Install your own laminate flooring in five easy steps
Laminate is a stylish and above all simple flooring solution for your home. And the best thing about it: you can even install the strips yourself in just a few simple steps thanks to the click system, meaning you can tailor them perfectly to your home. Our step-by-step guide will show you how to go about installing your brand new floor.
It should go without saying that your safety is paramount at every stage of the project. Make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. You can find everything you need to know about the protective clothing required for each type of task in our guide.
DIY knowledge: Installing laminate flooring
Want to have a wooden floor? Cutting and installing your own laminate flooring only takes a few simple steps. Watch our video to see how to reinvigorate your floor with laminate flooring and an easy click system.
Measure and saw the laminate strips to length
You need: Advanced TableCut 52, pocket rule, pencil, Laminate strips
If you want to install your own laminate flooring, you’ll of course need strips in the right length. This means you’ll need to start by precisely measuring the room in which you’re going to install your laminate flooring later. Make sure you take note of any special corners or anywhere you’ll have create contours for pipes and so on.
You’ll also need to think about which direct you want to lay your flooring in: long, narrow rooms, for example, can appear larger if you lay your laminate flooring perpendicular to the direction of the room. But the way the light comes in through the windows is also an important factor: in general, the strips should be laid lengthwise to the light source so that the long gaps cast fewer shadows.
Once you’ve got all of your measurements, you can either cut have the strips to length or saw them yourself. A table saw is an excellent tool for working with laminate. As soon as you’ve transferred your measurements to the strips, you can easily cut them down to the length you need with simple pulling movements (image 1). With a table saw, however, you can also set certain angles, allowing you to saw accurate bevels and angled cuts (image 2). Plus, if you want to put in skirting boards, you can also add precise mitre cuts for the corner joints (image 3).
Prepare the subfloor
You need: pocket rule, pencil, knife or scissors, straight edge, Vapour barrier liner, Soundproofing insulation
Once you have all the laminate strips in the right lengths for your room, you can start working on the floor. Before you start laying the laminate, you need to prepare the subfloor.
The subfloor must firm, dry and level. Make sure to check this thoroughly (using a moisture meter, for example) and level out any bumps, divots or cracks with filler if needs be.
Once your subfloor is ready, it’s time to put down the vapour barrier. This special liner prevents rising damp or residual moisture from penetrating the laminate from underneath. It comes in rolls, which means can cut the exact amount you need. If you’re installing multiple strips, the liner has to overlap and be sealed with adhesive tape.
A second liner is now added on top of the vapour barrier: soundproofing insulation. It muffles the noise made from walking on the laminate and also evens out any slight unevenness in the floor. It’s also available as a roll and can be cut to length. If you have underfloor heating, make sure the insulation is suitable.
Install the first row of laminate flooring
You need: straight edge, Laminate strips, Spacers (10 mm thick)
Finished putting the liners down? Then it’s time to start installing the first row of your laminate flooring. To do this, place 10-mm-think spacers between the adjoining wall the first set of strips. This is called the expansion joint and gives the wood space to expand.
Once you’ve installed the first row, make sure to use a straight edge to check that everything is straight. If it’s not straight, there may be tension in the joints when you install the other strips.
Install the other laminate strips
You need: rubber hammer, Laminate strips
Once everything is neat and straight, you can continue with the second row. The individual strips use a click system, which means you insert the next strip diagonally from above and gently press it down. This locks it into place and the tongue and groove connect together. Connect the long sides of the strips first, followed by the short ones. You can gently tap the strips to make sure everything is tightly in place. We recommend using a rubber hammer to do this – and don’t tap on the wood directly. Repeat this step to connect all the other laminate strips until your floor is fully installed.
Fill any small gaps
You need: Jigsaws, pocket rule, pencil, rubber hammer, Laminate strip, Spacers (10 mm thick)
There’s always the possibility that you end up with small gaps in the corners of the room. But don’t worry about that, they’re easy to fill: note down the exact measurements of the gaps (image 1) and transfer these to a laminate strip. A jigsaw is perfect for cutting this strip to length.
You can now insert the small laminate strip into gap using the same method as before. You will probably have to lift up other strips and reconnect them to do this. Make sure that the strips are always the recommended 10 mm away from the wall.
Since installing laminate flooring that uses a click system doesn’t involve gluing anything down, the floor is effectively ‘floating’ after it has been installed, meaning you can take it up and put it back down again without a problem. This is also practical should you ever decide to get rid of your laminate floor.
But for now, we hope you have a lot of fun installing your new floor and doing whatever you have planned for it once you’re done.