Skip to content Skip to navigation menu

LAYING A LAMINATE, ENGINEERED WOOD OR SOLID WOOD FLOOR

All Wickes Flooring is supplied with detailed instructions, which must be followed however the following information can be used as a guide.

STAGE 1

Choosing your Floor (common to all sub types of flooring) Colour and finish will be determined by your colour scheme or style choices, but as a general rule, 2 or 3 strip, lighter floors, suit smaller rooms as they give the impression of space. For larger rooms, single plank flooring either dark or grainy can help create the appearance of real wood floors or restored floorboards. Not all flooring is suitable for all rooms. Make sure you check if the flooring is suitable for the room you plan to floor.

STAGE 2

How much do I need? (common to all sub types of flooring) Once you have chosen your floor calculate how much you need. Measure the area of your room including into alcoves and bay windows. The simplest way is to multiply the maximum length by the maximum width in metres – this gives a square metre area. Always allow 10 % for wastage on cuts etc. Packs of flooring vary in coverage so ensure you check the coverage per pack and divide your room area by the pack coverage – always round up to the nearest whole pack.

STAGE 3

Preparing your subfloor All of the Wickes range of Wood flooring can be laid on any smooth sub-floor, timber or concrete. The subfloor needs to be flat and dry. Do not lay flooring onto recently laid concrete. The thickness will determine the drying time, but in all cases a minimum of 2 months is required for drying. A rule of thumb for drying is 1 day per millimetre for the first 50mm and then 1½ days for each additional mm of thickness thereafter.For floating floors laminate and engineered) always use a 1000 gauge damp proof membrane (DPM) sheet when laying your floating floor onto a concrete subfloor. This can be in the form of a separate sheet or you can use the Wickes high performance underlay which has an integrated DPM sheet within the underlay. NOTE: These products will not be suitable for use with solid wood flooring unless the flooring is designed to be installed using clips to fit the boards together and the clips are used for installation. See Section How to lay a solid wood floor.

NOTE: Do NOT use a plastic DPM over Wooden subfloors. If a moisture barrier is required, for example at ground floor level, you should use bitumen backed building paper and then the flooring underlay roll or soft board underlay. Failure to protect the flooring from moisture penetration from below may lead to board expansion and distortion. Moisture is the most common reason for flooring problems. The subfloor needs to be flat. Very uneven flooring – hollows deeper than 3mm – will need levelling with Wickes Floor Levelling Compound. Remove all furniture and clean the sub-floor.

STAGE 4

Fitting the Flooring acclimatise the flooring by leaving the unopened packs of boards lying horizontally on the floor in the room where they are to be laid for at least 72 hours. Do not stack near radiators or in direct sunlight.TIP: Do not try and match the boards as this may produce an unnatural finish Different floors require different installation techniques and can vary in the level of difficulty No matter which flooring you choose, make sure you follow the set of instructions inside the pack.

HOW TO LAY LAMINATE AND ENGINEERED FLOORING

This is the easiest option. The flooring simply clicks together.

  1. Ensure the subfloor is flat within 3mm over a 1 metre length.
  2. Establish a starting point. Usually the longest wall and away from the door (Fig 1).
  3. Install the DPM and then the underlay (See Table 2 for options).
  4. Go to the starting point and begin laying the floor. (Follow the instructions in the pack) Remember to use the spacers to provide the correct expansion gap of approximately 12mm.
  5. When you get to the end of the row you will probably have to cut the last board to fit. You can use this board as the starter board for the next row providing it is at least 300mm long. Note: It is essential that there is an overlap in the boards of at least 300 mm where the end joints meet (Fig 2).
  6. When the flooring is laid remember to remove the spacers and to leave
  7. the expansion gap empty so that the flooring can move.
  8. The spacers should be removed and the gaps should now be covered with a threshold cover. Scotia at skirting boards and threshold strips in doorways. Matching scotia and thresholds are available to give that professional look.

TIP: When you come to the doorways ensure that the door can open once the flooring is installed. In many cases you will need to remove the door so that it can be eased. You will need to cut underneath the door frames so that the flooring can be fitted under them (Fig 4).Sometimes it is easier to fit the flooring into the doorways if you remove part of the tongue from the flooring so that it can be tapped together easily. If you do this you will need to apply some PVA adhesive to the tongue to keep the flooring in place (Fig 3).

