Installation Guides & Tips

Laminate Flooring Installation – How To Guide

Fitting a Laminate Floor Plank

Putting down laminate flooring can completely change the appearance of your house, giving it a new, sturdy and trendy touch. This detailed manual guides you through every stage, starting from getting ready to the finishing touches. Discover how to install your new laminate floor, along with selecting the appropriate tools, getting the subfloor ready and laying down the laminate properly. Whether you enjoy DIY projects or are just starting out, adhere to these steps to get the best installation results.

Tools For installation


Before beginning your installation, gather the necessary tools to ensure a smooth process:

  • Tape Measure: For accurate measurement of flooring and room dimensions.
  • Spirit Level: Ensures that the floor lays flat and even across all areas.
  • Pencil: Necessary for marking precise cuts and alignment points on the flooring.
  • Workbench or Sawhorse: Provides a stable surface for safe cutting of the flooring material.
  • Combination Square: Assists in maintaining accurate angles and straight cuts.
  • Flooring Planks: The main component of your flooring project.
  • Spacers, Tapping Block, and Pull Bar: Crucial for proper plank spacing and for snug fitting without damaging the edges.
  • Rubber Mallet: Helps in gently securing the planks in place during installation.
  • Underlay and Underlay Tape: Essential for providing a sound and moisture barrier beneath the laminate, enhancing floor longevity.
  • Saws: A handsaw or electric saw to cut the laminate planks to the required sizes.
  • Chisel: Useful for intricate trimmings and adjustments, especially around corners or obstacles.
  • Power Drill: Ideal for creating holes or adjusting fixtures during installation.
  • Moisture Meter: To check the subfloor's moisture levels, ensuring they are suitable for laminate placement.
  • Beading or Skirting Boards: For a neat finish along the edges of the room.
  • Personal Protective Equipment: Including knee pads, safety goggles, dust masks, and ear defenders to protect during cutting and installation.
Laminate Plank Flooring Installation Icon

Installation Options

Note: This guide focuses on single plank laminate flooring. If you’re installing parquet, refer to our parquet-specific guide.

Floating Method

In a floating floor setup, the boards interconnect, but don’t attach to the subfloor. Ideal for click-joining floors like laminate, it simplifies installation. Prioritise installing underlay for this method.

Installed Grey Laminate Floor

Perparing To Fit Your Floor


 

1

Check The Planks

After your flooring has been delivered, inspect your packs to ensure you’re completely happy with everything. Our wood-effect laminate flooring offers natural colour variation between planks and batches. These variations help create colour contrasts and deliver a more natural look.

2

Allow Acclimatisation

Allow the laminate floor to acclimatise in the installation room for 24 hours. You should keep the packs horizontal with equal weight distribution. Make sure your room temperature is between 18°C - 27°C and ensure there is no exposure to extreme elements. For underfloor heating, you should gradually increase the temperature as per your heating supplier’s guidance – this helps get the floor more familiar with the heat.

3

Prepare The Subfloor

Before laying the new floor, remove any existing flooring and ensure you have a clean, dry, and level subfloor. We recommend either a concrete or wooden subfloor. To make sure your subfloor is dry use a moisture meter, especially where concrete is used. Next, you’ll need to install a damp-proof membrane to prevent any moisture reaching the boards. Secure any subfloor screws or nails below the surface to avoid piercing the underlay. Make sure to clear the floor of any old adhesive and debris left over from the previous floor.

4

Plan The Layout

Before you start installing the floor, look through the boards and pick out any with natural grains, knots and shades deviations. You can then use these boards as focal points, mixing the planks to achieve the desired look. If you come across any planks you’re not happy with, keep them for cutting or use them in hidden spots on your floor. When laying out your planks, think about which direction you want them to go. It’s usually best to run them along the longest wall. In square rooms, you can also consider how the light flows or start from the entrance.

5

Final Considerations

Make sure installing your floor is the last thing you do. Another important tip is to work from top to bottom of your room to minimise risk of damaging as you work. Avoid screwing any heavy furniture directly into the floor. Gluing the floor down with adhesive may be necessary for extra stability. If you have a kitchen island, this can be installed on top of the floor as long as the subfloor is level. Don’t screw the island feet directly into the floor.

Installing Your Floor


Floating Method

1

Measure Final Row Width

Calculate the width of the final row to ensure proper plank alignment. To determine the width of the final row, divide the total width of the room by the width of a single board. This will enable you to trim the first row of boards, ensuring the final row is at least 60mm wide.

2

Insert Spacers

Insert spacers between the first row and the walls to create an expansion gap of 2mm. If you’re using underfloor heating, we recommend a minimum of 5mm.

3

Lay First Plank

Lay the first plank in the corner of the longest wall with the tongue side facing the wall. Ensure this row is perfectly straight as it will guide the direction of the entire floor.

4

Stagger The Planks

Achieve a balanced and sturdy base by staggering each plank at least 30cm apart. For this, you’ll need to trim a plank at the end of each row. Position these trimmed planks so that the cut side faces the outer wall. Continue this pattern by using the remaining portion of the previous plank to stagger the joints from row to row.

5

Secure The Connection

To fully connect the planks, knock gently on the outher end. We don’t recommend using a mallet here as that could damage the click connection.

6

Continue Installation

Following the completion of the first row, link each plank to the previous row and the adjacent plank. Click each joint into the gap of the plank in front by starting at a high angle and applying gentle pressure. Upon hearing a click, lower it flat on the floor. Repeat this process to ensure all planks are connected tightly without any gaps.

7

Finalise Installation

The last row may pose a challenge, but you can achieve a snug fit using a pull bar and a rubber mallet.

Fitting a Laminate Floor Plank

Finishing Touches


 

Fitting Around Pipes

To accommodate pipes, mark their positions on the board and drill a hole accordingly. Then, make angled cuts to form a wedge from the edge of the board to the hole. After fitting the board around the pipe, reattach the wedge with glue behind the pipe to create a seamless look.

Fitting Around Door Frames

Start by removing the door from the frame. Align an offcut of flooring with a threshold bar to ensure it fits underneath the architrave. If necessary, trim the bottom of the architrave to the correct height using a handsaw and chisel. Also, consider trimming the bottom of the door before refitting it.

Covering Expansion Gaps

Use matching beading and thresholds to cover expansion gaps and seamlessly blend the new floors with existing walls. Avoid attaching trims directly to the flooring, as it may affect the expansion gaps.

Spare Planks For Repairs

Keep spare planks or cuttings for potential repairs in the future.

Addressing Large Expansion Gaps

If the expansion gap is too large and the skirting or moulding doesn’t cover it, cut strips from spare floorboards using a handsaw. Glue these strips into place to cover the gap.

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About Floor Warehouse

Welcome to Floor Warehouse, where spaces are transformed. Experts in a wide range of premium flooring options, we have an exquisite selection of solid and engineered wood flooring, vinyl floors in both LVT and SPC along with laminate to suit every style and need. Floor Warehouse’s commitment to sustainability and durability ensures that each product not only uplifts your interiors but stands the test of time. From the initial browse to the final click, our easy-to-navigate online store makes finding your perfect floor a delightful experience. Join us in redefining spaces with flooring that speaks of quality and design.

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