Tips for laying laminate floating floor such as IKEA Tundra — Building and Renovating in Australia

Tips for laying laminate floating floor such as IKEA Tundra - Building and Renovating in Australia

Tips for laying laminate floating floor such as IKEA Tundra

September 9, 2010

When I was building my home with Rivergum Homes, I opted not to have flooring installed by the builder as I wanted to install floating floors myself throughout the house and save money on labour and also the inflated product pricing charged by the builder. A friend of mine had installed floating floors in several rooms in different houses and said that it was easy enough to do.

Originally, I had planned to install floating floors in the living areas and then install carpet in the bedrooms, however as the building process went on, I decided to install the floating floor in the bedrooms and study as well.

I looked at the various products on the market available from Bunnings, Stratco, specialist carpet stores and also the three ranges of flooring available at IKEA, which are Slatten, Tundra and Markland. After a lot of looking, I decided on the Beech coloured IKEA Tundra flooring, which was $19.95/sqm when I purchased it, however it has now dropped to $12.95/sqm with the release of the 2011 Ikea catalogue.

A lot of the flooring in the sample rooms at my local IKEA store is the Tundra range, and its held up extremely well to all the torture that it gets daily from visitors to the store and if theyve got the confidence to use it in their showroom, then it shows that they believe in the quality of the product.

After working out an approximate number of packages that I would need to purchase, I then allowed an extra package on top of the total count for breakages, misplaced cuts, and other errors, and purchased the flooring in several trips to the IKEA Adelaide store. Some people have suggested to ensure that you get the same batch numbers for all of the flooring that you purchase (which is identified on the end of the box as 09:42, 09:51, etc) although I mixed three different batches in my house with no noticable differences.

Its important to purchase the floor laying kit that they sell at IKEA, as it includes several tools to help you in laying the floor including a knocking block for installing boards, a pull bar for the end of rows and little wedges that will help you to maintain an even distance from the edge of the room as you complete the flooring installation.

When laying the floor, youll also need a couple of extra tools from your local hardware store, such as Bunnings, which include a Jigsaw with appropriate blade (I used an XU1 XJS-100 jigsaw that cost me $20 from Bunnings, and bought the appropriate blades for wood engineered laminate flooring). Youll also need a tape measure to measure up distances so you know where to cut your boards. A right angle ruler/set square is also a useful tool to ensure that the lines you draw for your cuts are straight and square. And finally, youll need a hammer to hit the knocking block or pull bar to put the boards into place.

Ensuring that you get the first row in your room perfectly straight is vital, because youll end up with gaps between boards and have a lot of difficulty laying the flooring in your room if this is not right.

Tips for laying laminate floating floor such as IKEA Tundra - Building and Renovating in Australia

I chose not to use the IKEA underlay, instead opting for the Roberts Harmony 3-in-1 Premium Underlay (70-100) from Bunnings at approximately $50 for a 9sqm roll. Its red in colour, and is suitable for application on concrete or wood flooring surfaces. The product features two layers of plastic with miniature bean bag balls trapped in-between. It also features a plastic flap to cover onto the next row of underlay, to ensure nothing will get through and onto your underfloor.

Once you have finished the flooring, youll then need to install the finishing touches. This could be the skirting boards if you have removed them before installing the floating floor, or otherwise products like quarter round or sloped beading from Bunnings can be installed by gluing with a product such as Liquid Nails or nailed into place using a nail gun. IKEA offer skirting boards in the same patterns as the floor boards, if you want them to match.

The other edging products you will need are metal trims to slope down from carpet, or up from vinyl or lino (linoleum), as well as expansion joints if you have an extremely large area of floating floor. These are also available at Bunnings and can be screwed or glued into place fairly easily.

Im very pleased with the finished result in my house and I hope that your installation goes smoothly as well.

If youve used the IKEA Tundra flooring in your house, share your experiences with other users via the comments section below.

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