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DIY Fitting Wood Laminate Boards in Kitchen

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by Suse, 18 Sep 2015.

  1. Suse

    Suse

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    Hi there,

    We are having our whole kitchen refitted and are looking to save some money where possible.

    We want to fit faux-wood laminate flooring and wondered if this is a job that could undertaken by a couple of amateur DIY-ers.

    The house was built in 1906 (if that's at all relevant). The current floor is quarry tiles laid over concrete - though there are a few patches of floor that is just concrete. The floor in the kitchen is a couple of inches lower than the adjoining room (there's a step down).

    We would have to get the current surface level, which it is not. I've been recommended to lay down a floor levelling compound (either over the existing tiles, or by first removing them), then once that's dried the boards should lay over those, happily.

    Questions:
    1. Should I just defer to an expert?
    2. If not, is laying the compound over the quarry tiles a really bad idea? It would save time, effort, and compound to leave the tiles in situ, but... somehow this seems like a cowboy tactic
    3. Is there an easier/better method than compound?
    4. Would I need some sort of fabric underlay between the boards and the compound?
    5. As almost every edge would be covered with kitchen furniture, I wonder whether beading where the edge is not visible is necessary... unless the beading performs another function other than an aesthetic one?

    I'd be really grateful for some advice on this [​IMG]

    Thank you!!
     
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  3. alan333

    alan333

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    I assume you want the floor at the same height as the next room? And what do you mean by the current surface isn't level? Is it on a slope, or has lumps, or big holes etc?

    You need it fairly level, but fibreboard underlay takes up a good bit of unevenness. There's nothing stopping you fitting a couple of inches of fibreboard then your laminate on top. You need a vapour barrier (polythene layer) on top of your existing concrete/tiles before you lay the fibreboards.

    The edge bead stops the laminate from lifting at the edges, but I've seen plenty laminate jobs with silicon at the edges instead. Bear in mind if it starts to move you can always fit beading later.
     
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  4. Suse

    Suse

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    Hi Alan! Thanks for the info.

    No, the step down is fine, I only mentioned it incase it would be helpful/relevant for pouring compound.

    With regards to the uneveness - some of the tiles are loose, and I'm mostly assuming the floor must imperfect since it's so old :/

    How much give do I have with the fibreboard?

    With the beading, the majority of the edges will have the fitted cabinets on top, and I thought perhaps just adding beading to the visible couple of inches of edge for aesthetics more than anything else. I know cabinets aren't actually solid furniture, but do you think that would be sufficient?
     
  5. alan333

    alan333

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    Post some pics showing how bad the floor is.

    I didn't use beading under the cabinets in my old flat. The laminate moved maybe 2mm where the washing machine was, other than that it was fine.
     
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  6. Suse

    Suse

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    Sorry for not replying sooner, I've had trouble taking photos of the floor to accurately display the uneven-ness. Hopefully these will help:

    The floor as a whole:
    IMG_20150922_214134.jpg

    A close up of how uneven some of the tiles are in relation to one another (this is a few mm) (there are also some loose tiles that I didn't photograph)
    IMG_20150922_214209.jpg
    Spirit level by the door (this part appears quite level)
    IMG_20150922_214352.jpg

    This is the slopiest section, where the old door was (cat for scale) - this drops by about 3 centimetres in total over the course of 1.5metres or so, although it continues sloping beneath the fridge for another metre or so (this is at the lower left-hand side of the first picture, by the double doors):
    IMG_20150922_214516.jpg

    There also looks to be a slope of a couple of centimetres end to end longways, too

    Hopefully these photos are helpful

    Thanks for you help!
     
  7. alan333

    alan333

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    I'd say the surface isn't too bad and you'll get away with fibreboard underlay. Obviously it'll follow the existing slope unless you do some levelling.
     
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  9. Suse

    Suse

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    Brilliant, thanks so much!

    Penultimate question, is this the stuff?
    Fibreboard: http://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Premium-General-Purpose-Underlay/p/215589
    Vapour Barrier: http://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Green-Polythene-Vapour-Barrier-2-5x20m/p/153230

    Last question, how might I go about levelling it off? Would I just use extra fibreboards in places and pack it in to make it level? I'm not opposed to the floor sloping slightly, so long as it doesn't pop out, but if it's within my ability to make it level, I'd like to.

    Thanks again!
     
  10. alan333

    alan333

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    Yes that's the stuff, and yes that's the stuff. Both can probably be found cheaper elsewhere tho.

    Yes you can pack/use extra boards to get a level. Don't leave any ridges tho, it needs to be level.
     
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  11. Suse

    Suse

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    Great stuff! Thanks again!
     
  12. alan333

    alan333

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    Just noticed you mentioned that most edges will have cabinets on top. Personally I'd fit the cabinets on the concrete floor and fit the laminate after the cabinets are in, thus making it possible to refit the laminate in later years if required. The laminate will go under the cabinets a little, and can be "closed off" with the plinth/kick panel.
     
  13. Suse

    Suse

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    There's a thought... I could save some more money... thanks!
     
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