Professional Floor Laying Tips from ProFlooring
Anyone can click floor boards together, but there are a number of critical factors missed by would-be DIY’ers and even those that do not specialise in laying floors. These make the difference between a new floor to cherish and one to put up with.
3 critical points to get right:
- Subfloors levelled to less than a 3mm dip over a 3m span. Cracks or old grout are not important, but ‘valleys’ and ‘puddles’ will ruin your enjoyment like a roof leak. Finding the dips is easier than fixing them as levelling is a skilled job where ‘close’ is not enough.
- Leave a suitable expansion gap around EVERY bit of the new floor edge. We suggest removal and refitting of skirting so that this gap is neatly hidden. Some areas may need scotia or quad where there are no skirting or
kick boards. A gap ‘most of the way’ around the new floor is not adequate and will create problems.
- Architraves, doors and fiddly bits like stairs require practice and the right tools. Nothing stands out more than patched cuts and gaps. Most people can cut a 90⁰ angle, but very few houses are built with exact angles meaning that extra care and measuring is required to make trims and fittings ‘look’ right. Professional layers know this and look for it, making the finished job a pleasure to live with. The cost of getting it right is small beside the frustration and disappointment of living with faults.
The type of new flooring is also an important factor. A quality laminate is the most scratch resistant and low maintenance solution and with modern ranges, need not look ‘fake’. Strand Woven Bamboo is the most dent resistant option and there is now a wide range of colour options (we recommend you use 14mm thick, cold pressed products only). Engineered timber will give you a timber floor you can sand back in later years without expensive laying costs.
By Guy Thornycroft