laminate - which direction to lay

14 Jun 2007
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United Kingdom
I am going to fit laminate flooring in my lounge measuring 5.5m x 4m.
It currently has a window on the long side of the room and the floorboards running parallel to the window - ie down the long side towards the short side. I've read I'm meant to lay the laminate in the opposite direction to the floorboards, but I think they would look best running parallel to the long wall - in same direction as floorboards
Does it really matter?
The floorboards are quite 'springy', but if im fitting fibreboad underlay is it ok to lay the laminate in same direction as the floorboards?

Also, I'm still a bit confused if its best to use cork to fill the expansion gap and cover with an edging, or if I should just leave it empty and put the edging over the gap?

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the trouble with laying in the same direction is

if your origional floor has say a 2mm step this can cause the flooring to rock and put strain on the joins

or worse still if the edge of one board is higher than the other side and coincides with the joints above the whole weight it on the very edge which can cause failure
on that sort of room then you can lay anyway as long as the floorboards are flat / smooth. If you haven't already brought the fibre boards i would put down a proper underlay. The fibre boards are rubbish. If you goggle wood you like, they have a good website with a bit of info on underlay. If your floorboards are in bad shape, i would plywood or sand floor boards first. Also dont put cork in expansion gap. Leave it open.
I have already bought the fibreboard underlay! Why is it rubbish?
The floorboards seems to be flat and in good shape, the only thing is they do spring slighty as you walk accross them. Can I put something between the fibreboard underlay and laminate for extra protection?

I'm still confused about if its ok to lay the floorboards parallel to the long wall in the room ie the same way as floorboards?
I think as the room is rectangular it would look strange with the laminate going across it?
What about hallways, if the floorboards run the down the hall,do you have to lay the laminate across the hall - that would look wierd wouldnt it?!

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Whatever underlayment you use, laying the new boards in the same direction of the existing will cause an unstable effect and can even cause draft. Install plywood first to prevent this and then you can use a thinner sound insulation underlayment and install the boards in the direction you wanted.
Ok, but i know nothing about installing plywood. Is this difficult? Would it be expensive to get someone in to do this?


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