If you’ve just ordered some beautiful new laminate flooring, you’re probably feeling pretty chuffed at how perfect it will look in your home. The next step, of course, is fitting your laminate flooring in whatever space you’ve chosen. As flooring experts, we always think it’s best practice to let our experts fit your flooring, well – expertly! But you may have heard that it’s quite easy to fit laminate flooring yourself.
If you’re thinking of fitting your laminate flooring yourself, here’s a helping hand to ensure you cover all the bases. This step-by-step guide on how to lay laminate flooring has all the tips and tricks, as well as the essential tools you’ll need and some FAQs if any last-minute questions pop into your head before you start. And, before you start the installation process, make sure you acclimatise your laminate flooring first.
You will need specific tools for laying laminate flooring, to make sure that it lies nicely with no unattractive gaps or spaces. Check the manufacturers’ guidelines to ensure you have the right tools, as different locking mechanisms require different approaches. Your tools checklist will likely look something like this:
Our favourite saying here at Tapi is: ‘Fail to prepare; prepare to fail!’ We take our preparation very seriously, and you should too so that your new laminate flooring stays gorgeous for many years to come.
If you’ve read our ‘What is laminate flooring?’ guide, then you’ll know that preparing your subfloor is a crucial first step. Laminate or solid wood flooring should not be laid over old flooring, as the surface may not be level and can trap moisture and dampness beneath the new floor.
Take up your old flooring and make sure your subfloor is dry, smooth, level, and free from debris. If you need any help with checking whether your flooring is up to scratch, check out our guide on what makes a good subfloor.
You have two choices when it comes to fitting laminate around doors - undercut the doorframe so you can slide the boards underneath or cut the boards to fit around the door frame.
Tapi Top Tip: Hand sawing the door frame is a simpler way to achieve a neat finish. Be sure not to cut off too much of the door frame by measuring the depth of the boards first!
For radiator pipes, you can use a flat wood bit to drill a hole, followed by cutting a keyhole shape with a mitre saw around the pipe. Most radiator pipes require a 30-mm hole, so ensure the hole is big enough that none of the laminate boards will touch the pipe, and there's an adequate expansion gap.
We’ve tried to break this process down into easy-to-follow steps, but you may still have some questions about the dos and don’ts of laying laminate flooring! Below we’ve answered some of the most common questions we hear from our customers about laying their own laminate flooring:
We would always recommend that you take up the carpet before laying any laminate. A thick plush carpet will not be stable enough to support a laminate floor. If your carpet is thin and if you are not able to remove it, it may be possible – but there will remain a risk that the floor will fail. We would suggest still checking the quality and standard of your subfloor, to ensure that it’s stable, strong, and dry enough to keep your laminate safe.
You can definitely lay laminate flooring over concrete! Concrete and other smooth surfaces are highly recommended as good subfloors for laying laminate – however, if you’re laying fresh concrete, ensure it’s completely dry and smooth before you lay your underlay. Allow a minimum of one day’s drying time for every 1mm in the depth of concrete laid.
Yes! Wooden flooring is a great option for laying laminate flooring over, however, there are a couple of requirements you must be aware of before you start rolling out the underlay.
Check that the floor is as smooth as possible – if any wooden floorboards aren't firmly screwed down, secure them. Remove raised nails with a hammer. Fill any wide gaps between floorboards with thin wood wedges glued in place using wood adhesive. We recommend laying a ply sheet on top to ensure a smooth surface for the underlay and laminate flooring.
To work out how many boxes of lamiante you will need to cover your entre room, you're going to divide the room area, by the box size. So, for a room that is 15m² and the floor you have chosen comes in a pack size of 2.3m², you'll divide 15 by 2.3 to get an answer of 6.5, so you need 7 boxes of flooring. Apply this same formula to different box and pack sizes to figure out just how mcuh you'll need.
When you buy Tapi laminate, you don’t need to worry about laying it yourself. Our professional flooring fitters are experts in the field (not to mention, really lovely people!) who will make quick work of laying your laminate flooring – why not book a free home visit or visit your nearest store to speak to our team and see what we can do for you?
If you’ve decided to jump headfirst into DIY, check out our tips on caring for your laminate floor, to find out more about looking after it properly for the future – you won’t want your masterpiece to get covered in scratches; or tips on how to lay herringbone flooring, if you fancy a challenge! You can also check out our ideas hub to find some amazing style inspiration for your new space.