Professional floor fitters are frequently called into properties to replace poorly installed laminate and wooden flooring because the homeowner has attempted DIY and botched the job. Although it may look simple, homeowners have been overwhelmed with the complexity or have not been pleased with the outcome.
Professional fitters tend to be called in for downstairs installations where guests are more likely to be impressed with the finish.
If you’re keen to install flooring yourself though, bear the following tips in mind:
- Be realistic. A cheap material won’t look as good as a more expensive alternative
- Ensure the subfloor is well prepared
- Make sure to thoroughly read the instructions
- Have the right tools to hand
- Relax and take your time.
What tools do I need?
If you have taken the decision to lay wooden flooring yourself, there are several tools you’ll need to do the job. For marking and measuring the boards you’ll want a tape measure, pencil and carpenter’s square.
In order to correctly trim the lengths you’ll want a decent handsaw and perhaps a jigsaw for cutting the plank’s length to fit against the wall. If you need to manoeuvre radiator pipes or other obstructions you will need a hacksaw and spade drill to cut intricate shapes.
Laminate flooring kits will also come with a pull bar, wedge and tapping block, but there will be instructions on how to successfully use these.
Mistakes to avoid
Professional floor fitters will be able to tell if someone has attempted DIY and there are some tricks to help you avoid some of the common mistakes. Remember, a well fitted floor can add value to your home.
- Staggered flooring: Wooden flooring installations will look best when the planks are staggered so make sure each row starts off at a different length. This technique helps to give more support to the floor and makes use of offcuts too.
- Butchered boards: Around radiator pipes you’re especially likely to see this and it’s a trademark sign that the flooring has been fitted by an amateur.
- Gaps between boards: Gaps between the boards are normally caused when not enough glue has been used or boards have been kept together overnight whilst the glue is setting.
- Hollow footfalls: This is caused by a void underneath the flooring because the subfloor was inadequately prepared. It can also be a sign of underlay being ill-fitted.
- Creaking floorboards: Creaking floorboards are a result of the floorboards not being properly fixed before the flooring is laid on top. Ensure these are dealt with before you start an installation.