Renovating houses can be expensive and can take a lot of time. It is entirely understandable if you instead want to save some resources by completing some of the jobs yourself.
One such task which you could take on is laying laminate flooring in various rooms. Read on for some top tips on how to do so.
Why Choose Laminate
Firstly, we should take a look at why you should choose laminate for your home design choice. It is one of the most elegant yet inexpensive choices for your flooring.
It is also suitable for every room in the house, with waterproof options available for kitchens and bathrooms. You can even put underfloor heating in for a little extra comfort and luxury.
Another reason why people choose to use laminate flooring is because it is extremely easy to maintain.
Unlike wooden floors, which may need a deep clean and an oil every now and then to keep them well-cared for, all laminate floors need is a wipe down with a microfibre cloth.
Finally, the best laminate floors are indistinguishable from the wood or the stone they are imitating. If you want a fantastic floor which looks exactly like a fine wood floor worth a lot more, you should definitely choose a laminate wood.
For some great examples of laminate flooring you could use in your home improvement project, check out Wood Floor Warehouse: https://www.woodfloorwarehouse.co.uk/laminate-flooring
Step 1: Measure the Room
Before you even buy your laminate flooring, the first thing you should do is measure the space it will be going in.
This isn’t necessarily as simple as just measuring the distance between the walls, unless your laminate floor is going in a perfectly rectangular empty room.
If your room is irregular due to nooks and crannies, furniture or anything else, it is extremely important that you include this on your measurement to ensure that you have the most accurate picture of how big your room is.
When you know precisely what size your room is, you will need to add a little extra to accommodate for waste as you cut the laminate to fit the room.
Between 5-10% will be sufficient. Make sure to measure at least twice so you know your room is going to be as accurate as possible.
Step 2: Prepare the Floor
Having selected your ideal laminate flooring and ordered it, you need to begin to prepare the room. This is one of the most crucial steps in the entire laying process as a poor base layer may potentially warp or change the way the laminate sits on top.
The first thing you should do is remove any trace of the old flooring. This includes any leftover carpet gripper or any other similar debris which could have been left behind. You want as smooth and as flat a surface as possible.
A newly lain concrete floor will have to be completely dried out and any screws or nails in the floor need to be down below the surface so they won’t mess up the floor above.
The day before you intend to start laying the floor, make sure to give the room a good once over with the vacuum.
You should then lay the laminate flooring packs horizontally on the floor overnight to ensure that they are completely flat and can adapt to the room.
Finally, remove the skirting boards.
Step 3: Underlay
You might think that underlay is an unnecessary step but it is extremely important for laminate floorings. The underlay dictates how comfortable the floor is to touch and is also a marker for how well it will absorb noise or shock; useful if you live in an apartment building.
It could also act as an insulator and potentially lower your energy bills slightly because of this. If you are looking for ways to make your home a little more energy efficient, an investment in some decent underlay may be an excellent starting point.
If you are laying your laminate flooring in a bathroom or kitchen – or any room where there is likely to be a lot of water – you will need an underlay which comes with a damp-proof membrane.
This will stop mold and other nasty things growing under your laminate if water falls on it.
Lay your underlay over all of the floor where you intend to put your laminate flooring and secure it together with masking tape.
Step 4: Laying the Laminate
The time has finally come for you to lay your floor. Each piece should fit together very easily by design, all you need to do now is work out exactly how to successfully lay it. Choose a corner to start in and lay your first row of boards.
When you bought the laminate, you also should have picked up a flooring kit. This is an incredibly important piece of equipment as it has everything you need to ensure that the floor is going to be laid correctly.
Take some of the spacers from the flooring kit and use to them to keep an 8-10mm gap between the wall and your boards.
A laminate floor should never touch walls or door frames to stop the floor becoming damaged. These spacers allow this gap to be maintained.
You may find that the last piece of wood in the row is too long and needs to be cut down before it is laid. A mitre saw or a proper laminate floor cutter will be exactly the tool you need to do the job quickly and cleanly.
Don’t worry about the wasted piece of wood; if it is over 300mm in length then you can use it to start the next row. You could also use it later on in the laying process if you have an awkward gap it will fit in.
Continue laying the rows across the floor, adding spaces as needed. Stagger the joints to give the floor as much strength as possible. Measure the last few rows carefully as they are likely to be the most difficult to lay down.
Step 5: Going Around the Doors and Edges
Fitting your laminate flooring around the doorframes and skirting boards can be one of the trickier parts of laying your floor so you have to make sure that you are doing it correctly.
The easiest way to do so is to undercut the door frames and your skirting boards so that the laminate flooring slips neatly underneath. Make sure you get an accurate measurement of the depth of your board so you do not cut too much away.
You may not be able to click the boards together if this is one of the last boards you are laying, so be prepared to sand off the tongue and have a high-quality wood adhesive nearby to ensure that this board cannot move.
If you need to cut holes for radiator pipes, make sure that the board does not touch the pipe as this can cause warping and other types of damage. A hole of about 30mm in diameter will allow most pipes but you can also measure them to see if you will need something a little larger.
Finally, you may need some form of beading to finish the edges if you have not undercut the skirting boards. This is a special type of floor trim which fills the gap between the laminate and the walls. It gives the floor a neat and tidy border.
If you need the trim to act as a transition between two different types of floor material, make sure you choose one which is suitable to be used with both.
You don’t always have to pay massive amounts of money for the perfect floor. There are plenty of guides and YouTube tutorials out there which can teach you everything you need to know about how to lay the perfect laminate floor.
What’s more, if you do lay your own floor then you can have the great satisfaction of knowing that you did a terrific job on your own.
It could even form a talking point when showing someone around the new room, as DIY projects tend to be quite impressive.
It might also simply just be more cost-effective for you to lay the floors yourself; especially if you are conducting a big home renovation with lots of floor to cover.
Rather than pay a professional to do it all for you, you may be able to save some money if you are willing to take the time and the effort to do it yourself.
Take the leap into the world of DIY today and get ready to lay your first floor now!
It might be the project you never thought you would ever complete but it is easier than you might think.
If you are on the hunt for a floor which looks stylish and easy to manage, you should definitely think about adding a laminate floor to your property.
Start looking at options today!