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How to Install Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for UK homeowners. A cheaper alternative to solid wood, they mimic the real thing, yet provide added practicality and easy installation.

The majority of laminate floors come with a click installation system. This enables you to simply click the planks together, speeding up the installation process. You don’t need to be a DIY expert to fit these floors yourself. 

Below, you’ll discover how to install laminate flooring to achieve a professional looking finish.

1. What Tools Will You Need?

To ensure best results, you’re going to need to make sure you’re using the right equipment. The most important things you will need include:

  • Handsaw
  • Measuring tape
  • Underlay
  • Pencil

The handsaw will be used to cut the laminate planks to size where needed. Measuring tape will help you to establish how much flooring you’ll need, alongside helping you to measure how much needs to be cut off the planks. Underlay is another essential, helping to speed up installation as well as boost the stability and longevity of the floor. 

Alongside these essential items, there’s a few other things we’d recommend. Knee pads for example, can help to protect the knees during the fitting process. A moisture metre, spacers, jigsaw and 2m long spirit level can also prove useful. 

Once you’ve got everything you’ll need, you can start measuring the room to determine how many planks you’ll need to use.

2. Measure The Room

To measure the room, use your tape measure to calculate the width and length of the space. You should always measure the longest and widest walls in the room. Once you have the measurements, multiply the length by the width of the room and this will give you it’s square metre measurement.

This can be used to determine how many packs of laminate you’re going to need. We recommend investing in an additional 10% of the floor’s square footage to accommodate for any waste. 

3. Acclimatise Laminate Flooring Planks

Prior to installing the floor, it’s going to need to be acclimatised. Even though laminate doesn’t react in the same way to moisture and temperature changes, it is still important to acclimatise it before use.

You’ll need to place the floor, still sealed, in the room it’s going to be installed in. It needs to be acclimatised for at least 48 hours before installation. During this time, it’s important to keep the temperature of the room consistent.

4. Prepare the Subfloor

While the floor is acclimatising, you’ll want to get started on preparing the installation site. Is the subfloor clean, dry and even? Check it with a floor leveller to see how even it is and sand it down where required.

Once you’ve checked and prepared the subfloor, it’s time to install your underlay. All laminates should have an underlay installed, unless they come with a pre-fitted one. This helps to provide stability, comfort and noise reduction properties. 

Make sure you’ve chosen the best underlay to match the installation site. If you’re installing the floor onto a concrete subfloor, you’ll need an underlay with a damp proof membrane. If you’re installing it with underfloor heating, you’ll need an underlay that helps to distribute the heat as evenly as possible.

5. Installing the Laminate Flooring

Now that the installation site has been prepared and the flooring has acclimatised, it’s time to install your new floor. 

As most laminates today feature a tongue and groove system, you should find them really easy to install. Let’s look at the step-by-step process you can follow to install a click system laminate floor.

Step 1: Place spacers around the perimeter of the room, allowing a 10mm gap in case of expansion. 

Step 2: Begin laying the planks from the corner of the room along the longest wall. The groove side of the plank should face towards the wall. Slot the ends of the planks together until you reach the end. Cut the last plank down to size if required.

Step 3: Use the cut off piece of wood from the previous row, to start the second row installation. The end joints should be offset by around 8 inches from those in the first row. Slot the tongue into the groove of the edges of the planks, and continue until you get to the end. Cut the last plank to size if needed. 

Step 4: Continue to install the rest of the rows using the second and third steps. Then, remove the spacers once you’ve finished. 

This is the easiest method of installing laminate flooring. However, be aware that this is only a general guide. The laminate floor you’ve purchased should come with its own specific installation instructions. 

If you have any trouble installing your new floor, give our friendly team a call and they will be happy to help.

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