DIY Home Interior

The Dos and Don’ts of Installing Laminate Flooring

Modern Living room with Laminate Flooring Installed

When I moved into my home three years ago (where does the time go?!) I decided I wanted laminate flooring in the bedroom and living room. I chose laminate flooring because I like how it looks, it’s hard-wearing and once it’s installed it requires very little maintenance or upkeep. Now, three years on, I’m glad I opted for laminate wood flooring, it looks as good today as the day it was installed and it has many many years of wear left – a great choice I would say.

My DIY skills don’t quite stretch to installing laminate flooring myself but thankfully I had the help of my dad who is a dab hand at DIY and he installed the laminate in both rooms. I’ll be honest and say that going into the process I had no idea what it would involve or even what items I would need to purchase. Thankfully, my dad was able to give me advice in these areas and I have learnt a lot through the process, that’s why today I am sharing some of the do’s and don’ts of installing laminate flooring that I learnt along the way.

If you’re looking to install laminate flooring in your home and you want to install it yourself then you might find the below helpful. Remember if you’re unsure to always seek the help of a professional.

Do’s

  • Ensure you purchase the correct type of laminate for your room. Kitchens and bathrooms require a special type of laminate which can withstand water and moisture.
  • Make sure you have the correct tools for the job. If you try and make do with tools which aren’t adequate you could ruin your flooring which will cost you in the long run.
  • Buy quality laminate flooring. It can be tempting to save money and purchase low quality laminate but this will cost you in the long run. It might be difficult to install, chip or mark easily and will likely need replacing much sooner than quality laminate.
  • Read and reread the installation instructions. It’s easy to want to get started and wing it but reading the manufacturers instructions will help ensure the installation of your new floor goes smoothly.
  • Remember to alternate planks to ensure you aren’t repeating the same pattern over and over which could make the flooring look unnatural.
  • Let the flooring acclimatise to the room for 48 hours prior to installation to allow for any expansion in the wood.
  • Tape together the seams of your underlay to keep everything steady and in place.
  • Hire a professional if you’re unsure you can install the flooring yourself.
  • Ensure the subfloor is level, clean and dry before laying the flooring.
  • Leave an expansion gap to allow the laminate to expand and contract.

Don’ts

  • Don’t forget underlay. Having a smooth surface to lay your laminate on is important, underlay also helps keep moisture away from the laminate.
  • Rush the job. It might be tempting to get everything done as quickly as you can but this is when mistakes happen, it’s better to take your time with the installation to make sure things are done properly.
  • Install laminate flooring over carpet.
  • Fix trim to the floor. Fix it to the wall/skirting to give the floor underneath room to move if necessary.

If you’re not sure about installing the flooring yourself and don’t have the correct skills or equipment it’s important to call in the professionals. It’s great if you can install it yourself but if you’re not equipt with the correct skills or tools then things could go wrong and you could end up with flooring which is unusable or unsafe.

I would love to know if you have any laminate flooring success or mishap stories?

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