Laminate flooring

Discussion in 'DIY' started by box-of-frogs, Feb 15, 2010.

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  1. I'm considering getting laminate flooring for the downstairs of the house (excluding kitchen). It seems to be relatively inexpensive. Anyone fitted some themselves? Easy to do? Tips? Was it worth it?

  2. I've fitted it 3 times myself (the first, I cocked up). It's relatively easy to do. Don't buy the cheapsest flooring, it will look crap. Maybe spend some time going through the lengths to match up the grain form one end to the next end. It takes time, but looks better than having the grain on the end of one piece not matching the grain on the piece joining it. Make sure you stagger the joints like you would see on a brick wall (I didn't do that the first time I did it - hence cocking up).

    It is worth it if you have young kids & pets (dogs & cats especially). It's easy to wipe up spillages & hoover/sweep up pet hair. Although it's a pain if you walk in with wet shoes, as you leave puddles everywhere which need mopping up.
  3. Having fitted this kind of flooring a number of times now, the advice above is pretty good. Worth remembering also measure twice, cut once and when you measure the end coming into the wall under the skirting board leave room for expansion - summer extends slightly, winter contracts slightly. Laminate rising up in places because it is too tight is not a good look.

    Cut yourself a small piece of the end of a section to prevent damaging the joint (you'll see what I mean once you start), and also a set square is a good tool for cutting guides. Other than that, cut your underlay carefully and take your time.
  4. It's also good tactics (especially in the winter) to unpack the lot and lean all the lengths up against the wall for a day or two in the room(s) in which it's to be laid.

  5. Laminate is ok, but look at the other options.
    Are the floor boards in good condition - can you sand them? Costs abouy £150 to do this, rental + sanding discs
    Or if the boards are bogging find out how much it will cost to rip them up and lay new ones. Some times it's cheaper than laminate.

  6. As above dont get the cheap stuff and lay it flat on the floor before use
    Use decent tools too
  7. Definitely! By rights, you should leave it there for a few weeks, but 'er indoors won't believe that there's a good reason why you aren't getting on with the job.

    Are you laying it over a suspended timber floor? Don't forget a polythene sheet (taped at any joins) to prevent moisture rising from the sub-floor. Laminate flooring warps very easily.

    Remove skirtings and threshold strips before laying - this will allow you to confirm that there's a gap between the laminate perimeter and walls. As Thedesertfox says, you need to allow for expansion. When re-fitting the skirtings, make sure that there's a couple of mm clearance between the flooring and the underside of the skirting. Laminate can be noisy enough without the sound transferring into your walls.
  8. Laminate flooring is like the wife, if you lay it properly the first time you'll never have any trouble

    Or something
  9. Cheers all for the replies.

    Which would you suggest: Leave the skirting as it is and then add a scotia / edging or, take the present skirts off and then re-lay them after?
  10. In some cases there is enough gap under the existing skirting board you would have to lift the carpet to check
  11. Have you women living in the house?
    Well consider laminate flooring very carefully, I put it down and the sound of womens heels clumping over it like friggin clip-clop horse,s resulted in the whole lot going to the dump.go the extra few pound and put proper wood down.
  12. If you do lay it don't forget to use underlay too, not only does it act as insulation but also dampens noise.
  13. Ordinary Forces, proper wood is quieter than laminate because the stilletto heels are sinking into the wood. I think bamboo is virtually the only wood hard enough to take sharp heels, may be wrong.

    We used Quick-step commercial range, this one I think, very very hard wearing.
  14. I was trying to be positive, but...

    Extra few pounds? He's already got the proper wood (presumably).

    Keep the original floorboards and use one of these:


    It'll look just like laminate for a fraction of the cost and effort.
  15. Get the professionals in - DIY is always a bad bet.