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Plan your room

Laying a floor yourself can feel daunting, but our helpful guide takes you through the planning process step by step. From deciding which direction to lay your flooring to choosing the right underlay and accessories, you’ll find all the information you need to successfully plan your room.

Deciding on the best layout

Deciding which direction to lay your flooring can affect the feel of the room.

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The common advice is to lay your flooring towards to the main source of natural light, this makes the joints less visible.

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However if you want to make a narrow room like a hallway feel wider lay the boards across the room so they are perpendicular to the longest walls.

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Conversely if you want to make the room appear longer lay the boards parallel to the longest walls.

 

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However if you have laminate or wooden floors in the adjoining room it’s best to lay your new boards in the same direction for a consistent look.

As laminate flooring is manmade the pattern on your boards will be repeated at some point, so it’s worth mixing up the boards from your different packs to ensure you get a more random natural look.

Choosing the right flooring and accessories

Choosing the right laminate flooring

As well as design and finish (have a look at our Flooring Gallery), the type of laminate flooring you choose should be influenced by where it will be installed. See below and Fig. 1 for a summary to help you decide.

Installation methods

The technique to fit flooring with the Twinclic system differs slightly to flooring with the Rapid Fit system.​ Rapid Fit is faster and easier to fit on your own, especially when you are covering a large area.  The third installation method is a simple Tongue & Groove mechanism, whereby one plank slots into the next. all are straightforward and do not need gluing or nailing (you should never glue or nail down a laminate floor).

 

Fig. 1 Choosing the right kind of flooring
    SUITABILITY INSTALLATION METHOD
FLOORING TYPE GUARANTEE HEAVY DOMESTIC Busy areas, living rooms & bedrooms LIGHT COMMERCIAL KITCHENS & BATHROOMS COMPATIBLE WITH UNDERFLOOR HEATING TWIN CLIC SYSTEM RAPID FIT SYSTEM
Laminate 6 & 7mm 10-12 years
Laminate 8mm 15 years ✘*
Laminate 12mm 20 years
*Only tile effect 8mm laminate can be used in kitchens and bathrooms.

 

Selecting the correct underlay and damp-proof membrane

Selecting the right underlay and damp-proof membrane (DPM) for the type of flooring and room setting is crucial. Never use carpet underlay under laminate flooring. Carpet and vinyl flooring will need to be lifted before you lay your floor. See Fig. 2 for a guide to suitable options.

 

Fig. 2 Choosing the right damp-proof membrane and underlay
WHICH ROOM? TIMBER OR CONCRETE SUBFLOOR? SMOOTH OR UNEVEN SUBFLOOR?* APPROPRIATE UNDERLAY APPROPRIATE DAMP PROOF MEMBRANE
Kitchen or bathroom Timber Smooth General purpose kitchen & bathroom underlay Bitumen-backed building paper
Uneven General purpose kitchen & bathroom underlay Bitumen-backed building paper
Concrete Smooth Premium kitchen & bathroom underlay Already built into high
performance underlay
Uneven General purpose kitchen & bathroom underlay 1000 gauge membrane
Other living area Timber Smooth General purpose underlay
(or Premium general purpose underlay,
but not with 6mm laminate)
Bitumen-backed building paper
(only required if risk of moisture)
Uneven General purpose kitchen & bathroom underlay(or Natural fibreboard
underlay
, but not with 6mm laminate)
Bitumen-backed building paper
(only required if risk of moisture)
Concrete Smooth Premium kitchen & bathroom underlay Already built into high
performance underlay
Uneven General purpose kitchen & bathroom underlay (or Natural fibreboard
underlay
, but not with 6mm laminate)
1000 gauge membrane
*Subfloors need to be level and flat. Slight unevenness can be absorbed by thicker underlays.

 

Deciding on the trims you need

Skirting or trim

There are two options when it comes to the finish around your floor: skirting or trim. Using skirting will give the most professional finish, but you will need to lift existing skirting before you install your flooring. You can either reinstall it afterwards or replace it with new skirting (skirting needs to be at least 15mm thick in order to cover expansion gaps). Using trim is an easier option as it fits directly against existing skirting.

Threshold bars and pipe surrounds

At door openings you should use a matching threshold bar to cover expansion gaps and neatly finish the flooring. In situations where the floor is longer or wider than 8 metres, perhaps where a living room and dining room are open plan, you should leave an intermediate 10mm expansion gap at a suitable location, and cover it with a flat threshold strip. Fit pipe surrounds to neatly cover gaps around radiator pipes.

Measuring Your Room

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Square or rectangular rooms

If you have a fairly regular shaped room then start by measuring the width of your room at the widest points, then do the same with the length. Then multiply the two numbers together and that will give you the area of the room in m2.

 

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L-shaped rooms

If you have an irregular shaped room such as an L-shaped kitchen diner or a hallway, break the room up into rectangles and measure each one individually. Then add them all together to get the entire square meter area.

 

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Calculate how much you need

Once you have your total area you will need to look at the pack size of your flooring to see how much area each pack covers. Then divide your total m2 by the pack size to give you the amount of packs to buy.

 

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Measure for finishing touches

Reminder to measure the perimeter of the room for any trim needed and the doorways for threshold bars.