Laying laminate flooring is not difficult but before fitting the laminate it is a good idea to remove the doors to the room (if they open inwards), but before removing them you can scribe along the bottom of the door.

scribe door

Lay a piece of the underlay that you are using and lay a piece of laminate on top of the underlay.

Put it against the door and scribe a pencil line across the door before removing it.

When you come to refit the door simply cut or plane a little off until you get just past the pencil line.

laminate spacers

Laminate flooring needs a good expansion gap around all of the room. In warm weather it can expand considerably and the whole floor can lift if an expansion gap is not left.

You will need to check the instructions on your laminate, normally the gap is between 8-10mm. The beading is often not much wider than this and so the gap needs to be accurate.

You can buy off the shelf spacers, but I have cut some small squares from some 10mm thick MDF for this project.

Once the underlay has been fit you can then start to lay the laminate flooring. Choosing the correct starting point can make fitting the flooring much easier.

starting to lay laminate

Here we have a picture of a basic room layout.

We need to determine the easiest place to start in this room as fitting laminate is much easier if you choose the correct starting point.

I described about how to cut the bottom off the door casing and architrave, so that the laminate could be set underneath. This makes the job look much more professional. Instructions on how to cut off the door frame are here.

laminate fitting

The easiest and most logical place to start in this room is at the door. This is because we need to get the laminate underneath the architrave and sometimes the door casing.

Starting on the wall where the chimney is would mean that it would be impossible to get the last board underneath the architrave and door casing.

Remember that you must leave an expansion gap all the way around the room. This is normally 8-10mm.

laminate expansion gap

Fit the first board and then the second (1,2) then measure the distance to the wall from the end of board 2 remembering to allow 8-10mm for an expansion gap.

Cut the board (3) and fit it in line with the other boards, ensuring that 8-10mm spacers are placed between the sides of the boards and the wall.

starting to fit laminate

You will now have an off cut from board 3, this can be used to start the next line (4). This means that hardly any laminate is wasted.

In order to make the joints in the floor as solid as possible it would now be a good idea to start with a full board from under the window. The important thing is that you do not get the short joints too close together.

Now you would just keep going until you reach the chimney breast, where some long cuts will be needed.

Remember to leave the expansion gap all the way around the room, this will be covered later with beading and so will not be seen. Instructions on how to fit the beading can be found here