Installation Guide – Timber Laminate Floating Floors
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Installing your own timber flooring may sound daunting at first, but once broken down into a few simple steps, you’ll soon realise that it’s rather straightforward. In fact, it could also be therapeutic as the steps are pretty repetitive.
Step 1: Clean
While it may sound obvious, it is one of the most important steps! Be sure to clean your existing base floor thoroughly of any mess. Any rubbish, debris, dirt or dust must first be eliminated.
Step 2: Underlay
Once you have a clean and dry base, roll out the underlay and start trimming them to size. Smiling Rock offers a 3mm-thick acoustic underlay that acts as a protective guard to prevent against rising dampness, as well as levelling out minor unevenness, thus making it more comfortable to walk on. The rolls also come with an adhesive strip on the back to enable a seamless join.
Step 3: Laying the flooring
Smiling Rock’s timber laminate floating floor can technically be laid facing any direction, either length-wise or width-wise, as the choice is simply a matter of personal taste.
However, we at Smiling Rock believe that homeowners can achieve the most appealing outcome when the laminate flooring is laid according to the following:
1) Lengthwise in the same direction as the main light source.
2) In the same direction as the most frequently used entrance.
It’s recommended that the side with the long jutting groove faces away from the wall whilst the side with the short groove is laid against the wall. Check the corners of your walls to see if they are 90degrees and factor in the difference as necessary when laying your floors.
Below are some useful tips to make small spaces look BIG with the right flooring:
1) Lay your flooring boards length-wise to make a narrow room look wider.
2) Add depth to a shallow room by installing your floor width-wise.
3) Lay the laminate flooring on a 45-degree angle to make a small room look more spacious.
*Additional Tips and Notes*
– Keep in mind that the height between floor-to-ceiling will decrease due to the added thickness of Smiling Rock’s timber laminate floating floors.
– Be sure to take into account the thickness of the trim/skirting you are using, and allow approx. 7-10mm of expansion space between the planks and the walls. (Use spacers to maintain the right gap). Ensure that the gap is no bigger than the width of your trim/skirting.
– When laying timber laminate floors that have been cut, ensure that the rough edge is hidden under the skirting.
– Stagger your timber laminate floors when installing for an optimal finish, as it hides the joins better.
– DIY laminate flooring installation kits are available at Bunnings. For approximately $20-$30 you can get spacers, a tapping block and a wide-angle pull bar. Working with the appropriate tools will help make your project more efficient and manageable.
CAN I USE SMILINGROCK’S TIMBER LAMINATE FLOATING FLOORS FOR MY KITCHEN?
Yes, you can. Our laminate floors have a highly durable, see-through overlay that aids in protecting it against potential damage, thus making them a perfect choice for your kitchen. While spilling a glass of water is not a significant issue due to the wax sealed surface of our floors, it is recommended that any moisture be removed as soon as possible. Dry or slightly damp cleaning is sufficient to remove any dirt.
CAN SMILINGROCK’S LAMINATE FLOORING BE INSTALLED ON TOP OF AN EXISTING FLOOR?
Yes. However, the installation method will depend on the floor type.
1) On a damp-porous floor covering:
First remove any damp-porous floor covering (i.e. carpet, needle felt, etc.) before installing Smiling Rock’s timber laminate floating floors.
2) On a damp-sealer floor covering:
Damp-sealed floor coverings (PV, linoleum, VCT, etc.) do have to be removed but an acoustic underlay should be installed.
3) On a wooden subfloor:
First, remove every existing wooden subfloor.
– There are no signs of mould and/or insect infestations.
– The subfloor is level.
– All loose parts are nailed down.
Install an underlay to level out unevenness in the sub-floor and ensure that there is sufficient ventilation in the crawl space underneath the timber floor.
If you plan to lay your timber laminate floating floors over existing tiles, do ensure that the tiles are relatively level beforehand. Otherwise, proceed with using a levelling compound so that the surface is nice and flat.
WHICH TOOLS DO I NEED TO INSTALL LAMINATE FLOORING?
While it is true that the patented click system in Smiling Rock’s timber laminate floating floors makes it exceptionally uncomplicated to install (even in the smallest corners or underneath doors), some additional tools are still required.
1) A measuring tape to measure the room and determine the length of the laminate floorboards
2) A pencil for taking notes & marking down sawing lines
3) A hammer, crowbar and tapping block to click the floor firmly into place.
4) A jigsaw to cut the laminate floorboards to the desired length
5) Gloves & possibly safety glasses to be worn when sawing through the laminate floorboards
6) Spacers to keep a set distance between the walls and your laminate floorboards.
7) A bevel tool to measure the corners in your room to ensures that you cut the boards at the right angle.
WHY IS UNDERLAY IMPORTANT?
An underlay can aid in:
1) Providing protection against rising dampness
2) Level out minor unevenness in the sub-floor
3) Sound insulation
4) Thermal insulation (may be required above unheated areas, i.e., a garage)
5) Finally, more walking comfort and better shock absorbing properties.
HOW SHOULD I INSTALL AN UNDERLAY?
There are three easy steps in installing an underlay.
Step 1: Have a Stanley knife in place.
Step 2: Roll out the underlay across the length of your room. Ensure that the end of the underlay is slightly higher at the edges to make the installation easier later on and protect against rising moisture.
Step 3: Use your Stanley knife to cut off any surplus.
Your underlay needs to be as smooth as possible. Never put two layers on top of each other, as this will create unevenness.
CAN I GLUE DOWN SR LAMINATE FLOORS TO THE SUBFLOOR?
While it is possible to do so, it is highly important to ensure that the subfloor is perfectly level & damp-proof before doing so.
DO I REALLY NEED EXPANSION JOINTS BETWEEN EVERY ROOM?
Yes, it’s necessary. While HDF is extremely strong and durable, like any wood it’s also porous — which means that environmental factors like subtle changes in heat and humidity will cause the planks to expand and contract. Therefore, it is extremely important to have expansion joints of 8 to 10 mm along all walls.
HOW CAN I CUT OR SAW Smiling Rock’s timber laminate floating floors?
There are three main ways to do so:
A regular handsaw will do the trick! A good tip is to start off by making a small cut. Put your saw line as close as possible to the surface and don’t forget to firmly hold the piece you’re sawing off.
Jigsaws are best used to cut out shapes from your laminate floorboard. Always use a fine toothed blade and have the saw blade spinning before you touch the board.
3) Alternatively, you could also use a crosscut, plunger or table saw.