Here is a step-by-step guide ono how to install your new laminate flooringWritten by: Yarl Christie
Published on: June 06, 2023
How to Install Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a popular choice for UK homeowners. A cheaper alternative to solid wood, they mimic the real thing, yet provide added practicality and easy installation.
The majority of laminate floors come with a click installation system. This enables you to simply click the planks together, speeding up the installation process. You don’t need to be a DIY expert to fit these floors yourself.
Below, you will discover how to install laminate flooring to achieve a professional looking finish.
1. What Tools Will You Need?
To ensure best results, you’re going to need to make sure you’re using the right equipment. The most important things you will need include:
- Measuring tape
The handsaw will be used to cut the laminate planks to size where needed. Measuring tape will help you to establish how much flooring you’ll need, alongside helping you to measure how much needs to be cut off the planks. Underlay is another essential, helping to speed up installation as well as boost the stability and longevity of the floor.
Alongside these essential items, there’s a few other things we’d recommend. Knee pads for example, can help to protect the knees during the fitting process. A moisture metre, spacers, jigsaw and 2m long spirit level can also prove useful.
Once you’ve got everything you will need, you can start measuring the room to determine how many planks you’ll need to use.
2. Measure The Room
To measure the room, use your tape measure to calculate the width and length of the space. You should always measure the longest and widest walls in the room. Once you have the measurements, multiply the length by the width of the room and this will give you its square metre measurement.
This can determine how many packs of laminate you will need. We recommend investing in an additional 10% of the floor’s square footage to accommodate for any waste.
3. Plan the Layout
Determine the layout of the laminate planks, considering the room's dimensions, entrances, and transitions to other flooring types.
Measure and mark the starting wall where you'll begin the installation. Leave a small expansion gap between the wall and the flooring to allow for natural expansion.
4. Acclimatise Laminate Flooring Planks
Prior to installing the floor, it’s going to need to be acclimatised. Even though laminate doesn’t react in the same way to moisture and temperature changes, it is still important to acclimatise it before use.
You will need to place the floor, still sealed, in the room it’s going to be installed in. It needs to be acclimatised for at least 48 hours before installation. During this time, it’s important to keep the temperature of the room consistent.
5. Prepare the Subfloor
While the floor is acclimatising, you’ll want to get started on preparing the installation site. Is the subfloor clean, dry and even? Check it with a floor leveller to see how even it is and sand it down where required.
Once you’ve checked and prepared the subfloor, it’s time to install your underlay. All laminates should have an underlay installed, unless they come with a pre-fitted one. This helps to provide stability, comfort and noise reduction properties.
Make sure you’ve chosen the best underlay to match the installation site. If you’re installing the floor onto a concrete subfloor, you’ll need an underlay with a damp proof membrane. If you’re installing it with underfloor heating, you’ll need an underlay that helps to distribute the heat as evenly as possible.
6. Installing the Laminate Flooring
Now that the installation site has been prepared and the flooring has acclimatised, it’s time to install your new floor.
As most laminates today feature a tongue and groove system, you should find them easy to install. Let’s look at the step-by-step process to install a click system laminate floor.
6A. Install the First Row
- Start in a corner of the room, preferably in the left-hand corner.
- Place spacers along the starting wall to create the expansion gap.
- Lay the first plank with the tongue side facing the wall. Insert the tongue into the groove of the previous plank at an angle and lower it to lock the planks together. Use a tapping block and mallet if needed.
6B. Continue Installing the Planks
- Install subsequent planks by inserting the long side into the groove of the previous row at an angle. Use a slight upward and downward motion to fit the planks tightly together. Ensure each row is straight and the short ends are staggered for a more natural appearance.
6C. Cut and Trim Planks
- Measure and cut planks to fit around doorways, obstacles, or at the end of rows. Use a jigsaw, circular saw, or miter saw to make accurate cuts. Remember to leave the expansion gap at the walls.
6D. Install the Final Row
- Measure and cut the planks for the last row to fit the remaining space. Use a pull bar and tapping block to install the final row, ensuring a snug fit.
6E. Install Beading and Door Profiles
- Install beading or quadrants around the perimeter of the room to cover the expansion gap and provide a finished look.
- Install transition moldings at doorways or areas where the laminate flooring meets other types of flooring.
6. Clean Up
Remove the spacers and clean the laminate flooring with a soft broom or vacuum cleaner to remove any dust or debris.
This is the easiest method of installing laminate flooring. However, be aware that this is only a general guide. The laminate floor you’ve purchased should come with its own specific installation instructions.
If you have any trouble installing your new floor, give our friendly team a call on 01133 200 223 and they will be happy to help.