Tips on fitting wood flooring

Derek Rogers

When you install wood flooring there are things that you should know prior to and during the installation to be sure that you have the best fitted floor possible.

- To prepare your flooring you first must be sure that the sub-floor is dry, flat, and smooth. You should use an underlay or a barrier over the concrete first. If you have radiant heating in the flooring then you should be extremely careful and follow instructions per the radiant heating guides and by the flooring guide so nothing gets damaged. The flooring panels should be left in the room that they will be installed for over 48 hours so they can acclimatise to the temperatures of the room.

- When you lay laminate planks you will stagger them. The first row of flooring will be full sized planks. The second row will include 2/3 planks and the third row will include 1/3 planks. The joints of the planks should remain greater than 8" from one another. You should also repeat the patterns of the wood grain every 20 planks.

- When you decide on the direction of your laminate floors you need to think about the incoming natural light from outside. The planks should run parallel to the light coming in from the windows or any glass doors that are in the room. In any installation, the starting wall that you begin the installation should be as long as possible.

- When you are installing your laminate flooring be sure that you have enough. You should expect to have at least 10% of the flooring go to waste. This is because when you cut the planks you might damage a few and some may already be damaged. Other pieces of planks may not be usable. So when you purchase your laminate flooring, don't buy exactly enough to cover the floor or you will probably run out of planks.

- It is recommended to leave a 10mm gap around each of the planks. This is called an expansion gap because wood expands from temperature changes and humidity. When wood is exposed to warmer temperatures, humidity increases, and other issues, then there must be room for the wood to expand or when the planks do push outward they will buckle.

- You should also remember that the first line that you lay is the most important. The first line is the longest and must be totally straight. If the first line that you lay is not straight then you should not continue. You should pull the line up and start over. Poor alignment can cause problems with residue getting caught in the grooves of the planks. Mouldings can be glued or nailed to the wall only and not to the floor.

- You can install laminate flooring on stairs but remember on stairs you must use regular wood glue and the mouldings should be nailed. Laminate flooring should not be installed in areas that are controlled like porches or patios. You should also never install laminate flooring over carpet. Be sure to remove carpeting prior to laying down the flooring.

You should follow these few simple steps when you are installing laminate flooring to ensure the best installation possible.

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About the Author
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For laminate flooring, he recommends Completely Flooring, one of the UK's leading suppliers Quick Step Laminate Flooring:
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