A Guide to Fitting Wood and Laminate Flooring

Please find below useful information about how to fit your new floor. As always If you have a question that is not covered here please call or email our extremely helpful team who will be happy to answer any query you may have.


We recommend that the fitting guidelines supplied in each box are always followed.

Storage prior to fitting.

Always ensure that all wet work is complete and dry before delivery. Always try to store the wood in the area where the flooring will be installed as this will allow for perfect acclimatisation.


Do not store in a damp environment, next to radiators, in any drafts or direct sunlight as these situations will affect acclimatising. The room in which the floor is to be laid must have settled to ambient conditions of temperature and humidity.


Always store the packs flat and leave in their original packaging until ready to lay. Never lean packs against a wall as this will cause the wood to bow. Allow at least 7 days for solid floors, 48 hours for laminate flooring & engineered wood flooring.

Fitting wood floors

Fitting of wood

Solid wood can be laid upon existing floor boards, if in good condition and level, or laid directly on to ply-board. Solid wood floors must be nailed entirely to the sub floor. Always allow an expansion gap of at least 10mm around the perimeter of the room. Secretly nail the flooring to the sub floor using the correct tools (Secret nailers can be hired from most tool hire companies). Always follow manufacturers instructions when fitting your floor.

Why do I need damp proofing?

When installing wood flooring, solid or engineered, on a concrete base the use of a damp proof membrane is always recommended. No matter how dry your floor feels it will always contain damp, which can be drawn to the wood if not treated causing cupping, lifting and general damage to the floor. For engineered flooring use a plastic membrane sheet exceeding 0.2mm. For solid floors a 2 part liquid damp proof membrane should be used.

Underfloor heating

Solid woods are not recommended for underfloor heating as the extra heat produced can result in instability sometimes causing gaps in between boards, cracking and lifting. Some manufacturers will recommend that any solid wood less than 100mm wide will be suitable for underfloor heating as long as all manufacturer instructions are followed. Only water piped heating is recommended. Acclimatise the wood flooring with the heating on, for at least two weeks. Ensure that when fitting that the flooring is fully secured to the sub floor either by gluing or secret nailing. Floorsave recommend the use of engineered flooring as these products are more suitable.

Engineered and laminate

Engineered flooring is installed as a floating floor, glued or clicked together, laid over a suitable underlay. The flooring should be acclimatised for a minimum of 48 hours. Carefully check all boards prior to installation, never use a damaged board. Always work from several packs at the same time to ensure a balanced mix. The sub floor should be dry, clean, flat and free of any cracks. A plastic Vapour Barrier (dpm) should be used when installing over concrete floors. An expansion gap of approximately 15mm should be allowed around the perimeter of the room. Always follow manufacturers instructions when fitting your floor (enclosed in wood packaging).

Fitting wood floors on concrete.

Fitting on concrete

Allow at least 7 days for the wood to acclimatise before installing. Ensure that the Moisture content of the sub floor does not exceed 2.5%. Always use a recommended 2 part liquid damp proof membrane prior to installation i.e. F Ball’s F76 or EP21. The flooring must be entirely adhered to the sub floor using a recommended adhesive i.e. SLC SL11. Allow an expansion gap of at least 10mm around the perimeter of the room. Always follow manufacturers instructions when fitting your floor.

Expansion gaps

It is very important to leave an expansion gap around the flooring when installing it, this allows for the natural expansion and shrinkage that will occur as the wood gets warmer and colder. The following is a guide to the recommended gap to leave.

  • Laminate Flooring: 8-10mm
  • Engineered Flooring: 10-15mm
  • Semi Solid Flooring: 15mm minimum
  • Solid Wood Flooring: 10-15mm