How to lay laminate flooring

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How to lay laminate flooring

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Project Overview

Laying a laminate floor is a quick and easy way to update a room in your home. This easy to follow guide shows you how to prepare before your start laying the laminate, how to cut laminate to fit in corners, and a simple tip to keep your laminated boards close together.

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Clean the floor
2 Lay the underlay
3 Run a string line
4 Set a border between rooms
5 Lay the first row of boards
6 Cutting a board
7 Start the second row of boards
8 Close the gap between the boards
9 Lay more boards
10 Mark the board to fit around a corner
11 Cut the board to fit the corner
12 Measure for a rip
13 Cut the board
14 Cut the first length of quad
15 Cut the quad to length
16 Cut the second quad
17 Lay the rest of the boards
  • Step 1. Clean the floor

    Before you start laying the laminate, make sure they floor is clean and free from any dirt or debris. The smallest piece of debris can lift your floor up.

  • Step 2. Lay the underlay

    After cleaning the floor, roll out the underlay where you’re going to laying your first laminate boards. Cut the underlay to correct length. The underlay provides extra cushioning and helps to absorb sound.
  • Step 3. Run a string line

    Measure the width of your laminate board. Add 10mm, to take into account the gap between the wall and the first board. Measure and mark this distance, then hammer in a nail on the spot. Measure out the same distance where you’re going to start laying your boards and hammer in a nail. Run a string line between the two nails and tie it off tightly.

  • Step 4. Set a border between rooms

    It’s important that the laminate flooring and the floor covering in the adjoining room meet under the middle of the door. To do this, nail a piece of wood across the doorway to create a straight border.

  • Step 5. Lay the first row of boards

    Lay the first board down. Place a packer between it and the wall to ensure there is a 10mm gap. Click the next board into place and place a packer between it and the wall. Repeat this until the first row is complete. Remove the string line.

  • Step 6. Cutting a board

    You will need to cut a board in half to start laying the second row, to make sure the joins in the boards aren’t aligned. Measure and mark the halfway point on the board. Run a straight line across the board with the set square. Place the on the saw horse and cut it with the circular saw.

  • Step 7. Start the second row of boards

    Start the second row of boards with the cut board. To make it easier to lay the second row, join several boards together before laying them in place and clicking them into the side of the first row of boards. 

  • Step 8. Close the gap between the boards

    As you lay the boards, you might notice a gap between one row and another. Use a hammer and the tapping block to gently knock them into place. The tapping block evenly distributes the force of the hammer and helps prevent damage to the floor boards.

  • Step 9. Lay more boards

    Continue laying underlay and more rows of laminated boards. Make sure the boards are clicked into each other and that the boards at the end of the rows aren’t the same length.

  • Step 10. Mark the board to fit around a corner

    To cut a board to fit a corner, put the board up against the corner. Mark where the board meets the wall and add 10mm for the gap. This is the width of the cut. Move the board along the side of the wall and mark the length of the cut. Use the set square to mark the area to be cut out.


  • Step 11. Cut the board to fit the corner

    Put on the safety gear. Clamp the board to the saw horse. Use the jigsaw to cut the board to shape. Lay the board in place on the floor.

  • Step 12. Measure for a rip

    Ripping is is when you cut laminate flooring lengthwise instead of width-wise, to fit in a small gap between a board and the wall. Measure the distance between the board and the wall and deduct 10mm to allow for the gap. Measure the length the board needs to be, taking into account the 10mm gap at the end. Mark these measurements on the board. Use a spirit level to mark that area that needs cutting.

  • Step 13. Cut the board

    Put on the safety gear. Secure the board to the saw horses with clamps. Use the circular saw to cut the board. Lay the cut board in place.

  • Step 14. Cut the first length of quad

    When there is a gap between the boards and the skirting board, install a quad. Use the set square to mark a 45 degree angle at the end of the length of quad. Cut it with the circular saw.

  • Step 15. Cut the quad to length

    With the 45 degree cut in the corner, place the quad against the skirting board. Measure the length it needs to be. Cut the quad to size.

  • Step 16. Cut the second quad

    Repeat steps 14 and 15 to cut the second quad. Use the nail gun to attach the quads to the skirting board.

  • Step 17. Lay the rest of the boards

    Continue laying the underlay and rows of boards until the job is done. Refer to previous steps to cut and secure boards.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Dust mask
  • Ear muffs
  • Hammer
  • Jigsaw
  • Knee pads
  • Nail gun
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Saw
  • Saw horses
  • Set square
  • Spirit level
  • String line
  • Tape measure

Materials

  • A length of quad
  • Laminate flooring
  • Packers and wedges
  • Underlay
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