Expert tips for installing laminate flooring

Date posted: 09/09/15

If you’re reasonably proficient at DIY and have all the tools for the job, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t undertake straightforward laminate flooring installations yourself without the need to call in a professional. The following are some tips to help you avoid common problems:

Use the right tools

You’ll need a good quality hand saw for cutting the laminate to size, and a jigsaw can be helpful if you need to tackle significant lengths. You will also require a hacksaw and drill for cutting the laminate to fit round any pipes or tricky areas. An easy way to ensure that you have everything you need is to buy a laminate flooring kit. These will generally contain basics such as wedges and tapping blocks which can really help to simplify the fitting process.

Take tips from the professionals

Do your research first and follow the techniques used by the pros to ensure that you get an attractive finish. Laminate flooring looks far better if the ends and joints are staggered rather than having every plank starting at the end of the room. You can use cut-off sections at the end of rooms to easily create a staggered look and reduce wastage.

Take your time when finishing up. Untidy cutting of boards around pipes is immediately noticeable and makes the whole room seem unfinished. Also take care when laying the beading around the edge of the floor. Rushing jobs at the end of the installation compromises the look of the whole floor.

Make sure that you don’t leave gaps between laminate boards as this looks unfinished and shoddy. Similarly, it is not uncommon for gaps to open up between planks. This is usually as a result of a failure to use an adequate amount of glue, or because the boards were not held in place for long enough while the glue was setting.

For a truly professional finish, it’s preferable to remove skirting boards before fitting laminate flooring. In many cases, this may pre-empt the need for beading in order to cover the recommended expansion gap; this gap can be hidden by the skirting board when it is re-installed. Do ensure that the skirting doesn’t exert too much downward pressure on the laminate when re-installed as this could create friction and compromise the effect of the expansion gap.

Finally, always ensure that you’re using adequate underlay for your flooring. Using the wrong type of underlay can lead to creaking or sagging laminate and shortens the life of your new flooring.