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.
Now all laminate floor coverings have a built-in locking joints I would 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.
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 (+18mm thick) 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.
A solid wooden floor can be installed by 4 different methods. Which method you use is dependent on the flooring type, location, budget, schedule or skills. Fitting a solid wooden floor isn’t a difficult task but does require sound DIY knowledge and precise preparation.
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.
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.
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. In a sense this is the same as gluing down your floor but the glue is attached to the underlay.
Junckers flooring invented this system back in the day but foolishly did not patent the idea. Now there are a number of clip system solid timber floors but they all essentially all work in the same way. The metal clip is attached to the back of the board and clips into the board next to it.
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.
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.
There are a number of ways to fit a carpet but the most common method is described as a stretch fit. This method requires the carpet to be fitted over an underlay for comfort and support stretched over the flooring area and secured with gripper around the perimeter of the room. Gripper is small pins attached to timber which are set at a 45o angle which must face away from the carpet you’re fitting. Fitting a carpet isn’t a complicated job but does require a good understanding of DIY and more importantly specialised tools to stretch the carpet over the pins or gripper.
Another less common method is to glue down the carpet. This is generally done for products which cannot be stretched or for contract high traffic areas.
Most carpet tiles are laid either loose or are glued down.