Tools you need for laying a laminate floor

The tools you need for laying a laminate floor include many of the items you’ll find in your household toolkit, such as a hammer, saw, and tape measure. Some power tools are also handy such as a jigsaw, and mitre saw, but it would normally be possible to lay a laminate floor without them. However, there are three other more specialist tools that you won’t find in your toolbox, which are definitely essential pieces of equipment if you are intending on laying a laminate floor. These three items are generally sold as a ‘laminate flooring kit’ and below I’ll explain exactly why this kit is so essential when laying laminate flooring.

Laminate floor wedges

laminate wedge

Laminate floor wedge – you should be supplied with plenty in most fitting kits.

Laminate floor wedges are required to create an expansion gap around the floor edge during the laying process – they are removed once the floor is laid.

The reason they are used is because you need to have a gap around the edge of your floor, to allow for slight contraction and expansion of the floor caused by fluctuating temperatures, and humidity, in your home. Gap recommendations will vary from one manufacturer to the next, so you need to pay particular attention to the gap they stipulate.

The neat little design of these wedges means that you simply use them in pairs, which allows you to adjust the gap they create to the precise size stipulated by your floor manufacturer.

Knocking block

laminate knocking block

Knocking block – normally plastic, but sometimes wood.

A knocking block is required to provide a buffer between the edge of the laminate board and your hammer when you tap each board into place.

Connection systems between boards vary slightly between manufacturers, but in most cases a couple of taps with a hammer and knocking block are needed in order to ensure a tight joint.

Some knocking blocks will be little more than rectangular blocks of wood or plastic, others may have small grooves designed to lip over the edge of the ‘tongue’ section of the laminate board. If you don’t use a knocking block and opt for simply using a hammer, you’ll just split or distort the edge of the boards, making it impossible to join the next length.

Jemmy

jemmy

Jemmy – better quality options will always have a bit of padding, and won’t bend when you hit them with your hammer!

The laminate flooring jemmy is for me, the most essential ‘must have’ tool of all when it comes to laying a laminate floor as arguably, you can make your own wedges, and use a rectangular block of wood as your knocking block, but the jemmy design is something I’ve never been able to find an alternative option for.

The jemmy is simply a flat metal bar with one end turned up and the other end turned down – better quality ones have a little padding to prevent the possibility of scratching or damaging board edges.

They’re used for fitting the final board in each row, and the last board row in your room. Why can’t you just use your knocking block and hammer? Well, quite simply, you don’t have the room to accommodate the block and hammer in these cases. Instead, you lip one end of the jemmy over the end of the board, and tap the other end of the jemmy with your hammer to ‘pull’ the board in place.

Too see these three tools in action, simply check out my guide ‘Laying wood and laminate floors’. Also note that as well as being the tools you need for laying laminate floors, they are are also used for laying engineered wood floors.

 

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