How to Install Your New Laminate Flooring
Installing laminate flooring is easier than you think because it comes with locking joints so you can drop the boards into one another or simply tap them together. As with most DIY projects good preparation is often the key to success.
Here are some steps to installing your flooring properly:
Preparation is extremely important and it the biggest part of the job. When you purchase the flooring, it needs to acclimatise to your home for at least 24hrs before you install it. During that time you can prepare the sub floor.
One thing that is essential is the sub floor needs to be totally dry. It will need to be thoroughly cleaned and not have any debris or dust on it. It also needs to be level and flat. If it is thinner than 18 mm you need to make sure it is load bearing.
If there are cracks in the sub floor, they will need to be filled and sealed. Duct tape can be used to cover very small cracks but if the crack has a ridge, it will need to be levelled. As a rule of thumb any raised sections of more than 3 mm need to be levelled. The easiest and quickest way to do this is t use liquid levelling compound like a latex screed.
When you are ready to lay the floor, make sure the temperature of the room is between 18 and 26 degrees and will stay in that range for a day after the floor is installed. The humidity needs to be between 40 and 50 percent for optimum conditions. This is because the way wood reacts to heat and humidity by expanding and contracting.
It is recommended that the panels be installed parallel to the sunlight coming into the room. Measure the room to determine the number of panels needed. If the last row is going to be less than 60 mm, trim the first row lengthwise.
Because laminate flooring is organic, it will be subject to expansion and shrinkage. For this reason, an expansion gap of 10 mm will need to be left between the flooring and the walls, stairs, door frames, and pipes. Transition mouldings need be placed between the flooring and the wall to cover the expansion gaps.
As you lay the flooring, put spacers to allow for the expansion gaps. Lock the panels with a hammer and a push block. When you cut off the last panel in the first row, use that piece to start the next row, and continue doing that on all rows.
You can view our video on how best to lay a laminate floor below:
Have a look through our ranges of laminate flooring to see how it could fit your home