Whether you decide to use our professional Which? approved flooring fitters or want to take on the challenge of fitting your new laminate floor yourself, you will find everything you need in the expert fitting guide. We'll cover every step of the installation process including:
1. Using Which? approved Carpetright fitters
2. Accurately measuring a room before fitting
3. Having the right tools to fit your new floor
4. Preparing your sub-floor & removing old flooring
5. Choosing underlay and fitting it yourself
6. How to lay your new laminate floor
7. Getting the perfect finish (door frames & edging)
8.Tips for repairing lamiante flooring
9. Essential safety advice
At Carpetright we believe in making things easy to you at every step. We’re proud to offer a professional fitting service that is approved by industry experts and trusted. We only use fitters who are fully qualified and assessed by the Flooring Industry Training Association. Our fitters have also all passed the rigorous assessment process set by Which? to become a recognised Which? Trusted Trader. This endorsement scheme acknowledges reputable traders to give you peace of mind.
Which? has been rigorously testing products and services for over 50 years, giving consumers unbiased insight, enabling you to make an informed decision about making a purchase or using a service. Now Which? is doing the same for traders and not just anyone can become endorsed. Only those who meet their high standards are credited with the Which? Trusted Trader status.
By choosing to have your new flooring fitted professionally by us you’ll be able to enjoy it without the hassle. Select fitting at the checkout or ask an advisor if purchasing in store. Alongside our standard fitting service we offer an uplift and disposal service which for a small fee means our fitters will take up and dispose of your old flooring before they lay your new one. It’s just one less thing for you to worry about.
Find out what you can expect from our professional fitting service by clicking here.
When it comes to all DIY jobs, preparation is everything and with flooring it’s imperative that you get the room measurements correct. If your room is perfectly square or rectangular, the area can be calculated by multiplying the width by the height. For example, a room that is 5m x 2m will need 10m² of laminate flooring. If your room includes recesses or chimney breasts, it helps to draw a diagram of the room complete with any alcoves, fireplaces, nooks and crannies. Measure each individual area and write the measurement in the relevant space on the diagram. Then break the room down into smaller rectangles that you can add together to get the total area of the room. Then add an all-important 5% for waste.
Measure your lengths more than once to make doubly sure they’re right and remember to measure to the back of any door frames or room trims that you want the laminate to go under when it is fitted. When it comes to stairs or steps, the process is similar. Measure the height and depth and of each stair to give you then length before multiplying by the width. This will give you the area of each step. Again, don’t forget to allow 10% for waste and to allow for any margin of error as staircases can be tricky. When you buy laminate flooring bear in mind it is usually sold in packs that are labelled by their size in meters squared. For example, one pack might include 5m² of laminate flooring. Watch our step-by-step video guides to measuring different room shapes from a simple room to a room with a join or extra space.
Exclusive video: Watch our step-by-step guide to accurately measuring a simple room. It's never been easier to get a perfect fit.
Exclusive Video: Learn the basic steps to accurately measure a room with extra areas by watching our helpful video.
Exclusive video: Accurately measure a room which requires a join by learning how from our step-by-step guide.
Like with measuring, getting the right laminate flooring kit is another important consideration. Many of the tools you may already have in your toolbox and most DIY outlets sell a flooring kit that will include the pull bar and spacers for the job. Tools you might need include:
• Mitre saw
• Small crowbar
• Drill with flat wood bit
• Flooring kit (including spacers and pull bar)
• Stanley knife
• Tape measure
• Safety goggles and face mask
• Masking tape
• Vacuum cleaner
Before you can even consider laying the first laminate flooring plank it is essential that you prepare your sub-floor. If the sub-floor is not correctly prepared this will affect the finish and properties of your new laminate floor. Below we take you through the steps you should follow when preparing your sub-floor.
• Make sure the entire area is smooth, even and dry. If it is a newly concreted floor, make sure it is fully dried out. Fix any screws and nails firmly below the surface, so that they do not puncture the underlay or laminate.
• Make sure all your packs of boards have been resting horizontally in the area they are to be fitted for 48 hours so they are flat and have acclimatised to the room.
• Clean up any dust and debris with a vacuum cleaner and scrape or sand off any existing adhesives from previous flooring.
• If laying on concrete, you will need to put down a damp-proof membrane but using underlay with a built-in damp-proof membrane is recommended.
• Remove skirting boards so that they can be re-fitted when the new boards are in, if you do not plan to use any laminate beading.
Removing your old floor
It is not a good idea to lay a laminate floor over an existing one. Laminate boards click together and float over the sub-floor meaning they are relatively easy to remove without damaging the floor or sub-floor.
• First, take up any trims or transitions from the edge of the flooring with your crowbar.
• Pull the boards around the perimeter of the floor using the crowbar and use the claw end of your hammer to remove any nails.
• Work, row by row, from the side of the room that each of the grooves are facing - it's easier to pull the tongue of a board from the groove than the other way around.
