by Holly Sanders
how to carry out this surprisingly easy task!
If you’re going for a look that will last in your home, then it’s important to consider one thing above all else: laminate flooring. You see, this classic, timeless addition to the home is better quality than ever before.
On top of this, the best laminate flooring is still very wallet-friendly, particularly when compared to more costly wood or stone. The best laminates are also practically indistinguishable from the real thing – and they’re very easy to lay yourself.
So, here’s a quick step-by-step for you to use. It’s still quite basic – more to demonstrate how much it’s worth doing yourself, than exactly how you’d carry it out – but video guides also exist on the web. For example, Topps Tiles have created this remarkably detailed step-by-step walkthrough – check it out!
Buy enough for the job
In order to work out how much flooring you’ll need, first calculate the area of the room by multiplying length and width measurements before adding an additional ten per cent for wastage.
Get the right tools for the job
Alongside laminate floor packs, you’ll need: a tape measure; adhesive (unless you have click-together flooring); underlay; a craft knife; a drill; a panel saw; spacer blocks; a fitting tool and edging block; a set square; a hammer; and panel pins.
Allocate at least two days
While it’s easy to do the job with more practice, a room less than 20sq m will take around two days to do, so make sure you give the project the time it deserves.
Lay the underlay
Before you do this important first big step, take any inward-opening doors off the hinges to make life easier for yourself. On the bare floor, vacuum all grit and dirt from the surface and fit your underlay – both boards and purpose-made sheets are fine, so use the one you prefer. Underlay dampens noise when walking on boards, while also providing it with a little flexibility.
Lay your first board
Using your tape measure, mark 60cm intervals along the longest straight wall and put down spacers at each point. From here, lay the first row of boards with groove side facing the wall. Spacers must be wide enough to offer the necessary expansion gap around the edge of the floor. Most boards, aside from click-together offerings, have tongue and groove joints; add a bead of glue before pushing this together. At the end, you’ll likely need to cut the last board of the row to fit.
When you start the next row, use the off-cut of the final board at the end of the first row. Make sure you staged end joints of adjacent rows by 30cm or more, and use a fitting tool to push the ends of boards together. Use this pattern to complete all the rows in the room.
Working cleverly near pipes
If you have central heating, chances are that you’ll have to work with pipes. Mark the position of them on the board to be laid and drill a hole 5mm larger in diameter than the pipe and fit the board carefully; there needs to be an expansion gap all the way around the pipe.
Replace the skirting board over new boards, or fix decorative quadrant moulding over the expansion gap at the edge of the floor. Pin moulding to a skirting board and fit a threshold over the edge of the flooring at doorways – then admire your achievement!