So I’m looking to rip up my Lino flooring that runs through our house and laying click lock laminate flooring and I’m just wondering if anyone has done it and can tell me how difficult/ easy it is to do? I’m planning on doing it myself.
Do I need to use underlay? Do I need to glue it down or will it be fine on it’s o once it’s all clicked together??
Thanks in advance for your advice.
Easy and no gluing.
I don’t think you can even get Lino anymore! If it is Lino, then it’s been down for more than 40 years; and on a wooden substrate. The newspapers used as an underlay would tell you the year that the floor was laid and contain a great deal of history of that period.
Hopefully then it is vinyl flooring; but to begin with let’s assume it is Linoleum. You can lay your flooring straight over the top, you can lay tiles too; Height may be a concern though check overall thickness verses the bottom of any doors etc.
We need to know what the substrate is; this is the bit that is under the lino and newspaper, or the vinyl, or the carpet. Remember, if it is not lino, then it needs to come up.
So we now know that the substrate, the floor on which the flooring has been laid is timber or concrete slab. This determines the which way the under lay and moisture barrier face, and, if required, which ardit you will need.
The floor must be level. Level is a strange term that us flooring types like to throw around and means that the substrate must be quite flat. In other words, the whole thing can slope 45% degrees if you wish but there must be no more than a 3mm variation in height over a metre. No hollows of 3.1mm or more or bumps higher than 3mm either. If there are hollows or bumps these mush be levelled out.
This is easy enough; Bunnings have a number of Ardits (floor levelling compounds) that can be used. Again the trap is in the wording. Most of these Ardits say that they are self-levelling. Put simply if you mix it up correctly and dump it on the floor and run off for a coffee, when you come back you will find a nice floor with a small mountain of self-levelling compound; that you now need to chisel off the floor and start over. If it hasn’t set, you could run your finger through the side of the small mountain and see for yourself how magically the mountain self-levels itself to reform a smooth small mountain.
In other words, Self-levelling compounds need to be screed off or levelled. There are different ardits for levelling on a timber floor or slab but the processes are near identical.
That is about the hardest part of the exercise, and it really is just like buttering toast.
You will need an underlay. Bunnings do sell one brand of Laminate flooring that has its own underlay. You will void the warranty on that particular product if you put an additional underlay. All others require an underlay.
You must have an underlay. The underlay helps to protect the floor against the harsh interaction of the substrate, which is designed and built to be unforgiving, and your flooring. Even carpet has underlay! The underlay also has or must have, a moisture barrier. For a slab the moisture barrier is down against the slab to prevent moisture from coming up and dampening the flooring. For timber the moisture barrier goes against the flooring.
Now if you are in a strata unit the Owners’ Corporation will have rules about the type of underlay required. You will have also to get their permission to install the flooring, unless you are replacing a similar floor. It doesn’t hurt to check.
The underlay will add about 3-5mm to the height of the flooring.
Just like carpet underlay (only thinner) you only have to plonk it down to cover the whole floor. A bit cut off here and a bit there is fine. No overlapping and no gaps. No pattern so no worries.
Now the laying bit. Purchase a laying kit from Bunnings; cheap as’ and it has the little 10mm spacers in it that you will need to keep the floor 10mm away from all walls. Why? Because you floor will expand and contract. If there is no room to expand because you have butted it up against the wall to save time, your floor will pop one hot day and when it does you will have to rip the whole thing up (and now space it from the walls) in order to get it back down again.
Starting from your longest wall in the room; start laying the flooring along that wall, with the 10mm gap. The flooring always looks its best when the boards go in the direction of the room. Go all the way! Now the last bit will not fit unless you are extremely lucky. The box will so you how to cut the desired piece to fit.
Get the last bit, the bit that won’t fit; flip it over longways and line it up on top of your last laid piece and using this as a rule draw a pencil line on the back. This is your cut.
You cut along this line, flip it over and slot it into your row. Like a glove!!
The left over bit will be the first bit on your next row; which will give the floor the much needed stagger effect. Keep your eye on the stagger. You can cut bits longer or shorter to stop it looking like a pattern all its own.
By the time you’ve crossed the room you will now be an old hand at cutting the bits you need to fit the end the row/s; the process for the final wall is a variation of the same tried and true method you have been using; flip it, mark it, cut it, fit it.
Now some things we didn’t do.
We didn’t mention skirting boards; if you have them, great; if you don’t have them, great.
We use skirting boards to cover that 10mm gap. If you have skirting boards and they are fixed onto a concrete/brick/plaster walls; leave them. If they are fixed onto gyprock or similar you carefully remove them before laying the floor.
If they can’t be removed, just purchase some scotia, to nail onto the skirt. If your skirting is the modern 10mm stuff it still won’t be wide enough you will need to use scotia or replace with 19mm skirting.
Doorways, sliding balcony doors, changes from the new floor to existing tile, carpet, or other surfaces, will require transitions. There are many and varied types of transitions and wall ends and such like and the friendly team at Bunnings will be happy to help if you need it but most are quite obvious in their application when viewed.
Under no circumstances does the edge of the laminate rest against any wall or transition as previously explained.
The transitions, and skirting; apart from decoratively hiding the 10mm gap, prevents the flooring from trying to escape up your wall and allows it to expand and contract as required.
Wow, comprehensive reply from @PJA!
@Yorky88, I assume you've seen this? - https://www.bunnings.com.au/diy-advice/flooring/laminate-and-vinyl/how-to-lay-laminate-flooring
Hi @PJA you are a bloody legend 👍🏻 Thanks for that mate that is sooo helpful I really appreciate the advice and makes me feel a lot more confident now.
So its definately not lino thanks for clearing that up for me. It’s vinyl on a concrete slab. So just to clarify I can’t use the vinyl as an underlay? I have to use a proper underlay with the moisture barrier against the slab.
Do I need to check every inch of floor with a spirit level to make sure the fall is correct and that there’s no low or high spots?
Thanks mate 👍🏻
Vinyl off; moisture barrier and underlay on.
we usually grab one off the vinyl planks and, turning on it’s edge look at the gap under it.
No more than 3mm gap in the length of the board is a good measure.
likewise, if it rocks; is the fulcrum more than 3mm high?
Don’t cut corners. 3mm is the max; not well it’s just 3 and a bit.
The audits are cheap and easy enough so why chance it.