HOW TO LAY A SOLID WOOD FLOOR

A solid wooden floor can be installed glued down or nailed. It cannot be laid as a floating floor unless the flooring is designed to be installed using clips to fit the boards together and the clips are used for installation. The fixing method is usually determined by the subfloor. (See Below) Subfloor Installation Method.

Installation Method – Gluing Option
The subfloor needs to be flat and dry. Flat is 3mm over 2 metre length. If there is any doubt about the dryness of the subfloor use a liquid damp proof membrane. This option is not possible with an anhydrite (calcium sulphate) floor.

  1. Start at the longest wall (Fig 1) and lay the first 3 rows dry with the tongues facing away from the wall. Do not lay the header joints in a line or too close to each other. They should be staggered by 200mm where possible and never less than 100mm (Fig 5).
  2. Once the 3 rows are laid you should pull them back from the wall and apply the MS Polymer flexible adhesive to the ground. Do not apply adhesive to the tongue and groove. Lay the flooring into the adhesive and insert the spacers to keep the required expansion gap 15mm.
  3. Do not use straps or clamps to make the flooring tight. This is a natural product and the flooring needs to be able to move.
  4. If you have radiator pipes in the room you will need to cut a hole so that the flooring can be fitted around the pipe. The best way to do this is to cut a hole 45mm diameter using a self feed drill bit and then cut away the flooring to leave a keyhole shape that can be placed around the pipe. (Fig 6)
  5. Cut the doorframes to allow the flooring to be laid underneath them (Fig 4)
  6. When the floor is installed remove the spacers and leave the expansion gap empty.
  7. The gaps should then be covered with a threshold cover.

Installation Method – Nailing Option
This method is suitable for fixing to existing wood flooring, plywood, joists or battens. If you have a chipboard base we recommend the use of MS Polymer flexible adhesive rather than nail fixing. Or alternatively the flooring can be fixed through the top of the tongue with size 8 screws that will penetrate the subfloor by a minimum of 19mm. The fixings are driven through the flooring at 45 degrees with the exception of the first row where you need to nail/screw straight into the top of the flooring (Fig 7). The nails should be punched below the surface and the holes filled with filler.

Existing Wood Floorboards, Plywood and OSBF or ground floor level building paper can be used as a moisture barrier. Always ensure that the existing flooring is firmly fixed down.

  1. Begin the installation at the longest wall. NOTE: For existing floorboards see Fig 8 for the required direction of the new flooring.
  2. Install the spacers at the wall to keep the correct expansion gap.
  3. Insert fixings at 250mm centres but note that each board will require a minimum of 2 fixings (nails or screws)
  4. Stagger header joints by a minimum of 100mm (Fig 5)
  5. Radiator pipes (Fig 6) Doorways (Fig 4)
  6. Remove spacers and leave the space clear of debris. Cover the gaps with a threshold cover.

Nailing to Joists or Battens
When nailing to joists at ground level it is recommended that you cover the joists with a bitumen backed building paper to protect against moisture. Do NOT use a polythene (Plastic) membrane. Ensure that the air bricks are clear of debris so that air can circulate freely below the flooring to prevent damp.

  1. Use spacers to maintain the expansion gap 15mm. The first row should be fixed as in Fig 7. Note: a fixing is required in all joists or battens
  2. It is essential that the header joints are separated and do not sit adjacent to each other in the same row. See Fig 9 for the correct method.
  3. Finish the floor, remove the spacers and cover the gaps with expansion cover profiles.

In all cases always ensure you follow the instructions on fitting detailed on the back of the flooring label and should you have any problem – Stop! Contact Wickes who can provide further details on fitting. Always keep a label with the code, date and receipt, this will help if you need extra guidance or should you encounter any problems. Remember to follow the floor maintenance instructions to keep your flooring in its original condition.

flooring.jpg
flooring-tables.jpg

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?

The flooring range is complemented by a full range of accessories to allow installation together with a full range for use when finishing in doorways and at the perimeters of the floor together with radiator pipe covers Tools Fitting Kit, Pencil, Tape measure, Saw (fine toothed) or Jig Saw, Hammer, Drill, Screwdriver.