At Carpetright we make fitting a new floor easy at every step. Alongside our professional Which? approved fitting service, we also offer uplift and disposal. We can uplift your old flooring and dispose of it for you to ensure that you experience a hassle-free fit.
Learn more about our uplift and disposal service here.
Underlay is not an optional extra - it's an integral ingredient that shapes how laminate flooring feels, wears and looks. Installing underlay is easy and will dramatically improve the look, feel and performance of your new floor. The right underlay will add comfort underfoot, absorb shock and noise effectively and act as an insulator, meaning you could save money on your energy bills.
There are various types of underlay for laminate flooring each with different advantages. Thicker options offer more sound proofing, which could be a consideration if you are laying a floor in an upstairs room or flat. When fitting your new laminate underlay consider the following:
• Bear in mind that not all types of underlay are suitable for wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, while some types come with a built-in damp-proof membrane.
• Lay the underlay over the entire floor and trim to fit, cutting a 16mm gap around any pipes. Lay lengths parallel and stick together with masking tape.
Read our guide to buying underlay and choose the right underlay for your new laminate floor. You can also visit us in store where our underlay testing station allows you to feel the difference that underlay can make to flooring.
Before fitting laminate flooring, think about which direction you would like the board to lie in. Ideally, they will lay in the direction of the longest wall but if your subfloor is wooden, then it is best to have the laminate boards fitted across the joists underneath.
• Start in a corner and lay the first row of boards tongue side facing the nearest wall.
• The boards will click together using the click system.
• Place spacers from your flooring kit between the board and the wall with an 8-10mm expansion gap.
• NOTE: The last row of boards will need to be at least 100mm wide, so measure ahead and adjust your first row by cutting the boards if necessary.
• You will probably need to adjust the length of the last board in the row to make it fit the length of your room. Use the square to mark the back of a board so you know where to cut. You can use the off cut to start the next row if it is at least 300mm.
• Lay the rows side by side, ensuring the joints are staggered from row to row. Continue to use the spacers to maintain a consistent gap between the planks and the wall.
• Calculate the width of the last board by laying a plank over the previous row. Place a third plank with its tongue against the wall and mark a line on the plan beneath. This will give you the desired width. Then use the hammer and pull bar to fit it tightly into space.
• As laminate is a 'floating floor' it must not touch any wall, door frames or pipes to save the laminate moving or becoming damaged.
How to fit laminate flooring around door frames
Fitting laminate flooring around door frames is the tricky bit, but it’s worth getting it right as it can make or break your final result. You basically have two choices – to either cut the boards around the shape of the door frame, or to undercut the door frame to slide the board under.
• If you are cutting the board around a door frame, lock it in place before making and cutting using the mitre saw.
• A simpler way to get a neat finish is to undercut the door frame with a handsaw. Measure the depth of your boards to make sure you don't cut too much off your door frames.
• It is unlikely that you will be able to lift the board to click it into the next board, so sand off the tongue and use a wood adhesive to keep it locked in place.
• You can cut holes for radiator pipes by drilling with a flat wood bit and then using the mitre saw to make a keyhole shape in the board to fit around the pipe. A hole of around 30mm is usually sufficient. Make sure the laminate board does not touch any of the radiator pipes.
Laminate floor edging
If you have chosen not to remove or undercut skirting boards, then using laminate floor beading is a good way to finish off your project. These are very effective in blending your new floor with your existing woodwork if you chose a trim that matches. There are matching laminate flooring accessories available to ensure your floor looks seamless. Read our guide to buying flooring accessories here.
• Measure the lengths required, cut 45 degree angles at the corners and apply a thin line of wood glue to the back of the trim. Do not apply to the bottom of the trim - the glue should stick to the skirting board, and not the floor.
• Hold the trim in place with some tacks or heavy objects such as books while the adhesive dries.
• If you are using a transitional trim to separate laminate from another type of flooring in another room, make sure you choose an option that is suitable for us on both surfaces.
Read our guide to buying flooring accessories for more information on getting the perfect finish.
While laminate floors are pretty robust, they are susceptible to damage over time.
Fortunately, scratches, chips and dents can be repaired or masked. There are several laminate floor repair kits available that come with smoothing pads and brushes. Make sure you choose one that contains a colour that matches – or is at least very close to – the colour of your floor. Repair work will involve using a solvent to clean the area before using a colour-matched filling liquid to mask the damage.
Considering your own safety when fitting a new floor is paramount. Ensure that you wear the appropriate clothing and safety equipment when installing your new floor and always seek professional advice if unsure. Consider the following safety advice before you begin fitting your floor.
• Always wear safety goggles and a face mask when cutting wood.
• Kneepads are ideal for protecting your knees against hard surfaces. Try not to stay on your knees for long periods of time; rather take regular breaks to protect your knees.
• Measuring a room and fitting new flooring is always easier when you have help from someone else. Asking someone to help you is a sure-fire way to ensuring you get accurate measurements and a perfect fit.
• Take extra care when using solvents and fillers. These can be flammable and toxic. All solvents and fillers should be kept out of reach of children.