Laminate floors offer easy DIY installation

There's no denying that laminate floors offer good looks for a home. If these are properly maintained and look after a laminate floor can look good for several years.


Laminate wood floors remain a popular choice for homeowners wanting the look of wood - without the price tag. Nowadays you can pop into your local Builders Warehouse to buy laminate floor, or shop around for your nearest supplier. There are hundreds of patterns, colours and brands to choose from - most of which offer a DIY option if you prefer to save money and do-it-yourself.

In this article we look at tips for choosing laminate flooring and offer advice on installing laminate flooring, allowing you to make and informed decision as to whether you want light or dark laminate flooring, and whether you will have it professionally installed or take the DIY route.

Tips for laying laminate wood flooring

◊ Buy 10 percent more flooring than you think you need in case of mistakes.

◊ Let boards acclimate to installation space for 48 hours.

◊ Floors should be clean, dry and level. Fill any low spots in an uneven floor with a self-levelling screed.

Use a Laser Level, or spirit level and straightedge to accurately determine level of existing floor.

◊ Remove existing skirting boards carefully so that you can use it again.

◊ Always install a vapour barrier over concrete floors before installation laminate flooring. In large areas, join sections together with duct tape.

◊ Unpack several boxes of laminate flooring to check for colour or pattern variations. You want to ensure an even pattern across the floor.

◊ Stagger lengths of end boards so seams don't line up.

◊ Always allow an expansion gap between the wall and the edges of the boards. You can use spacers to ensure a consistent gap around the perimeter wall.

◊ Follow the manufacturer's recommended guidelines for proper installation, as well as care and maintenance of the laminate wood flooring product.

If you need to use a crow bar or other sharp tool for a snug fit, wrap the end with duct tape to protect the flooring planks

Tips for hiding scratches and gouges in laminate flooring

With access to hundreds of colours, it is so easy to mix nail varnish to match the finish on laminate wood flooring. If you are unable to source a Mend A Chip Multipurpose Repair Kit, buy a selection of coloured nail varnishes (primary colours plus black and white) that you can combine to mix your own custom colours to disguise chips or gouges in laminate flooring.

Once you have an almost perfect match, apply this in layers to the flooring with a small applicator or paintbrush. Allow layers to dry properly if you need to fill a deep gouge.


Choose the proper laminate flooring for a room

Today you can buy laminate flooring in varied finishes, from dark to light wood grains, planks that replicate a look of whitewashed wood. Lighter planks will show far fewer scratches than a dark floor, which means these are the preferred choice for a child's bedroom.

If you want to install laminate flooring in a bathroom, be sure to check that the product is suitable for use in a bathroom, kitchen or area that may be prone to moisture.

Protect laminate flooring from scratches by gluing felt pads to furniture legs.

Use colourful or patterned rugs in high traffic areas.