible signs of mold or mildew, such as discoloration, can indicate the presence of mold or mildew on the subfloor, on the underlayment, on the back of the flooring and sometimes on the floor surface. If mold or mildew is discovered during the removal or installation of flooring, all flooring work should stop until the mold or mildew problem (and any related moisture problem) has been addressed. Before installing the new flooring, make sure the underlayment and/or subfloor is allowed to thoroughly dry and that any residual effect of excessive moisture, mold or structural damage has been corrected.
To deal with mold and mildew issues, you should refer to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines that address mold and mildew. Depending on the mold or mildew condition present, those remediation options range from cleanup measures using gloves and biocide to hiring a professional mold and mildew remediation contractor to address the condition. Mannington Laminate flooring, because it is relatively nonporous, allows any mold and mildew on the flooring surfaces to be easily cleaned. Remediation measure may require structural repairs such as replacing underlayment and/or subfloor contaminated with mold or mildew as a result of prolonged exposure to moisture.
The EPA mold guidelines are contained in two publications: "A Brief Guide To Mold, Moisture and Your Home" (EPA402-K-02-003) and "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings" (EPA 402-K-01'001). Appendix B of the "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings" publication describes potential health effects from exposure to mold, such as allergic and asthma reactions and irritation to eyes, skin, nose and throat. These publications can be located on the EPA's website at www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/.
Tools & Materials Required
Assemble all required tools listed below before beginning the installation process.
Mannington MegaGlue Adhesive
Appropriate Mannington Underlayment (see below for details)
Clean rags and a bucket of clean water
Spacing wedges - 5/16" (8.3 mm)
Fine-toothed hand saw
Tape measure or folding rule
Hand or power jamb saw
Plastic Glue scraper
Circular saw or jig saw (carbide blade)
Router with Mannington Laminate router bit
Blue masking tape
Silicone caulk for wet area installation
CAUTION: Always wear safety glasses when using a hammer or power equipment. Follow all safety instructions and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) when operating power equipment.
Jumbo Roll Item #6000011
1 roll of underlayment (300 sq ft)
Thickness: .085 mils
AquaBarrier II is an underlayment sheeting that combines a foam cushion layer and a moisture barrier film all in one sheet. The underlayment also has a built-in edge sealing system when
more than one sheet is needed in the installation area. AquaBarrier II is to be used on subfloors where moisture is a concern.
1 roll of underlayment (300 sq ft)
Thickness: .085 mils
ComfortBarrier is an underlayment foam cushion to be used for above-grade subfloors ONLY where subfloor moisture is not a concern.
Mannington® Hush Underlayment
Invented, Perfected and Manufactured by Mannington
1 roll of underlayment (300 sq ft)
Thickness: .085 mils
Made from advanced vinyl foam construction, Mannington Hush Underlayment stops footsteps in their tracks. When installed properly, this new underlayment system "deadens" the sounds made on a Mannington Laminate Floor. Mannington Hush can be installed over any level of subfloor and it is available in 300 sq ft rolls.
16 oz bottle (12 bottles/carton)
Approximate Coverage: 110 sq ft/bottle
Ultra Clean™ System
24 oz. spray bottle of Mannington Ultra Clean and a washable Microfiber Mop Pad.
25 slip tongues/carton
25 tapping blocks/carton
Wall Base Removal & Installation Preparation
Carefully remove all existing wall base, trim, and transition moldings using a pry bar.
Measure out the entire work area to ensure proper plank layout. Keep in mind, the last plank to be laid in the work area must be at least 2" wide. A calculator may be helpful when figuring out how to arrange the floor. Mannington Laminate Floors plank vary in width. Be certain to accurately measure panel width prior to layout.
Divide the work area width in inches by the plank width. This number will tell you how many planks are required across the room. It will also help you figure out the width of the last plank.
If the last plank will be less than 2" wide, the first plank to be laid must be cut to compensate for the difference on this last plank. For example, if your room measures 146" wide, then your last plank would be 1 1/8" wide, less than the 2" plank width minimum. You must cut the first
plank to measure 4 3/8" to compensate for the last plank, which would then also measure 4 3/8"
When possible, planks should run parallel to incoming light sources such as windows and skylights.
Planks should run parallel to the longest wall in the installation area. This is especially true in long, narrow spaces such as hallways.
If your jobsite has dimensions greater than 30' in width or 30' in length, you will be required to leave an additional 5/16" expansion gap in the floor installation (see below for details on the
EasyTrack™ II System). An expansion gap is also used when the flooring continues through a doorway or passage into another room. These gaps will be covered later with a coordinating
Installation of ComfortBarrier Underlayment
If the installation area is above ground and protection against moisture is not a concern, you may install ComfortBarrier Underlayment. When the installation requires more than one sheet of ComfortBarrier, simply butt each end together and seal with duct tape.
Installation of AquaBarrier II Underlayment
Install AquaBarrier II by laying it out, poly side facing up. Seal all seams using the built-in edge sealing tape system. Tape any relief cuts or butt seams with duct tape. AquaBarrier II Underlayment combines an underlayment cushion with a moisture barrier film in one sheet. This saves time during installation because there is only one sheet to install, not two.
Installation of Mannington Hush Underlayment
Mannington Hush Underlayment is designed to "deaden" the sounds made on a Mannington Laminate Floor. Install Mannington Hush Underlayment by laying it out with the Mannington Laminate Floors logo (felt-side) facing up. On subfloors where moisture may be a concern, such as on- or below-grade concrete, we recommend laying 6 to 8 mil polyethylene sheeting out first followed by the Hush Underlayment on top. When the installation requires more than one sheet of Hush Underlayment, simply butt each end together and seal with duct tape.
NOTE: Never install laminate flooring directly over exposed substrates. Always use an appropriate Mannington underlayment.
Undercut all bottom doorcasings so the new flooring will fit underneath. Use a scrap piece of the new laminate flooring as a guide. Be certain to allow enough room under the casing for a
5/16" expansion gap. Lay the plank face down over a sheet of Mannington underlayment and against the frame to act as a cutting guide. Make the cut using a hand or power jamb saw and
simply slide the plank underneath the doorcasing.
Install one sheet of Mannington underlayment net along the starting wall. Unroll only one sheet at a time during plank installation to help prevent underlayment damage. If any part of the underlayment is punctured or damaged during installation, seal the area with duct tape.
To adhere the two sheets of underlayment together, pull off the white strip to reveal the built-in edge sealing system underneath.
As you peel off the strip press the overlapping poly sheeting plastic onto the first sheet of underlayment already in place. Continue installing the planks tightly one in front of the other throughout the work area. Check each one for proper fit.
After installing the Mannington underlayment and before laying laminate planks, install Easy Track II™ System where all T-Moldings and Reducer Strips will be placed at the completion of the installation.
Make sure to leave double the expansion space (two times 5/16" equals 5/8") where planks meet the EasyTrack II to allow room for the molding and the 5/16" expansion space.