Golden rules for laying a wooden floor

Now that you’ve decided on the perfect wooden floor for your room, it’s time to think about installation. The process of laying a wooden floor requires a bit more time and preparation than any other flooring type, so it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the basics. Here are the golden rules for laying a wooden floor successfully

1.Moisture testing

Before you even think about putting down your new floor, you need to carry out moisture testing on the sub floor. Your fitter or joiner should be able to carry this out for you using special equipment. This will identify moisture levels in the floor and flag any issues that could cause water damage or structural damage to your home. Never skip this step, especially with new build homes when you are laying a floor for the first time.

2. Staggering the boards

It is important, both from a visually appealing perspective and structural one, to stagger the floor boards when you lay them. This ensures you get a beautiful looking floor, without any gaps developing. Having a random, irregular pattern will look fantastic in any home, without looking messy. Of course, if you want a bit more structure, you can always opt for herringbone parquet flooring which is laid in a very definite pattern to great effect.

3. Underlay

Underlay is important for any flooring, and is available in different thicknesses and with different properties which make it suitable or unsuitable for underfloor heating. This acts as a moisture barrier between the subfloor and your beautiful new wooden flooring, and it also acts as a shock absorber and noise insulator. Find our full range of underlay on our website.

4. Acclimatising at home

When you buy a new wooden floor and take it home, you need to leave it for a period of time to acclimatise to the unique conditions of your house. The temperature, moisture and humidity levels will all play factor in how stable your flooring becomes. The time can vary between 48 hours and 7 days depending on your flooring type (it takes longer for solid wood flooring). If you skip this stage, you will likely have problems after installation, due to the expansion and contraction which is natural with wooden flooring.


Laminate Flooring 48 Hours
Engineered Wood Flooring
5 days
Solid Wood Flooring 7 days


5. Finding the right direction

Think about the direction you want to you flooring to run before you start to install. In many cases, the direction of your flooring can change the perception of the size of a room. For example, if you have a narrow room, you can use the flooring in a horizontal direction to give the impression of it being wider. Take your time to decide which is right for your room – it’s a decision you’ll have to live with for a long time.


If you need any more advice on your new flooring, we can help. Check out our online installation and maintenance guides for every type of wooden flooring and buy installation kits online now too.

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