How To Lay Laminate Flooring

If you’re a dab hand at DIY and fancy laying your own laminate flooring, then let us guide you through with our expert advice for the professional finish your home deserves.

With so many benefits to laminate flooring, it’s not hard to see why it’s a firm favourite in many homes.  Low maintenance, hard-wearing not to mention aesthetically pleasing, laminate flooring offers something for every home with its array of designs.  So let’s get started with a quick run-through on the tools you’ll need for the job.

  • Tape Measure
  • Crowbar
  • Hammer
  • Hand saw for cutting boards (Table saw, mitre saw or jigsaw if you prefer)
  • Tapping Block
  • Spacers
  • Stanley knife
  • Pencil
  • Safety goggles and face mask


Pre Installation Checks

  • Make sure the area is completely flat and dry
  • Make sure your boards have been stored horizontally
  • Remove skirting boards
  • Vacuum any dust or debris for a clean start


First Things First, Underlay

No laminate flooring would be complete without underlay.  Not only will it act as an underfloor cushion but it will also help to minimise noise and retain heat thanks to its insulation properties. 

Tip: The thicker the underlay, the better the soundproofing, so bear this in mind when considering where to fit laminate flooring.  It’s a fantastic choice for bedrooms and living areas but nobody wants to hear noisy footsteps above them so we recommend a lovely thick underlay to benefit both sound and heat retention.  And always check that your underlay is compatible with your chosen room, as kitchens and bathrooms would require something that is damp proof.

So, now you’ve chosen your underlay, here’s how to lay it in 3 easy steps.

  1. Lay it over the full surface area and cut to size
  2. Make sure you cut around any pipework
  3. Secure any sections together with masking tape

How To Fit Laminate Flooring

To begin, you’ll need to decide which way you want your boards to lay.  Rule of thumb is to follow the direction of the longest part of your walls where possible for a cleaner finish and attractive appearance.  You might need to adjust the width of the first or last board to ensure there is a sufficient amount of board on either side so it’s worth measuring ahead before you start, then:

  • Starting in one corner of the room, lay the first row of boards, tongue side facing the wall.  You should hear the boards click into place.
  • Using the spacers, place them between the boards and the wall with a 6 – 10mm gap.  This will leave sufficient space should the boards swell or move, as without this they could bow and lift if fit flush to the wall.
  • Moving onto the next row, make sure the joints are staggered as this adds greater stability to the flooring, never have the joints adjacent to each other, and don’t forget to continue with the spacers around the edge of the room.
  • Continue across the room using the full-length boards first, clicking each one into place.
  • When necessary, measure the length you need and cut to size, keeping the offcuts as this will form the first board for your next row, so each row will have different joins at different lengths, this is what gives you the staggered, or sawtooth effect.
  • To install subsequent rows, hold each piece at a 45-degree angle, and insert the tongue edge into the groove of the previous row and lock into place with the click, tapping each piece into place.
  • When it comes to the final row, there’s a good chance you will have to cut the boards width to fit, this is where a good saw comes in.  Once you have cut the board to size you can lay the final edge, keeping the cut side in line with the wall so that the tongue and groove system still works.
  • Then when you are happy with the layout, remove the spacers and either complete with laminate edging or lay skirting board on top for a beautiful finish with no visual gaps.


Expert Tips For Cutting Laminate Flooring

It’s inevitable that table saws always produce the best cuts, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry as you can achieve just as good a finish with a circular saw, jigsaw or of course the trusty handsaw.  

A fine-tooth saw blade is the best choice for a clean cut and minimal chipping of the surface, but for curves and difficult shapes, you can’t beat a jigsaw.

Note: Circular saws and jigsaws cut up through the material, so to minimise chipping on the flooring surface, always cut with the underneath facing up. Table saws however cut down, so in this case, you would cut the boards facing up over.

And finally, don’t worry when cutting a board to width as the edging will always be hidden so it doesn’t have to be perfect.  That said, laminate boards are quite thin so it will be easier than you think to achieve a smooth finish.

Why not browse our range of pay weekly laminate flooring? We feature a superb choice of finishes, so you can find the perfect look to suit your home.