Laminate flooring

#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?

Cheers!
 
#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.

MsG
 
#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.

LVH
 
#7
Bugsy said:
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.

MsG
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.
 
#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?
 
#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.
 
#14
ordinaryforces said:
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.
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:


http://www.hss.com/imagshop/guides/How_to_Sand_a_Floor.pdf

It'll look just like laminate for a fraction of the cost and effort.
 
#16
Bollock-chops said:
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.

http://www.quick-step.com/europe/uk/en/floor/403038.aspx
Such a shame that your warranty doesn't include scratches or other abrasive damage likely to happen as a result of normal wear and tear...
 
#17
box-of-frogs said:
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?
I've personally never bothered with ripping off the skirting-boards, and I've laid laminate flooring about a dozen times. I find that a quarter-bead nailed onto the skirting over the gap does the job quite brilliantly and you can generally get it in the shade of the floor itself.

MsG
 
#19
Get yourself some decent Knee Pads (or use the underlay).
 
#20
putteesinmyhands said:
ordinaryforces said:
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.
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:


http://www.hss.com/imagshop/guides/How_to_Sand_a_Floor.pdf

It'll look just like laminate for a fraction of the cost and effort.

I had fun riding that beast when I did my bedrooms. Wear ear defenders and a mask. Make sure you pull up all the nails and staples in the wood or you will shread the paper faster than you can fit it.
 
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