Wooden flooring when fitted properly can look fantastic in your home and with a small amount of DIY knowledge can be easy to fit yourself. Here are some tips about fitting wooden flooring that should be considered based on my own experience of fitting wooden flooring in my lounge. With a bit of graft and the right tools you will be able to get some excellent results.
Prior to laying it you must ensure that the surface it is going to be laid on is of adequate condition and is as flat as possible. The flatter the under-floor the better your wooden flooring is going to look. In between the original floor and the wooden flooring will be a bouncy membrane which can mask some imperfections but areas that are obviously uneven need to be fixed. Your new wooden flooring will normally be laid lengthways in the room as it gives the appearance of the room being longer and larger. If your existing flooring is floor boards rather than concrete though, laying wooden flooring running the same way can lead to unevenness. To overcome this I put down plywood sheets fitted together with small screws to make the flat working area.
Before laying the wooden sections you need to put down a membrane usually made of foam or rubber similar to that found underneath carpet. The one I bought also had a silver foil covered side. Not only does this flatten out imperfections, it also acts as a noise dampener and provides really good insulation making rooms with wooden flooring surprisingly warm. Completely cover the whole floor area with the membrane before laying the wooden flooring. You are now ready to lay your new flooring whether it is real wood or laminate.
The best way to lay it is from the wall furthest away from the main entrance to the room as this will be seen the most by people entering. If you can, you can remove all of the skirting boards and architrave in the room so that the wooden flooring can go right to the wall and then replace these afterwards. That wasnt possible in my house as I didnt really have time to remove them and the walls were quite uneven as it was an old house so I just worked up to the skirting boards and then fixed wooden beading around the edge and it still looked really good.
When you lay it, always stagger the panels as this not only looks good and replicates the floor boards on a real wood floor but it also adds strength to the surface. Make sure that all of the pieces are securely joined together you can buy a special took and plastic mallet for knocking the wooden flooring into place without damaging any joins or edges. Leave a gap of a few millimetres between the floor and wool as per the manufacturer instructions this is because the flooring can shrink and grow depending on the room temperature. For this reason, finishing beading should never be fitted to the wooden flooring but to the skirting board above it.