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The Education Centre:Installation Advice
This page provides basic guidelines for installing all floors. Please see our other Education Centre pages that cover specific product and installation types for more detailed information on all the areas covered on this page. Please note that all installations are unique and if you are uncertain about anything you should refer to manufacturer instructions and use a reputable professional floor fitter.
Under cutting door frames
To provide your new floor with a professionally fitted appearance, the new floor should run underneath the door lining and architrave.
To cut the door lining and architrave, first place an offcut of flooring adjacent to the door frame. Lay a handsaw horizontally on the offcut of flooring and carefully cut away the architrave. As the saw will be 3-4mm in thickness there is no need to use any additional thickness under the piece of offcut to replicate an underlay.
The architrave should be cut through totally and the door frame cut away sufficiently to allow the flooring underneath without resistance. Any areas that do not immediately fall away can be finished with a sharp wood chisel.
Sweep and clean floor
To provide your new floor with the very best conditions, your preparation should include a thorough cleaning of the sub-floor. Concrete, unless sealed, will always have small particles of loose grit that will need to be swept and vacuumed to provide a clean surface to lay your flooring. Failure to do this can lead to a crunching noise once the floor is fitted. Wooden floors should also be swept and vacuumed to remove debris.
If you find that you are still getting quite a bit of dust and grit, an application of PVA or specialist concrete sealer can be applied to seal a concrete sub-floor. Most specialist concrete sealers are generally quicker to dry than PVA. Always ensure the PVA is given a few days to fully dry and always consult any manufacturer’s instructions for the final word on dilution quantities and curing time.
Damp Proof Membrane (DPM) sheet/ Damp Proof Membrane (DPM) liquid (if required)
Apply a damp proof membrane to your sub-floor if you are concerned about moisture, see section on site conditions for more details on moisture in sub-floors. If you have a concrete floor it is a necessary part of the installation. The damp proof membrane will stop residual moisture in your sub-floor penetrating the underside of your new wood floor and causing warping, swelling or cupping.
UK Flooring Direct recommend two types of Damp Proof Membrane:
A polyurethane sheet – Simply lay this over your sub-floor, such as UK Flooring Directs Fast-Fit Polythene Damp Proof Membrane
A liquid roll on barrier – Pour and spread evenly over your sub-floor and allow to dry, such as UK Flooring Directs Lumberjack M.B Primer 5 Litre
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the best result and correct installation.
Please Note: Don’t be fooled into thinking that the damp proof membrane (DPM) your builder used in your concrete sub-floor will stop moisture getting to your wood flooring, as there is always residual moisture at ground level that can seep into the floor from below.
Install Underlay (if required)
An underlay has many benefits. It helps to alleviate unevenness in your sub-floor, insulates, provides underfoot comfort and reduces noise. There are numerous types of underlay that can be used with your flooring. For laminate and real wood click floors UK Flooring Direct offers a complete range of foam underlays from Essential Cushion White Underlay to Cushion Acoustic Gold Wood Flooring Underlay, as well as Fibre Boards 5.5mm that are great for uneven sub-floors. While for luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) we recommend our Premium Vinyl Underlay with non-slip surface making installation faster. The one appropriate to your project will depend on your sub-floor and your chosen product.
Spread adhesive (if required)
Some floors require adhesive to ensure they are fitted correctly for real wood applications we recommend Lumberjack 650 Floor Adhesive. Spreading an adhesive does not have to be a messy process. Using a trowel with a good solid handle, like those used by plasterers, you can spread adhesive as you need it, reducing the likely hood of creating unnecessary mess and wastage. Remember you will need a trowel with notches cut to suit your sub-floor and the adhesive manufactures instructions.
Spread one square metre at a time, this will give you a good working time and reduce wastage. Once spread, place your selected board in place and tap it into the proceeding tongue.