laminate flooring

How To Lay Laminate Flooring

28 Feb 2022

Laminate Flooring offers several advantages over other types of flooring. First among these is its cost compared to the finish you receive; quite simply, laminate flooring looks beautiful when applied properly. 

The other advantage offered by this type of flooring is the ease of application. While you need specialist tools and some experience to lay carpeting and traditional wood  flooring, laminate flooring can be laid easily, even if you don’t have any experience or tools. 

Of course, the easiest way to lay laminate  flooring is by having Value Carpets lay your flooring for you. Our team is both experienced and quick, meaning that you can have a professional job done quickly and efficiently. This takes the hassle out of your hands. 

However, for those of you who want the challenge, we’ve prepared this short article to help you. 

How To Lay Laminate Flooring

Part 1 – Initial Decisions 

The first stage of  this  process, whether you’ve taken your existing flooring up or not, is to understand the base layer upon which you’re laying your flooring. 

Laminate Flooring needs an underlay upon which to sit. Without that underlay, your new flooring will be sitting on a cold concrete or wooden subfloor. If you have a concrete subfloor, this is especially important as concrete is a porous material, and it is possible for moisture to  seep through and into your home. 

So, in terms of underlay, you have two primary options: 

Fibreboard Underlay

For a wooden subfloor then we recommend Fibreboard  underlay. It offers excellent heat retention, and will increase the energy efficiency of your home. This material will  also help to level out your floor if there are any protrusions. If you choose to use fibreboard underlay, you need to lay it 90 degrees to the direction you intend to lay your flooring. 

Foam

Foam is an excellent underlay option, as it will trap damp before it has the chance to get to your new flooring. If you have a concrete subfloor, and you want to use a fibreboard underlay (if you have an uneven floor, for example) then you ideally will use foam as well. Again, this is to contain moisture. 

If you are laying on concrete, it’s imperative  that you check the moisture level of the subfloor first. While there are machines designed  to test the moisture level of concrete, for a quick and cheap method all you need is some duct tape and some polythene. Stick the polythene down onto the concrete and then leave it overnight. If water droplets collect beneath the polythene, your concrete is damp. 

Assuming that your concrete is not damp, you can apply the foam and then continue on laying your laminate flooring. 

Part 2 – Active Planning

Once the underlay has been decided it’s time to start preparing to lay the flooring. If you’re  laying onto concrete or a brand new subfloor then the direction you lay your new laminate flooring is up to you. However, whichever direction you plan to lay your flooring, we recommend that you lay it down (without connecting it) first. 

This will give you an indication early on where any problems may come from, as well as an idea of whether you have a functional expansion gap. Wooden laminate flooring requires an expansion gap of 10-12mm in order to expand properly. Without it, you’ll experience serious problems and damage with your flooring as the moisture levels rise or fall.

How Many Panels Will You Need?

To work out how many panels you will need, simply measure the room you want to lay laminate flooring in and divide that number by the width of the flooring panels. If the width of the last panel is less than a  full panel, and there is not an additional 10-12mm for the necessary expansion gap, then you will need to shave the panel down. 

Part 3 – Laying Panels

Start the laying process in the corner of the longest wall and go down from there. Remember to leave 10-12mm in order to create an expansion gap, and to also add spacers to ensure that your laminate flooring doesn’t move as you’re adding more panels. 

Once the first board is down, place a new board at the end of the first, make sure the alignment is precisie, and then press down until you hear a clicking sound. This clicking sound indicates that the panels have been attached correctly.

After you’ve attached the first panel you should continue this process until the entire floor is covered in laminate flooring, going row by row in order to ensure uniformity. As previously mentioned, if your last panel is less than the space available to you and the expansion gap space, you will need to shave the final panel into size. You can use a jigsaw or panel saw to do this. 

Remember: you should maintain the 10-12mm expansion gap around the laminate flooring. Add spacers as you go in order to maintain this space. 

Part X – Radiator Pipes 

Cutting around a radiator pipe is easy. All you need to do is lay your laminate flooring board next to the pipe and draw a line to show where the pipe will be. Next, lay that same board in front of the pipe and draw a mark from the center of the pipe which intersects with your first line. 

Where the two lines intersect is where you should drill a hole. Use a 32mm spade or flat wood drill bit to drill through the board. This size will give your pipe enough space to expand. 

After you’ve done drilling, draw two lines from the edges of the hole to  the edge of the board. Each line should run at a slightly outward angle to allow for a clear coverage of the pipe. Use a jigsaw or hacksaw to remove the material from between the two lines. 

Make sure you keep this material, though, as once you’ve fitted the board around the pipe you’ll be laying it back down once again using adhesive. To clean up the look, add a pipe surround. 

Laminate Flooring in Birmingham From Value Carpets

Value Carpets and Flooring offers high quality  flooring and carpet products in the English West Midlands. We offer good value flooring in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield and Erdington, as well as other local areas; our flooring products are suitable for use in living rooms, as kitchen flooring, or as commercial flooring.

For more information about laminate flooring in Erdington, Sutton Coldfield or Birmingham, contact Value Carpet today. 

Cannock
Virage Park
Walsall Road
Cannock
WS11 0NH
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