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A piece of timber moulding being measured and marked with a tape measure and pencil

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.

Steps

1Clean 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.

Bare floors made of timber and plywood being swept clean prior to the laying of laminate flooring

2Lay 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.
Underlay being laid out on a bare floor hallway by a Bunnings team member

3Run 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.

A string line being run down the length of a wall between two nails

4Set 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.

A pencil and tape measure being used to mark a point on a bare timber floor for a border between two rooms

5Lay 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.

A packer in position between the wall and the first board of laminate flooring

6Cutting a board

You'll 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.

A board of laminate flooring being cut with a circular saw

7Start 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. 

A board of laminate flooring being laid into place

8Close 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.

A tapping block and a hammer being used to close the gap between two lengths of laminate flooring

9Lay 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.

Underlay being trimmed against the corner of a room with a Stanley knife

10Mark 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.


A board of laminate flooring being marked for cutting against the corner of a room

11Cut 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.

A circular saw being used to cut through a length of laminate flooring

12Measure 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.

A tape measure being used to mark the position on a laminate floor panel to cut

13Cut 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.

A circular saw being used to cut through a length of laminate flooring

14Cut 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.

A tape measure being used to measure the gap between a corner and an outcropping on the floor

15Cut 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.

Moulding being used to cover the gap between laminate flooring and the wall

16Cut 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.

A square rule and pencil being used to mark a piece of timber for drilling

17Lay 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.
A completed laminate floor laid into a room

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.