Fitting Laminate Flooring Guide
Fitting laminate flooring is amongst the most straight forward ‘DIY’ jobs you can undertake.
We can break the job down into 3 easy, manageable steps for you.
- Health and safety when fitting laminate flooring.
We have broken up your tools into three different kits for each stage of the fitting process.
For stage one, preparing your subfloor, room and laminate flooring, the tools you will need are:
- Hand saw
- Tape measure
For stage two, fitting laminate flooring, the tools you will need are:
- Circular saw
- Tapping block
- Pulling bar
- Fine cutting bar
For stage three, fitting laminate beading, the tools you will need are:
- Mitre block
- Hack saw
Health and safety when fitting laminate flooring
Safety is of paramount importance when fitting laminate flooring – be sure to take extra care.
We advise and recommend the following precautions to help keep you safe:
- Wear safety goggles and a face mask when sawing
- Kneepads are ideal for protecting your knees when kneeling on hard surfaces
- Take regular breaks to protect your knees
- Take care when using solvents and fillers. These can be toxic and flammable. Keep them our of reach of all children as well.
Preparing your subfloor, room and laminate flooring
Before you begin fitting laminate flooring, you will need to prepare your subfloor and room.
1) First, remove any pre-existing layers from previous flooring in the room. This means any carpet, underlay, tiles or vinyl flooring need to go before you install your laminate.
When fitting laminate flooring, your subfloor must be all of the following: level, smooth, clean and dry.
Take these steps to check the condition of your subfloor:
2) Check the health of your existing floorboards: are they firmly secured, is there any protruding nails? Deal with these either by nailing the floorboards into place and removing any damaged nails.
3) In the case of floorboards that have become rotten, it is cheaper and more efficient to remove all your floorboards and start over.
4) When treating concrete, check the floor for damp before fitting laminate flooring.
5) Remove any skirting boards or beading for installation.
6) If the subfloor is healthy and ready to go, the final step is lay a damp proof membrane to protect it from adverse conditions. Before you begin fitting laminate flooring, it is important to allow it to acclimatise to your home’s humidity.
7) To do this, place the laminate flooring in the room it will be installed in for a minimum of 48 hours. We recommend a room temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius for the most effective acclimatisation. It is now time to prepare your room for laminate flooring.
8) Start with your doorframe. Using one of your laminate boards as a reference, mark a line to indicate how high to cut into the door frame. Remember to factor in the size of your underlay for an even more accurate fit.
9) Cut out the bottom of the doorframe on both sides using your hand saw. Do not cut all the way into the doorframe, just on the corner where the first panel of laminate will fit.
10) When you have made your initial incision, use a hammer and chisel to knock it through.
11) Next, lay your damp proof membrane across the room. Make sure you use a damp proof membrane – you risk seriously damaging your subfloor if you don’t.
12) Finally, install your underlay across the entirety of the room.
Now think about which way to lay your laminate flooring. Laying your laminate length ways will allow it to follow the 'line of light' from a window – this is recommended in bigger rooms. To make a small room look bigger, lay your laminate flooring width ways.
To work out how many boards you will need to use the following sum:
Length of room ÷ width of board = number of rows required
The final step of your preparation for fitting laminate flooring is to saw it to size so that the final board fits in place.
13) Flip a board over to mark the size of the last piece underneath. Draw the line along which you intend to cut along the full width of the board.
14) Lay the flooring laminate side down and saw it to size along the measurement you made underneath.
15) Saw your last piece down to size to make it fit in the row. Use the offcut from that piece of laminate to start the next row. Repeat this step until all your room is completely covered.
Fitting laminate flooring
It is now time for us to talk you through fitting laminate flooring. All of our ranges of laminate flooring have a ‘click’ fit. This means the laminate snaps together and there is no glue required to hold it in place.
These are all the steps for fitting laminate flooring.
1) When installing your laminate, remember to use flooring spacers to create an expansion gap. Place them around the perimeter of your room. The expansion gap should be around 10mm.
2) Using your saw, cut a chunk at the same angle as your door frame so the first piece fits in correctly. Carefully tap it in place using your tapping bar until it is a snug fit within the frame.
3) Start placing your first row of laminate flooring down, making sure to click it all together.
As you come to the end of the first row, saw the laminate flooring plank to size so that it fits at the end.
To do this:
4) First, flip a board over to mark the size of the last piece underneath. Find this measurement by laying it by the side of the second to last board, then drawing a line across the width of the board.
6) Saw the board along the line you have drawn out.
To finish fitting laminate your laminate flooring:
7) Use the offcut from the first row to start the next row. Repeat this step each time.
8) When laying your flooring, ensure that each joint in the flooring is a minimum of 200mm apart on corresponding rows
9) As you reach the final row, use a pulling bar to ensure the last board is locked in place.
Fitting laminate beading
When you have finished fitting your laminate flooring, the final step is to install the beading that will trim the perimeter.
1) Cut the beading into 4 primary lengths, leaving extra to cut into to create corners.
2) On the edge of each length of beading, cut in using your saw and mitre block for a clean, consistent corner.
3) Break away a small triangular piece. This creates a piece that can be used to fit your trim around the door frame
4) Use an adhesive to glue the beading to the skirting board. Do not glue to the flooring.
5) Hammer panel pins into the beading to hold it in place whilst the glue dries.
6) Remove the pins once the glue is dry for the final, finished installation.
That concludes our guide to fitting laminate flooring. Looking for more helpful content like this? Return to our fitting guide section or to our advice centre for a wider range of advice. Follow our social media @unitedcarpetsandbeds on Instagram for inspiration and use #UnitingHomes to join in the conversation.