DIY: Installing Flooring

We all love a bit of DIY, but sometimes it hard to know which project to start on next. Whether you have just moved into a new home or through sheer boredom fancy a unique challenge, a good place to start is the floor. Flooring is often neglected in a home due to the perceived hassle, but it can actually be quite simple to purchase and install, and at least one floor in the average home needs updating.

For this reason, I have teamed up with Luxury Flooring & Furnishings to create the ultimate guide to installing flooring. There are 3 methods in total so everyone from beginner to expert can have a go.

Method – Floating Floor

For – Engineered Wood Flooring, Laminate Flooring, Click LVT

This method involves laying the planks simply as they are, with nothing else needed. Lay planks on the floors one at a time, and connect each subsequent plank via the click or tongue and groove mechanism. This is as simple as laying a jigsaw, and it is difficult to make mistakes. If any mistakes are made, they are quick and easy to correct, making this the ultimate way to save money and time. Although the finished floor will be sturdy if fitted tightly and accurately, it is not as secure as the adhesive or nailing method in higher footfall homes with lots of movement. To increase stability, use underlay unless otherwise stated, and with wood floors use PVA glue on the tongues and grooves to reduce movement.

Method – Glue Down/Adhesive

For – Solid Wood Flooring, Engineered Wood Flooring, Laminate Flooring, Glue Down LVT

For this method, you simply apply adhesive to the subfloor or planks as directed, then lay the floor down. An appropriate adhesive must first be chosen. Popular types include pressure sensitive and high temperature adhesive, and you should choose based on your needs, including whether or not you have underfloor heating for example. You must also follow the instructions on the tub, which normally give a waiting time that makes this method such a lengthy process. It is also more of a challenge for those who like to go at their own pace or hate following instructions and would not be recommended for such people, although beginners may find the instructions useful. On the other hand, the method itself allows for a much sturdier finish than floating floors, and is quicker and easier than the nailing method. This is also true if mistakes are made – they can be corrected easily if acted on before the adhesive sets. Overall, gluing is the perfect middle ground for those with high footfall, children or pets in their home.

Method – Secret Nailing

For – Solid Wood Flooring, Engineered Wood Flooring

Secret nailing is the best way of installing your floor as sturdily as possible whilst not being visually different to the other methods. It is done by hammering a nail through the joint of each plank onto the subfloor. This method is ideal for high footfall environments, including commercial ones, and is recommended if you plan on having your floor in your home for a very long time. As you can expect wood flooring to last a minimum of 30 years, this method is the best to ensure a tight and sturdy fit throughout that time. The initial process, albeit worth it for the benefits, is lengthy and requires confidence. If you are unconfident about making mistakes, you may wish to avoid this method or at least carry out some planning – one mistake can take a while to correct. Planning may include laying the planks as a floating floor first to see how they fit in the room and if any adjustments need to be made. This method is also cheaper to carry out in comparison to the others, as no adhesive is needed and most people already have a hammer and nails laying around at home.

Which method are you most likely to go for? Let us know in the comments.

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