Laminate Flooring Installation Guide UK Flooring Direct

Laminate Flooring Installation Guide UK Flooring Direct

Acclimatising your New Laminate Floor

This is a very important aspect of installation which will make a huge difference to your flooring and fortunately it is not difficult to acclimatise your laminate floor.

Acclimatisation should take place at room temperature of at least 65°F (15°C) and this should take place in the room where it will be installed. For at least 48 hours before your laminate floor is laid the product should be kept in this room, in the boxes it arrives in.

A floor surface temperature of 59°F and an overall room temperature of 64°F must be maintained before, during and three days after the installation takes place. This process helps to stabilise moisture levels as naturally as possible because laminate flooring can expand and contract slightly with changing temperature and humidity.

If this is allowed to happen then gaps or peaks can appear, ruining the look of your beautiful flooring.

Preparing to Fit Laminate Flooring

The business of fitting laminate flooring begins with checking the material first. Before starting the installation, check for any small problems and return any planks or tiles that have defects, as once they are installed the warranty will not cover them.

Another thing to check is that the subfloor is in good order. There is no point laying laminate flooring on a surface that is uneven or structurally unsound. Indeed, if the floor below has a lot wrong with it then work will be needed on that before ANY new surface is installed.

Use a floor leveler to check all areas of the floor for levelness. A surface that is slightly uneven may be sanded down and this will ensure the new laminate floor on top is nice and flat.

Next you should install your underlay. This step is different depending on which type of subfloor you have. If you are installing over a concrete slab you will need to use and underlay which has a built in damp proof membrane. Tape the underlay down using packaging tape to make sure it extends up the wall at least 5 cm.

If it’s a wooden subfloor, you will not have to use an underlay with a damp proof membrane, tape the underlay together, or run it up the wall.

For installation over underfloor heating ensure you have an underlay that distributes heat evenly across its surface.

These are recommendations, but you should always follow manufacturers guidelines when choosing an underlay. The video below provides a simple demonstration to help you fit your underlay.

Cutting Laminate around Toilets, Radiator Pipes, Stairs and Doorways

Custom laminate flooring cuts require you to measure specifically to know exactly how much you need. When working with custom cuts, you may also end up installing the floor differently. For instance, you may have to start in the middle so measure your room carefully.

Mark Your Laminate: Always make some kind of mark on your laminate before you begin cutting. This is the best way to prevent mistakes. Use a pencil or chalk to mark so it’s not noticeable.

Pick Your Tool: You can use different cutting tools when cutting laminate and you will notice that each one is a little different. Chop saws are good for repetitive cuts, especially ones on the short end of laminate boards. These tools create a lot of dust so its best that you use it outside. Circular saws are good for cutting straight lines, especially long straight lines. The cordless versions are very handy. Cordless jigsaws are also an option. These tools are good for cutting laminate to put around things like pipes, or other curved objects.

Cut Your Laminate: Begin cutting. If you are using a power saw, remember that laminate chips easily. To prevent chipping, you have to have a saw with fine teeth and you have to cut downwards into the laminate, not upwards as is typical with saw blades, and other materials like wood. If you are using a simpler hand saw, cut your laminate with the good side up, but only use pressure on the downward strokes. When pulling back up, don’t let the saw come into contact with the uncut section of the line.

Notch The Planks. If you are installing the laminate around pipes, and need to cut to fit them, you should use a jigsaw to actually notch the planks. Leave a ¼ inch expansion space so that there is room for the pipe.

How to Fit and Lay Laminate Flooring

Most laminate floors are click-system types and knowing how to fit laminate flooring like this is far from rocket science. The items will fit together like jigsaw pieces. The key is not to add too much glue, as this will form barriers between the edges.

Laminate Flooring Installation Guide UK Flooring Direct

The laminate boards should be laid starting from the perimeter of the room. Make sure that the groove sides of the boards are facing the wall, and a gap of 10mm is left between the wall and the boards. The first board on the first row should be a full board, and the second row should start with a 2/3 board. The first board on the third row should be a 1/3 board, and the fourth row starts with a full board again. This pattern will go on until the entire floor is covered with laminate boards. The end joints of one row should be about 8 inches away from the end joints of the next row.

Even if the new floor has been properly acclimatised,  it will still experience normal expansion and contraction as humidity and temperature levels vary. This means that there should be a small gap of 10mm between the edge of the room and the laminate to allow for this.

To maintain this gap during installation spacers are provided in the installation kits (purchased separately). After you have installed the floor you can cover this expansion gap with scotia / beading or new skirting boards. The 10mm expansion gap also needs to be left in doorways where the floor follows through from one room to another; we have a full range of door profiles available to match your floor.

Provided these guidelines are followed and the manufacturers instructions studied to establish the exact procedure to follow for each floor, there should be no problem with a householder installing their laminate floor themselves and enjoying it for many years thereafter.

ATTENTION – INSTALLER/OWNER RESPONSIBILITY

Inspect all materials carefully before installation. Even though our product goes through many inspections before it leaves the plant, it is the responsibility of the customer and installer to perform a final inspection prior to installation. Any warranties offered with this product do not cover materials with visible defects once the product is installed.

JOB SITE CONDITIONS

It is the responsibility of the owner/installer to determine if the jobsite sub-floor and job site conditions are environmentally and structurally acceptable for wood floor installation. The installer/owner is responsible for wood failure resulting from or connected with sub-floor, subsurface, job site damage, deficiencies or using inadequate accessories after the hardwood flooring has been installed.

Always read the full manufactures recommended installation guides before installation which you will find in every 3rd pack of flooring.

Laminate Flooring Advice Centre


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