Fitting Laminate Flooring

Cheap DIY solution to fit laminate flooring

So you have got a great space but you don’t want to lay down carpet and would like to see some natural wood on the floor. The only problem is that the floor is concrete. We have some great tips on how to do a DIY laminate flooring job for your house.

Laminate flooring is a really cost-effective and easy product to install but you need to be careful with what you do otherwise it will end up looking badly installed and will reduce the value of your house. It’s important that the floor you are laying the laminate flooring on is perfectly flat and smooth. If there are any problems with damp or woodworm, etc then you need to call in experts otherwise you will just be saving up problems for later.

Some types of laminate floor are suited to bathrooms and kitchens so be careful when you buying and what you are buying for. Also try to avoid the glue style laminate floors as it’s much more messy.

Tools you will need to lay your laminate flooring

  • 20mm (7/8in) wood bit
  • Adhesive
  • Craft knife
  • Drill
  • Edge block
  • Fitting tool
  • Hammer
  • Laminate floor packs
  • Panel pins
  • Panel saw
  • Spacer blocks
  • Tape measure
  • Timber edge moulding
  • Try square
  • Underlay

Remove the skirting boards which you can replace later or add above the laminate. Clean up any dust from the floor. Start rolling out the first of the underlay along the longest wall starting in the corner. You can cut the underlay with scissors or a craft knife. TIP You could remove inward opening doors to make thing easier.

Allow the laminate to stretch as the room is warmed by placing plastic spacers every 60cm or so along the longest straight wall and lay the first row of laminate boards with the groove side facing the wall, starting from a corner. Place a string of glue along the tongue and groove joints at the ends of the boards. You will have to cut the last board on the row to fit the rest. Use a pencil to mark a line across the last piece with a try square and saw with the finished surface facing up.

Lay the laminate across the entire room. Start the second row with the offcut of the board used at the end of the first row. Stagger all the end joints by at least 30cm and use the fitting tool to pull the ends of the boards together. Ensure the edges of the boards are pushed together by gently tapping the edge block against the grooved side of every board.

Cutting boards around doorways and other objects can be difficult. To make it easier, saw a piece from the bottom of the door architrave to the thickness of the laminate. This means the board can then be fitted under door frame. Drill holes in the laminate flooring boards to fit around any pipework and make sure the hole is at least 5mm larger than the diameter of the pipe it is going around. Make two cuts with the saw from the edge of the board to the hole. Put the board in place and glue the small off-cut wedge behind the pipe.

The final row of boards will need to be cut to fit if it isn’t perfectly measuring up. Check the gap between the boards and the wall, deduct 10mm to allow for the expansion gap and saw along the boards lengthways to the required width. Put glue in the joints and fit them together. Put the skirting boards back in place or fix a timber moulding over the expansion gap around the edge of the floor. Secure the moulding to the skirting board with 30mm panel pins and paint or varnish the final result. If you need to, you can fit a metal or wooden threshold across the door openings.

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