Laying laminate flooring - 9 important things to know in advance

Hello everyone, those who want to save a little, can definitely lay the laminate on their own, it's not so difficult, for this, you need a flat floor base, have and be able to handle the tool, as well as understand the principle of laying this flooring.

floor base

The base of the floor should be even, this is understandable.

But, if you are laying on a concrete base, be sure to use waterproofing, the flooring under the plastic film laminate will not allow moisture from the concrete base to penetrate into the floor covering.

This option is especially important after pouring the screed or leveling the floor with levelers, since the residual moisture inside the base, even after a decent drying time, can remain in the thickness of the concrete for a long time.


Some laminate flooring underlays have waterproofing properties, such as Styrofoam or polyethylene foam underlays that keep moisture out of the substrate. But at the same time, the joints of the substrate must be glued with moisture-proof tape.

But for example, in principle, quite good in terms of its technical characteristics, a cork substrate freely absorbs and passes moisture and in such a situation requires an additional layer of waterproofing made of polyethylene film.

Also, when laying the underlay, it is important to take into account the joints between the sheets of the underlay, making them so that the joint on the substrate does not coincide with the joint on the laminate.

Manufacturer's requirements for laying laminate

Of course, there are general rules for laying laminate flooring, but it is very important to read the instructions for your particular floor covering, since different manufacturers may have a number of requirements that may differ in one direction or another.

Following any instructions, it is advisable to lay the laminate some time after the completion of all wet work, by this time, everything should dry out in the room and normal humidity should be established.

For example, for Quick Step laminate, the requirements indicate that if the relative humidity of the room is in the range of 30-75%, then the purchased laminate, before laying and in closed packages, must be kept in the room for at least 48 hours.

If the humidity in the room is not within the specified range, it is highly recommended to acclimatize for 1 week with the package open. Let me remind you that this is an instruction for Quick Step laminate, other manufacturers can set their own requirements.

The acclimatization of the laminate should not be neglected, since the laminate previously stored in conditions of high humidity, after laying in a dry room, can dry out and give large gaps around the perimeter of the room.

Likewise, a laminate that has been too dry before, quickly laid in a new room with high humidity or on a floor that has not dried out after leveling, can swell and, resting against the walls, form a house in the middle.

Gap between wall and laminate


It is impossible to ignore the gap between the wall and the coating regulated by the manufacturer.

 The gap is necessary for the possible expansion of the floor covering with changes in humidity in the room.

 Roughly speaking, if a laminate is laid in a dry room without the necessary gap along the walls, then when the humidity in the room changes, for example, in summer, when the heating stops working and the relative humidity of the air rises, the laminate can begin to expand under the influence of moisture, as a result of which, individual boards flooring can stand up as a house.

Also, this situation can occur if the maximum length and width of the laying area of the floor covering is violated without a deformation gap.

 Designers often sin with this option for the sake of the newfangled trend of laying flooring throughout the apartment without a break, previously traditionally performed at least in the places of the threshold located under the door.

Following the rules specified in the instructions for the laminate is just the most important factor when laying it.

And if the instructions indicate the necessary indentation from the walls of 1 cm, then this is how it should be done.

There are exceptions, for example, at the location of the door frame, in this place a smaller indent from the wall is usually made, since a narrow door trim may not cover a large gap.

 Therefore, only after you find out in the instructions the required gap between the wall and the floor covering, you can begin to select the baseboard.

Laying laminate, diagonal, along or across the room?

Diagonal laying is not so popular, and is more suitable for non-standard rooms with a versatile direction of light and the direction of movement of a person inside the room.

Straight or longitudinal laying can look ugly in a complex shape, in such situations a row of laminate cut with a wedge can look ugly and unfinished.

The diagonal laying method just helps out in such situations, the method allows you to visually expand the space, hide wall defects and give the room originality.

Diagonal laying is more complex, requires accurate and verified calculations, as well as a greater consumption of material.

The most common option for straight rooms is longitudinal laying.

Most recommendations for laying laminate flooring advise laying the laminate in rows along the wall, with the long side from the window (light source) to the opposite wall, explaining that the reason that the incident light from the window, when laid transversely, can emphasize the often repeated joints of individual boards, which in turn can create an effect of heterogeneity and ugly highlight the joints.

Some even argue that with longitudinal laying, the consumption of laminate will be much less than with transverse.

The consumption of the laminate does not depend on the transverse or shared direction, rather a combination of factors influences the consumption, since everything depends on the size of the room itself, the size of the offset of the rows, as well as the length and width of the flooring board.

Most often, in standard rooms, the doors are located on the opposite side of the window, due to which the movement of people in the room is from the door to the window.

That is, when laying the laminate with the long side along the wall from the window to the door, when walking on it, on your way, you get fewer transverse joints that will wear out over time.

