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How to fit laminate flooring

Discover the basics of fitting laminate flooring and learn a new DIY skill with our handy guide.


By Cleanipedia Team

laminate floor laying

Laminate flooring is a cost-efficient alternative to hardwood flooring that still looks great but perhaps one of its greatest features is that it’s easy to clean! If you are laying laminate flooring yourself, and want to get it right, then there are a few different things to think about.

To help, we’ve put together this guide on how to install laminate flooring (and keep it looking great after)!

DIY laminate flooring is a significant undertaking so before you start the project make sure you’re fully prepared and have all the tools you need. Do sufficient research on the type of laminate flooring you’re intending to use as well as the underlay or underfloor that’s in place as some are better for laminate than others.

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Before you start: preparing the space

First, measure the floor space you want to cover a couple of times. Always add at least 5% extra to allow for offcuts and waste.

Next, collect the necessary tools and equipment you’ll need. This is likely to include:

  1. Tape measure
  2. Mitre saw
  3. Small crowbar
  4. Hammer
  5. Masking tape
  6. Drill, with a flat wood bit
  7. Laminate floorboards (your choice of colour and design)
  8. Decorating knife
  9. Safety equipment (such as goggles and a protective face mask)
  10. Someone to give you a hand!

Finally, purchase your new flooring and empty the room where you intend to fit in. Pull up any existing flooring or carpet – checking the condition of the floorboards and underlay underneath – and repairing any damage as necessary. Leave your new flooring to acclimatise to the space for 24 hours.

Getting started: how to cut laminate flooring

The trickiest part of DIY laminate flooring isn’t necessarily laying it, it’s cutting it to shape. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Place the flooring in the room and work out where you will need to cut boards.
  2. Draw out where you need to cut carefully. Measure twice, cut once.
  3. Lock the flooring in place using a vice or clamp when cutting to stop it from moving.
  4. Work on one board at a time and cut less than you think you need each time – it’s much easier to take a little more off than put it back on!
  5. Review your cut pieces regularly to ensure they are the size you intended.

Safety Warning

Like any DIY project, fitting laminate flooring comes with hazards. Be sure to always wear protective gear, use kneepads when fitting, and keep dangerous equipment or chemicals away from children and pets.

How to fit laminate flooring

Now comes the actual laying part of laying laminate flooring. Our instructions are for click-style laminate floorings. Always refer to your flooring manufacturer’s instructions, especially if using a different style of flooring.

  • Start by fitting the underlay. It needs to be smooth and fit the contours of your room exactly. Make sure you choose an underlay suitable for laminate.
  • Place the laminate tongue-side up on top of the underlay, starting in a corner.
  • Press the sections together until you hear a click.
  • Keep going across the room until you’ve reached the other side.
  • You’ll likely need a specially cut size for the final piece but it might be easier to cut this once everything else is down.

When you’ve finished: clearing up

Once you’re done, you just need to add the finish touches. Fit runner strips or threshold guards at doorways and give your new flooring a quick brush before returning your furniture to the room.

Key steps

To lay laminate flooring, follow these key steps

  1. Measure the space thoroughly being sure to add in a bit extra for wastage.
  2. Prepare the underfloor before laying the flooring, then work from the corner in.
  3. Always be mindful of safety and make sure to wear adequate protective gear.

Originally published