Laying Laminate Flooring
Before you begin
There are a few things you should check before you start to lay your laminate flooring.
- Do you have enough flooring? Did you allow extra for cuts and waste?
- Do you have all of your tools ready? Saw, Fitting wedges, pencil, tape measure etc.
- Check the materials for any small problems, it is much easier to rectify these before the floor is laid.
- Is the sub floor ok? A level and clean floor will be much easier to lay your flooring onto
1. Once you are happy that you have everything and there are no problems, you can put your wood floor underlay down on the floor. Mostly the underlay will just be rolled out or laid out onto the floor before your laminate. If your sub floor is concrete, you should have a membrane or an underlay with a membrane built in, this should be taped or overlapped according to manufacturers instructions to create a moisture resistant barrier.
Where to start
The best direction to lay laminate flooring is in the direction of a light source such as a window as the light streaming into the room really picks up the shine and beauty of the floor. It is best to start against a wall and then work your way across the room. This gives you a stable starting point.
Laying the planks
2. Laminate floorings will all have little differences between the manufacturers, so it is best to read and follow the instructions in the pack, but as a general rule, you will start out by putting your first plank against the wall with some fitting wedges to keep the distance uniform.
3. You then continue the row, by locking or clicking the planks into each other.
4. If you had to cut the last plank of the row, if it is longer than 30cm, then you can use it to start the next row. The boards should be staggered so this is an ideal way to start the next row off.
5. Continue in this way until you have covered the whole floor.
6. The last row may be a little bit trickier to do, but if you measure it well, it should just be a case of easing the final cuts into place.
Now you can put your trims and threshold strips on to finish the flooring off. Skirtings or scotia can be pinned or glued into place. They should be glued to the wall and not the floor. This allows the flooring to expand and contract underneath.
Your thresholds will often have a base plate that is screwed or stuck down. With a strip that presses down into it. This will take up any height differences between rooms and ensure that the flooring is not damaged.
- Laminate flooring has a very tough top layer. This will dull saw blades very quickly,so make sure you have spares.
- If using a jigsaw, cut the laminate decorative side down to reduce chipping.
- Kneeling on the edge of a loose piece of laminate hurts! Make sure you protect your knees with kneepads.
- Don’t rush, take your time. Once the first couple of rows are in place, you will really get into the swing of it and your floor will seem to go down in no time!