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How to lay Laminate flooring

Laying laminate flooring is quite simple nowadays, with many laminate flooring options now available in angle to angle or drop lock fitting systems. The ways boards fit or lock together vary slightly between manufacturers, so always check the instructions that come with your laminate flooring. We’ve put together a quick guide on how to lay your laminate flooring in a few simple steps:

Step 1: laying the first board


Lay the first board in the left-hand corner of the room, ensuring that your underlay has been fitted first. The short end of the board should be against the wall. Insert expansion spacers against the end of the board and at intervals along the wall, especially where the boards join.

Step 2: The next board


Lay the next board, making sure that they line up end-to-end and not side to side. As you lower the board, it should lock into place. Drop lock laminate flooring should give an audible click as you do this. Continue to the end of the row, you may have to cut a board to fit.

Step 3: The last board


Turn the last board 180 degrees and lay it next to the previous board - making sure that an expansion spacer is against the skirting board or wall. Draw a line across the board, level with the end of the previous one. Double check the fit, then cut to size.

Step 4: The next row


Angle the cut board against the first board of the previous row, with the cut end against the wall. Repeat along the row. For smaller rooms, you may want to consider slipping a whole row of boards together.

Step 5: The last row


Place your boards directly over the previous row, then use a third board to measure the distance between the spacers on the skirting board and the previous row. Mark this line with a pencil so you know where to measure and cut the boards for the last row.


Where do you start when laying laminate flooring?

Laying laminate flooring can be a daunting process if you have never done it before. Don’t worry. Here at Leader Floors, we have fit countless laminate flooring, and we are on hand to give you all the tips that you need to fit laminate flooring. 

You should start fitting laminate flooring from the most prominent wall in the room. Laying the flooring on the longest or straightest wall will mean that you are starting the process in the easiest way and can deal with the difficult areas such as doorways and corners later. 

With that being said, if you have a particularly complex room with multiple doorways and corners or edges and you are not experienced in fitting laminate flooring, it could be best to start with these. It can be difficult to fit complex parts of laminate flooring when you have less room. 

What is the best direction to lay laminate flooring?

There are many misconceptions about which way you should lay your laminate flooring, but here at Leader Floors, we are here to bestow our wisdom. It is often down to personal preference, but there are a few things that you should consider when choosing which way to fit your new laminate flooring. 

Natural Light - Many people fit their laminate flooring in the same direction as natural light as a general rule. 

Frequently Used Entrance - You can also fit the laminate flooring in the same direction as the most frequently used entrance as this will create a welcoming flow to the space. 

Horizontally - This is the perfect way to make a narrow room feel wider. Laying your laminate flooring horizontally will create the illusion of space. Avoid using dark colours for your flooring if you want to make it look larger. 

Vertically - Laying your flooring vertically will ensure that you add a sense of depth to the room, and if you combine this method with darker walls it will add even more depth to the space. 

Diagonally - For spaces that are very small, we recommend laying your laminate flooring diagonally at a 45-degree angle as this will trick the eye into making the room feel larger.

Do you have to cut the tongue of the first row of laminate?

Here at Leader Doors, we recommend cutting off the tongue on the first row to avoid any problems occurring with the expansion gap. If you don’t cut the tongue, you will find that you could run into issues with the expansion and contraction of the flooring. 

How soon can you walk on laminate flooring?

Once you have finished fitting your laminate flooring, it can be tempting to want to step on it or rearrange your furniture back into the room. But don’t! We recommend waiting at least 8 to 12 hours before stepping on the laminate flooring. This will allow enough time for any glue to cure and settle. If you can, try and leave it for a full 24 hours. 

What kind of underlayment should I use for laminate flooring?

If you are installing laminate flooring in your home, you should use either foam or cork underlay. For subfloors that are concrete, you will want to fit underlay for insulation purposes as without the space can feel cold. For subfloors that are over wooden floorboards, underlay will help reduce noise, and if you live in an apartment it is wise to install underlay to ensure your noise levels aren’t too high. Here at Leader Floors, we have a wide range of laminate flooring underlays for you to choose from as well as a range of accessories to help you to fit your underlay with ease. 

How long does it take a professional to lay laminate flooring?

It depends on the size of the room and the skill level of the professional laying the flooring but as a standard practice, you should expect the average professional to complete a room in no less than a day. 

You should wait for the flooring to settle for around 8-12 hours, but for the manual work, a professional should be able to complete the work within 4-5 hours. 

What happens if you don't put underlayment under laminate flooring?

Not adding underlayment to your flooring can be very damaging to your flooring and can result in the flooring being ruined. Underlay provides protection to the subfloor and will provide proper wear and stability to the laminate flooring. You will find that some flooring options require underlay to be fitted for their warranty policy to be valid. Flooring underlay provides a stable and level surface area that allows you to fit your laminate flooring easily without fear that an uneven surface will damage the laminate locking fitting system. 

Is laminate waterproof?

Laminate flooring is waterproof from top to bottom, unlike vinyl flooring. This means that if a spillage occurs, the moisture won’t seep through the fitting system. If this happens, mould and mildew can grow on the subfloor, which can cause problems and damages to the subfloor and to your property in general. 

Here at Leader Floors, we have a wide range of laminate flooring that is suitable for kitchens and bathrooms and provides sufficient waterproof functionality. You will also find stunning laminate flooring options from Ocean who create water-resistant laminate flooring that is stylish and contemporary whilst remaining functional for your property. 

Is water resistant laminate OK for a kitchen?

Here at Leader Floors, we have a range of laminate flooring options that are designed to be installed in kitchens. Having laminate flooring in your kitchen has its benefits and is a cost-effective solution compared to kitchen flooring alternatives such as stone tiles. Laminate flooring in kitchens are durable and easy to maintain as well as being easy to clean any spillages that may occur.