This article is about how to fit laminate flooring. When fitting laminate flooring it is essential to prepare the floor and to make sure it is level and clean. In addition, we recommend you to use the right tools and to read our step by step guide, as to get the job done in a professional manner. Fitting laminate flooring by yourself is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance, and beside the satisfaction of a proper job, you will save a great amount of money (hiring a qualified worker will cost you around 100-200 dollars for a room with an average surface). If you prepare the floor thoroughly and understand the basic techniques of fitting laminate flooring, you will be able to complete the project in less than a day.
If you are going to fit laminate flooring on a concrete floor, you have to make sure it is perfectly level on the whole surface. Therefore use a large scraper to remove the bumps or pour a thin layer of self-leveling screed to level the floor. If the sub-floor is lain on wooden joists, you should also check it attentively, as to identify possible damaged or unleaded areas. In addition, if you have to replace the sub-floor, we recommend you to fasten 1/2” thick plywood.
You have to acclimatize the laminate flooring packs for at 2 days before fitting them, otherwise they will move from position and create gaps. If you store the laminate boards at the room’s temperature you avoid these issues from the very beginning. Moreover, before fitting the laminate boards, you should check them attentively making sure you don’t use the damaged ones (avoid laying scratched planks, or boards with damaged grooves).
Use a vacuum to clean the dust and other particles from the floor, before fitting the underlay. Make sure you clean the base surface properly, if you want a professional result. Don’t forger to lay underlay before fitting the laminate flooring, as it will smooth the irregularities of the sub-floor and improve the insulation of the room.
Estimating the laminate flooring quantity is another aspect that you should take into account before starting your project. If you have to fit laminate board on a small surface or a room with a complex shape, buy 10% more flooring, as you will get significant waste due to cutting. On the other hand, if you have to lay laminate flooring on a large surface (a very large room or several room), you should buy only 5 percent more flooring.
Made from this plan
In order to fit laminate flooring, you need the following:
- Laminate flooring boards
- Underlay for laminate flooring
- Adhesive tape
- Wood glue
- Install the laminate under the door jamb, not around it
- Clean the laminate flooring regularly with appropriate products
- 4 hours for a surface of 100 ft2/10 m2, one person
Preparation before fitting laminate flooring
First of all, you have to prepare the floor before fitting the laminate planks. Therefore, use a large 4′ spirit level as to see if the surface is uniform. If necessary pour a thin layer of self-leveling screed, as to smoothen the floor.
If the floor is level, use a large scraper to remove the bumps and lumps on its surface. Start with one corner of the room and cover the whole surface. Next, use a vacuum or a large broom to clean the dirt and residues from the concrete floor.
Next, install underlay under the laminate flooring, as it is an excellent insulator (it reduces the heat losses) and it improves the sub-floor irregularities.
Generally speaking, the underlay may come either in rolls or in boards, therefore it might have different sizes. Nevertheless, there are all good for this project, provided you use tape to join them and create an anti-moisture barrier.
After you have installed the underlay, you have to decide the layout of the laminate flooring. The most common way of fitting laminate boards is to lay them along the longest wall of the room or to towards the light source.
When fitting laminate floor, all boards should be larger than 10” and wider than 2”. In most cases you have to start the first row with a full board, the next one with 2/3 of a board (or with the waste from previous row) and the third with 1/3 board.
Next, you have to cut the door jambs before fitting laminate flooring in the room. Therefore, lay a laminate flooring board on the underlay and use a back-saw to cut the door jambs.
Move gently the back-saw, making sure you hold it firmly and parallel with the sub-floor throughout the procedure. Work with attention and you will get the job done as a professional.
After you have cut the door jambs, you have to vacuum the surface, as to remove the residues. In addition, you could use a cutter to smooth the surface or remove the foam (in case your interior door was installed using polyurethane foam).
Last but not least, you should place a laminate flooring board under the jambs to see if it fits. If you have issues fitting the board under the jambs, you should cut them again.
Fitting laminate flooring
Afterwards, you can start fitting the laminate flooring boards, but only after you have installed spacers along all walls. You can either buy the spacers or cut small pieces of laminate boards. Using spacers is essential, as the floor expands over time and it might create peaks if it doesn’t have enough room.
Fit the first board with its tongue towards the wall and use spacers along the walls. If you need to cut the laminate flooring board around a corner, you should read our guide on how to cut laminate flooring boards.
Next, connect the rest of the laminate flooring boards as to complete the first row. Don’t forget to use spacers along the wall, as to get an even straight clearance gap.
Joining the laminate planks together is not as difficult as it might seem. Just connect them as tighly as possible and make usre there is no space between the boards.
Use a mallet to tap them gently, as to lock them properly into position. Check attentively the laminate joints, as to make sure there is no space between the planks and thet they are perfectly alligned.
You should remember that even the slightest misalignment will cause major issues in the future, so try to get the job done right from the very first time.
Next, you have to connect the laminate flooring rows. Make sure the row is locked tightly and join it with the rest of the laminate floor, by holding it at about 45º. You might need the help of another person, if you want to get the job done quicker and better.
Make sure the rows connected together properly and then fit the laminate boards down. Repeat these steps till you finish fitting the laminate flooring on the whole surface.
Even if the rows joint together in a proper manner, you have to tap them gently with a rubber hammer. The easiest way to do that is to use another piece of laminate and to connect it to the laminate flooring row.
Then, use a hammer to tap the row gently, till there are no gaps between the boards. Work with patience and you will pull it through. Make sure you don’t push them too hard, as you risk damaging the laminate boards. If you have trouble fitting them together, you might want to try cleaning their groves first.
During this project you will have to adjust the length of the laminate flooring boards, as to fit into location. Therefore, the first step is to mark them properly.
Turn the plank 180º and lay it down, with the tongue pointing towards the wall. Don’t forget to install a spacer along the wall, otherwise the plank might not fit into place. Use an L-square and a pencil to draw the cut line perfectly straight.
In most cases, you won’t be able to fit the last row using full boards. Therefore, you have to adjust them to fit into place. Install spacers along the wall and turn the plank 180º. Afterwards, you should use a pencil to draw the cut line on every board of the last row. In order to cut the planks, you could use a hand saw (cut them with the laminate face up) or a jig saw (cut them with the laminate face down).
Fitting laminate flooring under the jambs is not difficult, if you use the right techniques. Therefore, you should first cut the laminate planks as to fit into location. Next, use a cutter and remove the groove of the board.
Last but not least, add laminate glue on the groove and tap it gently with a mallet, till it fits perfectly into location. Remember that it is essential to make sure there are no gaps between the laminate boards.
Fitting laminate flooring around pipes
Maybe the hardest part of fitting laminate flooring, is to install the boards around pipes. First you should lay the board around the pipes, measure their diameter and the distance from the pipes to the wall. Then, draw the circles on the planks (making sure you make them slightly bigger).
Drill the holes using a hole saw and then make 2 cuts in a V shape, as to free the small piece. Fit it into place and use a pipe collar to hide the gaps.
After you have fitted the last row of laminate flooring boards, you have to remove the spacers and vacuum the room, as to remove the residues created during the project.
Remember to clean the laminate floor regularly using only dedicated products. In addition, you should consider installing pads to furniture legs, as to avoid scratching the laminate flooring.
Thank you for reading our article on how to fit laminate flooring and we recommend you check out the rest of our projects. Don’t forget to Like and SHARE our articles with your friends, by using the social media widgets.