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HOW TO LAY LAMINATE FLOORING

Just bought the perfect laminate flooring for your home and choosing to self-install? From the tools and preparation to the measuring and fitting, here at Discount Flooring Depot, we’ve got all the tips you need to get started. But remember, while this handy guide will help you with the basic steps, it’s important to note that there are many different laminate installation systems and you should always refer to your manufacturer’s guide before installing.

Safety Advice

First things first; when you’re doing any kind of DIY, safety is paramount. If you’re choosing to self-install the laminate flooring within your home, it’s important to seek professional advice if you feel you need to or you become unsure at any step. Once you've ensured you are confident in your process, the next step is to make sure you follow the appropriate safety measures. We recommend:

  • To always wear safety goggles and a dust mask to protect your eyes and face when cutting the boards.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands.
  • Wear knee pads when kneeling down on the hard floor for prolonged periods of time and take regular breaks.
  • Keep all adhesives and tools safely out of reach of children and ensure electric saws are switched off when not in use.

Tools Needed for Fitting Laminate

Once you’ve ensured you’re safely ready to start, the next step is to gather all the tools and equipment you’ll need. We recommend having to hand:

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Mitre saw
  • Hand saw
  • Pullbar
  • Hammer
  • Tapping block
  • Square
  • Spacers
  • Laminate beading
  • Wood adhesive

To make things easier for you, we’ve included the basic tools you’ll need in our handy installation kits.

Preparation

Now you’ve gathered all your tools and equipment, the next step is to prepare your sub-floor and chosen laminate flooring ready for laying:

  • Sweep, vacuum and clean the sub-floor of the room you’re planning to lay, ensuring it is fully dry, clear of any debris and any loose existing nails are hammered down.
  • Lay down your chosen underlay in parallel lines stuck together with masking tape, ensuring you leave a 16mm gap around any pipes.
  • If your sub-floor is concrete, you’ll need a damp-proof membrane or an underlay with it integrated.
  • Ensure your laminate boards have acclimatised to the temperature and humidity of your room by laying horizontally in the room for 48 hours.

How to Lay Laminate Flooring

Followed all those steps? You’re ready to lay your laminate.

PLEASE NOTE: Installation guides may vary. Always read the full manufacturer’s recommended installation guides before installation.

  1. Starting in a corner, lay your first board down and place spacers at intervals between the board and wall with a 10mm gap to allow for the natural expansion of the laminate.
  2. Continue to the end of the wall, ensuring all the boards are properly locked into place.
  3. If you need to cut the last board of the row to fit your room, determine the length you need to cut and use your square and pencil to mark a cutting line on the back of the board. Remember to use a spacer against the wall and factor this into your measurements before you cut.
  4. Lay your second row starting with the off-cut piece of your last row and continue this process until your floor is covered, ensuring the joints are staggered by corresponding row. Use your hammer, tapping block and pull bar to ensure all the boards are fitted together securely.
  5. The last row of boards may also need to be cut to size to fit your room. You can calculate the desired width by laying a plank over the last row you placed. Cut the last row to size and fit securely in place with your pull bar, remembering to factor in expansion space.

Placing Laminate Floor Around Door Frames

Fitting your laminate boards around your doorframe can be a difficult step in your self-installation process, but you have two options to consider:

Option 1:

  1. Check that your door is able to open over the floor.
  2. Accurately determine the areas of the boards to cut.
  3. Use the mitre saw to cut the boards around the shape of the door and doorframe.

Option 2:

  1. Measure the depth of your boards.
  2. Use the mitre saw or hand saw to cut a strip from the bottom of the door.
  3. Use the hand saw to do the same for the doorframe.
  4. Slot the boards into place underneath, remembering to leave necessary expansion space.

To ensure a professional finish and bridge any gaps between your laminate and doorway, apply door trims on the line where your flooring meets the door and corresponding room.

Applying Laminate Floor Beading

Once you’ve laid all your laminate in place, the final step is to apply laminate beading around the skirting board, which serves to cover the expansion gap between the laminate and wall and create a seamless overall aesthetic:

  1. Measure the length of beading required and mark the cut line with your pencil.
  2. Cut each of the corners to a 45-degree angle in order for each piece to fit seamlessly together.
  3. Apply the wood adhesive glue to the back of the beading, rather than the bottom.
  4. Remove flooring spacers.
  5. Press the beading into the skirting board and wipe away any excess glue. Do not stick to the floor.
  6. Hold in place with tacks while the adhesive sets.

Follow these steps and laying your laminate should be as easy as possible!

Remember: Consult your manufacturer’s installation guide before proceeding and seek professional advice if you are unsure at any step of the process.

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