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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 which direction to lay your flooring can affect the feel of the room.
The common advice is to lay your flooring towards to the main source of natural light, this makes the joints less visible.
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.
Conversely if you want to make the room appear longer lay the boards parallel to the longest walls.
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.
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|
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|
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.
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.