Laminate floors look great. They can have the appearance of wood or other surfaces such as slate, tile or metal. Some people are put off by the idea of installing laminate because they think it’s complicated, but it isn’t. Here’s what you need to know.

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What you will need

In addition to the laminate flooring, you should also buy underlay. This will help protect your new flooring from damp that may rise from underneath.

You will also need some tools for the job, such as a stanley knife, hammer, work gloves, crowbar, electric drill, tape measure, duct tape, spirit level, clamp, saw, flat wood drill bit, and pulling ledge. Some of these tools may be available to hire, so you don’t need to buy new.

Choosing your laminate floor

Laminate comes in a range of styles and qualities. Think about the area you’re fitting it to and choose the best laminate for that area. For example, if pets will be using the room, get a tougher finish; spare bedrooms are less demanding. You can order laminate online from reliable suppliers such as

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Ideal Home Magazine has some advice on what to look for when buying laminate; see


First, remove the old flooring, including gripper rods. If you have loose floorboards, secure them. Clean and sweep away debris so you have a flat surface.

Lay your underlay in the opposite direction to how you will be laying your boards. Leave a small gap around the edges, and secure it with duct tape. Seal joins with more duct tape.

Laying the Boards

If you have to lay a board around a radiator or similar feature, that’s the best place to start. Mark where you should cut it, and then put it in place. Complete the rest of that run or strip. You will probably have to cut a piece to get the right size. Use this piece to start the next row, and you will stagger the joins and make a more attractive finish. Leave a gap of just over a centimeter all around. This is called an expansion gap and will be covered over with trip. You will need it to allow your floor to swell in warmer weather.

Once you are finished, complete the room by adding trim all around.