You may think you are walking on a beautiful wooden or marble-topped floor but you are actually walking on laminate. Laminate is a type of durable flooring that is cleverly designed to have the appearance of the texture of real wood or stone.
It’s practical and economical compared to the real thing, looks just as good and is more resistant to daily wear-and-tear. With a bit of preparation, it is also straightforward to lay yourself and there are many guides on how to lay laminate flooring to help you get it right.
Here we focus on a few extra tips to make the process even easier.
Tip #1 – Let laminate floor boards acclimatise to the room
It is a good idea to let the flooring planks acclimatise to the room for 48 hours before you plan to lay them. This enables them to adapt to humidity and temperature so that they are in good shape when you start to put them down.
The best way to store the laminate boards is in flat stacks on the floor.
Tip #2 – Buy more laminate flooring than you need
Mistakes happen and you may find you run out of laminate planks if rooms are awkwardly shaped or floorboards become broken, damaged or otherwise wasted. Buy around 10% extra but don’t open all your packs at once. That way you can return what you don’t use.
Tip #3 – Prepare the subfloor
The subfloor needs to be prepared before you lay the laminate so give it a good sweep and wash it to ensure that it is free from dirt and debris. If you are laying laminate on a concrete floor, wait until the floor is entirely dry before starting.
You will need to put down a vapour barrier before laying laminate planks too. This is a thin layer of foam which helps to soften sound when walking on the floor and protects the laminate from moisture. Your dealer or manufacturer will give you advice on how best to lay the vapour barrier as it depends on the shape and size of your room.
Tip #4 – Be careful
Carefully match each plank tongue to groove and tap together with a piece of scrap flooring so that you don’t damage the planks. It is a good idea to stagger the planks when installing the next line of flooring by six to eight inches. This creates a more interesting appearance than if the planks are placed flush with one another.
Laying them in such a manner also goes some way to creating a stronger floor than if they are placed flush.
Tip #5 – Choose wisely
Laminate flooring comes in a range of colours, style and patterns but you want something that will stand the test of time and not need replacing anytime soon. It’s therefore important to choose wisely and think about how your selection will look later on down the line.