Installing laminate floor board is an excellent way to ensure that the room looks its best, but you may have problems if your room is slightly odd-shaped, or if you would like to change direction between the boards in the room and in a hallway. Once you have decided to change direction, you will probably find that the boards don't slot together or lay neatly alongside each other, so there may be gaps and other unattractive problems.
If you have no choice but to change direction in a room, then you may give up and decide to have someone else install it. However, changing floor board direction with laminate flooring is not beyond the capabilities of anyone with a little basic home improvement knowledge. Just follow a few simple guidelines to have this project completed in a matter of hours.
Step 1 - Laying Your Flooring
When you are ready to change direction in a room or hallway, lay out the boards furthest away from the direction change, and fit them together. Make sure that they are tightly fitted, as you will not be able to solve the problem of changing directions if you have big gaps in your rooms. Bang the laminate floor boards together using a hammer, and get them tight enough so that you will be able to join the two floor board directions together without having to re-do the floors.
Step 2 - Changing Direction
You should now be nearing the point where the floorboards will meet up. Both floors should be laid until they are almost touching. Work out the point at which they will change round, and mark this clearly upon the floor. Saw or cut any boards that are already level or exceeding this mark. You may be able to push some of the boards back behind the mark by tapping them with a rubber mallet, thus saving material. Once you've set got the boards where you want them, you will now need to lay down a metal strip known as a transition strip. This piece of metal will keep the boards apart from each other, so you can put them in different directions. Install using a screwdriver and screws, fitting it to the bottom of the subfloor.
Step 3 - Install the Other Boards
You are now ready to lay the boards which would have met. Lay down the boards from one floor, cutting or sawing any boards that go over the line of the transition strip. You may need to slide the boards into position carefully, so they slide into the correct place. Use the hammer to tightly position them the last few millimeters. When one floor is completed, continue with the other, until all boards are installed, and there are no gaps.
Step 4 - Finishing
When you have finished fitting the boards, you should caulk along the bottom edge of both transition strips (the strip will have a top which extends slightly beyond the boards, and the bottom edge of this should be caulked). Screw the strip down onto the floor board below, and leave the caulk to dry for 24 hours. At the end of this time, wipe away any excess caulk, and your boards should be suitable for use.