frequently asked questions about laminate and wood flooring
How do I install laminate flooring?
In order to get the best possible finish for your new laminate flooring we would advise using a professional flooring fitter, our recommended fitters are all approved Which? Trusted Traders. However, if you wish to install your laminate flooring yourself, we have a laminate fitting guide to help you every step of the way.
Does laminate flooring need underlay?
Underlay can improve the finished look of your laminate flooring whilst also increasing the lifespan. As a floating flooring surface, laminate flooring needs to flex and move. Fitting laminate underlay can help to increase the comfort of your floor, whilst also reducing in room sound too.
Can laminate flooring be painted?
Laminate flooring is a man-made material which has the look of real wood flooring but without the hefty price tag, making it a popular flooring and furniture choice for thrifty homeowners.
Should you wish to inject some colour into your laminate floors, you’ll be pleased to know that it is possible to paint laminate flooring. However, unless a special procedure is followed, the end results can be short-lived and not as visually appealing as you might have hoped.
Many individuals run into problems when trying to paint laminate, problems which stem from a lack of forethought and preparation on their behalf. For example, you’re likely to achieve mediocre results if:
- You don’t hoover or clean the floor before painting
- You use the wrong type of primer and paint
- You don’t scuff the wear layer with sandpaper
Ultimately, we recommend seeking advice from a professional fitter when attempting to paint laminate flooring, as this can be both costly and time-consuming. However, should you decide to go ahead and do the painting yourself, you’ll need to abide by the following steps:
How to prep your floor before painting your laminate
Prepping your floor is a vital pillar of the process, and cleaning it thoroughly enables the paint to stick better.
- Step one: Wash and clean your floor with a trisodium phosphate mixture (TSP) to get rid of any dirt and debris. Make sure you don’t get any TSP on any other surfaces.
- Step two: Sand the laminate with 180 grit sand paper to remove the surface gloss. You’ll be left with the bare wood material which will have lost its shine – the paint will stick to this better.
- Step three: Tape off the edge of your flooring so as not to get paint on the walls.
- Step four: Apply an oil-based primer to the floor’s surface with smooth up and down brush strokes.
- Step five: Leave the primer to dry for a full week, by then the primer will have hardened.
How to paint your laminate floor
Once steps have been taken to ensure your floor is adequately prepped, you can begin the painting process.
- Step one: Choose the correct type of paint depending on the area you are painting (painting laminate floors with chalk paint is a popular option – it creates an ‘aged’ appearance, but you can also use heavy duty paint for areas that receive a lot of traffic).
- Step two: Use a roller to paint the laminate using up and down strokes.
- Step three: Leave it to dry for a day before adding more coats.
- Step four: Give the flooring another 1-2 coats of paint (leaving a day in between each so that it has time to dry fully).
- Step five: Divert all traffic from the area for one whole week so that the paint can cure properly.
Alternatives to painting laminate flooring
Since this procedure can be fiddly and sometimes yield undesirable results, it is worth considering other options available to you aside from painting over laminate. You could:
- Replace the entire flooring. Although costly, if you’re concerned about the colour of your floor, the results of replacing it will often be more attractive than simply painting over it. Our uplift and disposal service ensures the removal process is swift and smooth.
- If you are unhappy with the colour of your laminate floor, invest in rugs to make the area more colourful. These can be changed to fit your tastes and interior design – a much cheaper and speedier option than painting over laminate.
If you’re still keen to paint over laminate, make sure you follow the steps outlined above to ensure attractive results - and have a look at our laminate care guide to keep your flooring in tip top condition once painted!