How to install a floor
Preparing to lay your flooring
Preparation is key to laying any new floor and the below rules should be followed for all flooring types.
The most dangerous enemy of a timber floor is moisture. You must ensure that the sub floor is dry. Concrete or screeds can take on average for every 1mm of thickness approx 1 full day to dry. The subfloor also needs to clean from adhesive, dust and dirt, it also needs to be flat and even and for floor types under 18mm thick must be load bearing.
The ambient conditions in the room should be around 40/50% humidity and a temperature of 15 – 25 degrees at the time of laying the floor.
Solid wood flooring and most vinyl tile floors should be allowed sufficient time to acclimatise to the conditions of the room in advance of installation (see blog). Never store the floor in a room that is wet, outside or in a garage where it could pick up moisture (please note that this does include rooms that have not adequately dried from plastering or painting).
Different floors require different installation techniques and can vary from DIY installation to requiring professional fitting.
Please refer to the individual instructions below to determine the difficulty level of fitting a new floor.
How to lay a laminate floor
Now all laminate floor coverings have a built-in locking joints, we’d suggest fitting a laminate floor is now comparatively easy compared to other flooring alternatives.
The rules for installing a laminate floor are relatively the same across all manufacturers. Laminate flooring is a floating floor system which requires an underlay to support the flooring for when it expands and contracts and to help deaden sound between the subfloor and the new floor.
The locking joints between manufacturers can vary but there are generally two systems in use today which are 'drop and lock' or 'push-lock'.
Drop and lock systems are more poplar within the flooring community as they are easier to fit. The method for fitting is in the description really as you need to drop, at a 45o angle, one board into another.
A push-lock system works when the boards are parallel to each other and you need to tap the boards together.Remember to acclimatise your floor! Leave it in the sealed packaging for at least 48 hours in the room you’re going to lay it.
Be sure to leave the recommended expansion gap at all fixed points around the edge of the room, such as doorways and walls.
How to lay a engineered wood floor
The most common fitting method for engineered floors is the floating method. This is done by rolling out an underlay laid over the subfloor, with the engineered flooring fixed together using the locking joint built into the boards, or the more traditionally but becoming less common, gluing the tongue and groove.
Engineered boards can also be glued down directly to the subfloor. Also the thicker engineered boards (20mm plus) we supply can be nailed down directly to timber framed subfloors as they are structural boards.
Underlay is used to support the floor for when it expands and contracts and to help prevent any noise that occurs when there is a space between the subfloor and your new floor. The underlays available vary depending on the thickness and quality required. If budget allows I would always recommend the better underlays on the market as they offer more support and better recovery which in turn gives your new floor the right support which will last for generations.
- Detailed instructions of how to fit an engineered wooden flooring
- Detailed instructions of how to fit an engineered parquet wooden flooring
How to lay a solid wood floor
Standard solid wood floors can be installed by 3 different methods. Which method you use is dependent on the flooring type, location, budget, schedule or skills. Fitting a solid wood floor can be quite a technical job, even for an experienced DIYer. Before you do anything, make sure that you know exactly how to prepare the space that your floor will be installed in.
If allowed, nailing a timber floor is the most affordable and preferred way to install. For 100’s of years we have been fitting floors in this fashion and it is a tried and tested method. If you have a timber framed property this is the best method.Advantages
- It’s a clean installation
- You can walk on you new floor immediately
- Limited application
If you have a concrete base then gluing down your timber floor is a popular method. I have to warn you preparation is the key to success, along with patience. You also have to consider schedules for gluing down a timber floor as you have to wait for the glues to set.Advantages
- Feel underfoot
- Acoustic (some adhesive better than others)
- Can be messy
The new kid on the block so to speak. This is a new method for fitting a floor which is rapidly becoming very highly sought-after. We offer 2 different types of underlay system.Advantages
- Cleaner installation
- One of the easier DIY methods
- Acoustic insulation - keeps your floor quiet
Junckers flooring have their own unique clip system for installing their floors. The metal clip is attached to the back of the board and clips into the board next to it.Advantages
- It’s a clean installation
- You can walk on you new floor immediately
- Tolerances allow on subfloor prep
- Limited portfolio
How to lay a vinyl floor
There are essential two categories available for vinyl flooring which is 'sheet vinyl' or 'vinyl tiles'.
Vinyl is favoured over other types of flooring materials because of it’s durability, versatility, ease of maintenance and is 100% water proof, which is why vinyl is preferred for areas of the home like Bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms.
Sheet vinyl generally comes in one complete piece to fit your room of choice. This is by far the most common category of vinyl flooring. Within this category of product there are some very common brands which we have understood to be different types of product, which they generally aren’t (much like Vacuum cleaners and the brand Hoover). Brands like Lino or Linoleum and Marmoleum, safety flooring also comes under this category. Depending on the product and location of sheet vinyl it can be laid loose over the subfloor but with tape around the perimeter to keep secure or glue down over the entire subfloor for more contract areas.Advantages
- Ease of installation
- Easy to clean
- Scope of installation
Vinyl tiles come as describe in a tile form which have to be laid side by side to fit the room of choice. Vinyl tile are commonly called LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) and are exceptionally robust and flexible on design requirements. Traditional vinyl tiles have to be glued down to the customer design. We would recommend a professional vinyl tile fitter particularly for the more complicated designs required. Saying this there is a new product available within this category which isn’t glue down – please read here for more details.Advantages
- Very robust
- Easy to clean
- Fitting (Professional)
How to lay a carpetCarpets aren’t really designed with the DIY market in mind, so make sure that you’re confident in the task ahead before you start anything.
The double stick method is most commonly used on natural carpets. This involves gluing the underlay to the subfloor, and then gluing the carpet to the underlay.
For any 100% wool carpets, the “stretch fit” method is most commonly used. This works by stretching the carpet (though only a little bit) and securing it around the edge of the room with gripper.
Gripper is a row of pins set at a 45 degree angle, facing away from the carpet, essentially acting like small claws which hold the carpet in place.
The First Name in Flooring
We’ve supplied over 100 million pounds worth of floors during our time, and we’ve picked up a thing or two from serving over 1.5 million satisfied customers. In fact, our history goes all the way back to 1985 and all of the expertise we’ve picked up along the way goes straight into our products, our passion and ultimately, your floor. If you’d like to know a little more, then click below.Read more
What our customers say...
"Steve was very helpfull in the well presented Thetford showroom. Helped us choose a quality engineered oak floor at a very resonable price. Their own delivery driver was perfect, giving us notice of his arrival. Flooring laid without a hitch and looks great. Thanks all at Fooring supplies."
Stephen Walton - 25/02/2015
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