A timber floor from CCC is a durable and practical alternative to cheap carpet, and installing a timber floating floor is one job that many people choose to tackle themselves. However, fitting it so that it looks neat and professional can still be a time-consuming task and shouldn’t be taken on without the right equipment and a well-prepared room.
Unless you’ve done this type of work before, allow twice the amount of time you think it will take to complete the job. If you get done early, it’s a bonus! Make sure you have sufficient boards (allow 10% wastage), suitable underlay, and moulding or expansion strips. If you are installing real wood, you may also need tension straps, glue or self-adhesive underlay.
You must have a dry, clean, level floor to work on. Give it a thorough vacuum and use a tack cloth to pick up any remaining dust. Have the following tools on hand; masking tape, a tape measure, a combination square, a hand saw, a jigsaw, knee pads, a craft knife, a spirit level, a mallet and a laminate flooring kit.
Leave your boards in the room for 24 hours before laying to adjust to the temperature and humidity. Use the longest wall as your guide and lay your boards parallel to it. If you have a square room, lay them in line with any incoming light. If you are joining up with flooring in an adjacent room, lay your boards in the same direction as the existing floor. Remove skirting boards first, if you can.
Put down your underlay according to the instructions and then start in a corner, working along the longest wall, with the tongue side of the board against the wall. Use the spacers in your flooring kit at 60cm intervals to keep a suitable expansion gap. Follow the manufacturer’s guidance for this. You will need to cut the last board of each row to make it fit. Measure and mark using your square and saw with the finished side facing up. As always, measure twice, cut once.
Begin the second row with the off-cut from the first. Be sure to stagger your joints by at least 30cm between adjacent rows. Most laminate flooring in Melbourne will lock together easily but use your mallet carefully to ensure it’s securely in place.
To fit a board around a pipe, carefully mark its position on the board. Drill a hole slightly larger than the pipe and then saw two angled cuts from the sides of the hole to the board edge. Pop out the wedge piece, fit the board and then glue the wedge in place behind the pipe.
It is often easier to remove door trim rather than cut boards to fit it snugly. Work out how high you need to cut by measuring the thickness of the board and underlay and allow extra for movement.
Remove your spacers and fit expansion strips or mouldings to cover the gaps. Timber mouldings should be pinned into place, then painted or varnished as required. Reinstate skirting boards and fit a wooden or metal threshold at the entryway. Now, step back and admire your hard work!