Laminate Floor Fitting
If you’re not already aware of what it is, laminate flooring is a synthetic product designed to give the appearance of a real wood (or occasionally tile or stone) floor without the associated price tag. And it has been a sought-after choice on the market for almost 40 years now.
It’s a composite model, typically comprising four different layers including a printed image or décor one designed to look realistically like the flooring type (e.g. timber) it aims to emulate. It’s protected by a hardwearing outer layer with a resin coating.
The big positives when it comes to laminate flooring include durability and affordability, not to mention a smart appearance and the fact that it’s so low-maintenance: upkeep is minimal while this material is also very hygienic (plus it shrugs off scratches and water).
Laminate’s biggest disadvantage is probably that it's not entirely moisture-proof, so you need to avoid prolonged exposure to dampness, otherwise there can be quite a marked potential for warping.
How to Fit Laminate Flooring
If you’re wondering how to install laminate flooring, the good news is that it certainly doesn’t have to be complicated.
Steps to follow for Laminate Floor Fitting
STEP 1: Measure
Have 10% more laminate flooring than you need, and measure your space accurately.
STEP 2: Acclimatise
Don’t skip this step. Keep your flooring unopened, at a constant temperature, in the room where you’re fitting the product, for at least 48 hours.
STEP 3: Do Your Prep
Your subfloor must be clean and even, with no loose parts, so sand it if necessary. The next step is to fit the underlay, which will vary according to your type of subfloor – e.g. concrete or wood or installations over underfloor heating (picking the right underlay is a key part of hassle-free fitting).
STEP 4: Cut Around Awkward Areas
These can include loos, stairs and doorways or radiator pipes. Always mark up your laminate in some way before cutting, too.
STEP 5: Gather Your Tools
Choose your tools wisely – chop saws tend to work well (the fine teeth help prevent chipping). You’re also likely to need a hammer; some other tools may also be useful.
STEP 6: Install Your Underlay
Roll it out and then fit one row at a time.
Laminate Flooring Installation: The Actual Fitting
Most floors just click together like a jigsaw. But, if you are using glue, try to go easy on the stuff. Lay boards from the edge of the room, with the groove side of the boards facing the wall.
Allow a 10mm gap between the edge of the room and the laminate to allow for normal expansion and contraction.
The first board of the first row should be a full one, followed by a two-thirds board for the second row, and a one-third board for the third row. Then the fourth row should start again with a full board. Follow this pattern until the floor is done.
Have the end joints of rows around eight inches away from each other.
And, most importantly, remember to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines on how to fit laminate flooring.
Next, you’ll need to saw your floor so it’s an ideal fit for your space – do it with the surface decoration facing up. (Wear gloves – and use a pencil to draw your cutting lines).
Finally, finish your floor to perfection with matching skirting boards and so on.
At Creative Wood Floors, our main supplier for laminate flooring is the leading brand Quick-Step, which supplies a kit which DIY laminate flooring fitters can use themselves. Boards click together, and so this is not a ‘glued down’ installation.
We like that the installation kit from Quick-Step is fuss-free and easy to use, so have no hesitation recommending it to seasoned DIY-ers.
Floor fitting in Basingstoke
Creative Wood Floors offer an excellent range of laminate flooring, we’re ideally placed to provide specialist advice and supply a fantastic line-up of floor-care products, on display at our Basingstoke showroom.
However, if you don’t feel confident doing the job yourself, we can’t stress enough the importance of hiring professional laminate flooring fitters for perfect results, or at least getting some expert advice first. We can fit your laminate floor if you live within 50 miles of Basingstoke.
Talk to us at Creative Wood Floors before you do anything else – and benefit from our many years’ industry experience.