How to Lay Laminate Flooring
At Arnold Laver, you can shop a huge selection of high-quality laminate flooring, with options to suit every room and style preference. But once you’ve chosen the perfect laminate flooring for your home or project, actually laying your new laminate is a new challenge in itself. Especially if you’re new to home improvements and DIY, it may be the case that you’re not sure where to even begin when it comes to fitting new flooring.
Well, have no fear, here at Laver Online, we have put together the all-you-could-need guide on how to lay laminate flooring. In our guide, you will find all of the hints and tricks to help you fit around obstacles, like pipes, and also how to apply finishing touches such as threshold bars and trims.
Before you begin with your installation, you must take the time to get properly prepared and ready. Of course, firstly, you should go over the manufacturer’s instructions that you will have received with your laminate flooring, because each manufacturer’s design may have slight variations for how to perfectly fit them. But if you’re looking for extra advice and tips, then keep reading.
Remember that the amount of preparation time and effort that you put in will have a lasting effect on the lifespan and quality of your laminate flooring once it is laid. Your laminate flooring must always be laid on flat surfaces only, but you should also make sure that the ground is a smooth, clean, and dry surface.
Our Prep Steps
- Make sure that any existing carpet, tiles, or underlay is cleanly removed, and if you’re laying the laminate over existing floorboards, then ensure that these are tightly secured to the ground too. There should be no protruding nails or screws!
- Take time choosing the right type of underlay beneath your laminate flooring. You might not have thought this was necessary, but most manufacturers recommend it for soundproofing, comfort, and insulation.
- If you’re laying on a concrete subfloor, then you will need an extra layer of damp-proof membrane first, or another underlay with damp-proof qualities.
- Calculate how much underlay and laminate flooring you will need by working out the size of the area in m² (length x width = number of metres squared), without forgetting to include any alcoves. Next, check the coverage of your pack, and ensure you have an extra 10% for any wastage, mistakes, or future use.
- If the thickness of your underlay and laminate flooring combined means that any doors can no longer open and close comfortably, then you might want to consider removing these and sanding them down before re-hanging.
- Stack you unopened laminate flooring in the room where it is to be laid for at least 48hours before you fit it, as this will allow it to become acclimated to the room temperature.
How to Lay Laminate Flooring in 10 Steps
Now that you have all of the prep out of the way, it’s time to get down to the basic steps of fitting your laminate flooring.
Start by taking an offcut of your laminate and line it up to the architrave. At the combined height of the laminate and the floorboard, use a panel saw to trim the architrave and using a hammer and chisel make sure there is enough space for the laminate to fit beneath it. You should also aim to leave a 10mm-12mm expansion gap.
With the floor thoroughly prepared and your underlay in place, start in the left-hand corner of the wall where the door is and lay the first piece of laminate. Make sure that its tongue edge is against the door. In accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, move the laminate board slightly away from the wall so that you can add any necessary spacers between the walls and boards.
Maintaining the expansion gap to the wall with spacers, line the next board up to the end of the first and firmly click it into position. Continue this process until you can’t fit any more full length boards. Ensure all boards laid are perfectly straight.
Now it’s time to fill the gap at the end of the row. You can do this by taking another board and flipping it end-over-end so that it is upside down with the grooved edge facing you, but the other end should be touching the end wall spacers.
Next, use a try square and a pencil to mark a cutting guideline that meets the end of the previous board.
With the board secure in your workbench, cut the piece at your guideline using a jigsaw or panel saw. Then place the cut piece into position to complete the full row wall to wall.
To start the next row, use the now offcut piece from the previous board if it is at least 300mm long. If it is not this length at the least, then take a new board and cut it directly in half to start the new row. You should start the new row at the same wall which you placed the first board, and we recommend you always ensure that the joint between laminate boards in each row is offset by at least 300mm.
Put a spacer into position against the wall and start to fit your new board at a 20-30° angle, with the tongue edge slotting into the groove edge of the previous board. Press down to click this into place, and continue laying the row with the steps previously detailed.
If there is a gap between the board and the door that you need to fill, then measure the distance between the outer edge of the architrave on either side. As well as measure the gap between the first row and the door. Lightly mark the measurements onto a new board and cut it to the right size, also remembering to allow for a 10-12mm expansion gap at either end.
Next, lay the board against the architrave and put a mark where you need to trim the ends where the board will slide under it. If you are laying your boards vertically, you’ll need to do this to all the boards that come into contact with the architrave. Like before, cut along the guideline using a jigsaw or panel saw. Then, slip the first two rows of laminate boards back from the doorway and connect the board you’ve cut.
Finally, slide everything back into position carefully, including the subsequent boards following our previous instructions. If any boards need to be cut to fit the gap in the last row, then rotate the panel 180°, with the tongue facing the wall. Measure the gap you need to fill, plus the space for expansion gaps, and once the panel is cut, you can lay it as normal.