Also, for example, windows can be located on two or even three walls at once, how in this situation to determine the direction of light and how to lay the laminate?

There is no definite answer, but it is necessary to take into account the shape of the room and the direction of movement along it, since the prevailing movement across the laminate lamellas increases and accelerates its wear.

This is the practical side of the issue, and as for design and visual perception, boards located along a long room visually narrow this room, especially those with a chamfer or a pattern that imitates narrow lamellas.

Cross laying can visually expand the room, but at the same time, with the most frequent walking across the boards, the rate of wear of the coating on the lock joints increases.

Therefore, when choosing a laying method, across or along the room, it is necessary to take into account not only the direction of the light, which can affect someone from an aesthetic point of view, but also the direction of movement in the room, which can affect the life of the floor covering, especially in a room with intense walking.


Laminate boards with their own pattern, texture and various shades can be repeated.

Very often, in one package, you can find the same slats. In this regard, before laying, it is advisable to place the whole package along the wall and try to lay the same elements at a distance from each other.

Laminate row offset pitch


Everyone understands that the laminate is laid in rows, and each subsequent row comes with an offset. In the passport for the laminate, the figure of the minimum distance between the joints of two adjacent rows should be indicated.

 For different manufacturers, this distance may vary.

 Ignoring the recommendations for the offset distance, accelerated wear of the coating or divergence of the joints between the lamellas is possible.

 Also, when calculating the offset of the rows, it is desirable to take into account the length of the last lamella in the row (which is usually cut off).

Too short a lamella, especially in a passageway, for example at a door, can look ugly and be subject to increased wear.

The offset of the rows can be in the floor of the board, it can be in a third or randomly, simply using the elements cut off earlier.

 In some instructions for laminate, it is recommended to start laying from the far corner with a whole board. This option may not always be optimal and correct, since it is important to take into account the length of the room and the lamella itself.

For example, in a room 4.4 meters long with a length of one lamella 1200 mm, and if you want to lay the laminate with an offset of exactly half the lamella - starting laying from the window to the door from the whole board, at the end of the next row, you will get the missing balance of 20 cm .

 And everything would be fine if such a cut is inserted only against the wall, but when the next rows go to the door, the short cuts will be in the most passable place.

You can eliminate this possibility by starting the laying of the laminate with a non-integral lamella cut off from the lamella of the end of the first row, due to which, with the same material consumption, we exclude very short inserts near the wall, and most importantly, they will not be on the aisle.

 It is worth noting that laying with the same offset of all rows, whether it be half or 1/3, depending on the length of the room, may require more lamella consumption than the option with a chaotic offset, albeit not so beautiful, but more waste-free and, accordingly, less costly.

Therefore, when calculating the laminate in a specific room, it is not enough just to calculate the area of the room and add the standard percentage of the stock to it.

It is very important when calculating to take into account the features, the length of the room and the type of laying of the laminate.

Last row of laminate

The width of the required insert, which is the last row, should not come as a surprise to you after the entire flooring has been laid.

The instructions for the laminate sometimes indicate the minimum width of the lamella of the last row. Too narrow lamellas of the last row can cause inconvenience, due to poor fit to the floor and not always a beautiful view, especially if there is a chamfer on the laminate and the wall diverges like a wedge.

Therefore, knowing the width of the room and the width of the laminate lamella, you need to calculate before laying how wide the last row will be, and realizing, for example, that the last row will be too narrow, cut the lamellas of the first row along, so that both the first and last row would not be very narrow .

Laminate at the door


The ideal option for laying laminate is the moment before installing the doors.

But, it often happens that when laying a laminate there is already a door frame.

 Of course, the easiest way is to lay the laminate by cutting it around the door frame, and leave a gap at the junction of the frame and the laminate, after which close part of the gap with a platband, and close part with a sealant, something closes with a threshold in the place under the door.

It is worth recognizing that this method is not very aesthetic, and extra slots can become a dust collector. Yes, and super-professionals in laying laminate, this very moment, will be indignant, and write in the comments that this is “terrible” and you don’t need to do this !.

But, nevertheless, this method is alive and is still used by many, which cannot be denied.

 The second method is more advanced, here it is necessary to file the door frame and most likely the door itself, and run the laminate under them.

 With this option, there are no gaps, but there are some nuances here. Some laminate allows you to snap the lamella at a ZERO angle, but some does not, and then, cutting and gluing the locks of the inserted part under the box are used, which, in my opinion, is not good and the method becomes not entirely reliable and not much better first.

 Therefore, if a door has already been installed, then before laying the laminate, you need to understand which way to use and whether it allows you to do it, the laminate you bought without much damage to the quality of the further operation of the laminate floor.

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