Installing laminate flooring is a relatively straightforward job, and one that you can easily do yourself. Let’s look at the various steps that you’ll need to perform, and consider some of the pitfalls we might encounter during the procedure.
Choose a room
There are many different sorts of room which might benefit from laminate flooring. In a living room, you might find that a laminate floor contributes significantly to the aesthetic. They’re also found in hallways, bathrooms, and kitchens, however – though you’ll need to be wary of moisture when installing into the latter two.
Measure your room
Next, you’ll need to calculate the amount of floor space you need to cover. To do this, multiply the length and width of the room in metres to produce its area in square metres. If the room is irregularly shaped, or comes with a central ‘island’ of cabinets, this might prove trickier; divide the room into smaller rectangular areas, and then add them all together to divine the total area of the room.
Prepare the sub-floor
To lay laminate flooring, you’ll need a level dry surface to start with. If you’re got a rough, concrete floor, then you’ll need to use a self-levelling compound to even things out. This is a viscous fluid which will spread across the entire floor-space, and dry to create a perfectly smooth surface. Once this is done, lay down a damp-proof membrane to help stop moisture seeping up from beneath.
Prepare the underlay
After you’ve put down the mesh, you’ll want to move onto the underlay. Underlays come in several different sorts. Let’s consider each of them.
This is a thin underlay that’s suitable for dry subfloors. It’s so thin, in fact, that it won’t smooth the surface in the same way that others might, which makes it especially important to ensure that the floor is fully level before attempting to install the underlay.
At the opposite end of the spectrum you’ll find wooden fibre underlays, which are much thicker and thus offer superior sound and heat insulation. Wooden fibres tend to change shape after they’ve been installed, so it’s essential that you allow your underlay a chance to rest before you stack another layer on top of it.
A combined underlay sits in the middle-ground between the two varieties we’ve already discussed. It’s thicker than polyfoam and thinner than wooden fibre, and just one layer of it is required.
Prepare the skirting
Now we’re ready to remove the skirting boards and vacuum the flooring to remove any loose grit. You should also decide which direction you’d like to lay your floorboards in. Ideally, these should run parallel to the longest straight wall.
Lay the flooring
Your first board should ideally be laid in the corner of the room.Place spacers at roughly two-feet intervals as you lay the first row.The gap between the edge of the flooring and the wall should ideally be around a centimetre – be sure that it’s consistent around the entirety of the floor.
Depending on the sort of floorboards you’re using, you might need to glue the ends together. Unless you’re remarkably fortunate, you’ll also need to cut the final board you lay down to size to ensure that the flooring makes a good fit for the floor space.When laying successive rows, you’ll want to ensure that the ends of the floorboards are slightly offset from one another, with each being at least a foot away from the one before to avoid the ‘staircase’ effect.
If you come up to an obstruction, like the pipe leading from the bottom of a radiator, then you’ll need to cut a hole in the floorboard to accommodate it.Bear in mind that pipes will expand slightly when they’ve got hot (and sometimes cold) water running through them, and so you’ll need to provide them with some room for expansion.
Once you’ve gotten the last floorboard down, the job’s almost done.You’ll need to next remove the spacers, and line the outer edges of the floor with cork strips that’s expand to keep the flooring in position.Alternatively, you might use scotia or quadrant moulding.You should now be looking at a complete floor.Congratulations!
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