How to Lay Laminate Flooring

Before beginning to learn how to lay laminate flooring, it is important to ensure you have all the necessary tools. We have split these into 2 groups. Essential items, the ones that you cannot install a laminate floor without. And we have recommended items.  Products that will make the job easier or aid with a more professional finish.

Essential Items

  • Hand Saw
  • Pencil
  • Underlay
  • Measuring tape

Recommended Items

  • Knee Pads
  • Moisture Metre
  • spacers
  • Pull Bar
  • Electric Chop Saw (to replace the hand saw)
  • Jig-saw
  • 2m Long Spirit Level

Before you Begin

It’s important to inspect your laminate flooring before laying. If you find any defects at all, DO NOT INSTALL THE FLOOR. First, speak with your supplier to determine the best way forward. Many manufacturers will not validate a warranty if defective flooring is installed.

It is not uncommon to find what appears to be very slight damage to the edges and especially the corners of laminate floors. This will mostly be superficial as the machining process can create small imperfections along the click system that will have no effect on the quality or performance of the floor. However large broken areas or large areas of damaged click systems are a cause for concern and you should contact your supplier before proceeding with the installation.

Site Conditions for Laying Laminate Flooring

Poor site conditions are the number one reason for a laminate floor to fail. Learning how to lay laminate flooring is really only important after you have checked site conditions. The most important checks to make are for moisture and sub-floor levels. It is always the responsibility of the installer to determine if the site conditions are acceptable although you may wish to check this yourself before purchasing a floor. This essential testing should be carried out as follows:

  • Humidity levels should be between 45% and 65%. This can be tested with a hygrometer. We recommend reading our guide on Humidity and Wood flooring.
  • Concrete or timber Sub-floors should have a moisture content of no more than 12%MC on a surface prong test, or below 3% on a more common concrete moisture metre. NB Different metres have different scales so it is important to check their documentation.
  • Sub-floor levels should be no more than 3mm over a 1m distance in any direction. This should be checked and measured with a long spirit level and ruler before commencing installation. Uneven floors should be leveled using leveling boards, plywood or self-leveling products.

Your supplier will likely accept no liability for problems with laying a laminate floor if they find any evidence of incorrect job site conditions. If you are not sure about any of this, please contact us at Wood Floor Warehouse and we will be happy to help.

How To Lay Laminate Flooring

Always read the manufacturers own recommended installation guides before installation. Learning how to lay laminate flooring is usually carried out in the same way but often some specific methods are needed on some types of flooring.

Ensure all existing flooring and underlay is removed to give a level base before beginning your installation. As there is an expansion gap needed around the outside of any laminate floor, you have the option of removing your existing skirting boards, installing your new floor and then installing your skirting again. Or instead, use a beading to hide the expansion gap after installation.

Laying laminate flooring is quick and easy and it can be fitted into most areas of any home (usually with the exception of wet rooms). We do recommend click vinyl flooring or water resistant laminate floors in wet areas.

Floating using an underlay is the most common method as it can then be fitted over any type of sub-floor. It is very DIY friendly and won’t need any training or experience. Laminate flooring just clicks together without the need for any type of adhesive. Different floors will click in varying ways to ensure you are familiar with how the floor clicks together before beginning.

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