FLOORS Direct

Moorfields Industrial Estate,
Cotes Heath,
Stafford  ST21 6QY.
Telephone: 01782 791401    



 
Grand Selection Installation and Maintenance Instructions

 

Laminated Floors Overview

Laminated Floors by Specification

How to use the website

Floor Samples

Contact us

Your KronoSwiss floor is really simple to install! 
A bit of planning, a bit of care and your floor will look as though it's been laid by a professional!


First of all
Before you do anything else
Now condition your floor
What tools will you need?
What sort of underlay should you use?
Allowing for expansion and contraction
The Valinge 5G jointing system
Now you can start laying your new floor
The next row
The last row
Bathrooms
Doorways
Radiator pipes
Finishing off

Looking after your floor
Repairing a floor


First of all

Remove your existing floor-covering if it's carpet or carpet tiles. You must not in any circumstances lay your KronoSwiss laminated floor on a carpet or any other kind of soft floor covering. If the existing floor-covering is linoleum, pvc tiles, ceramic tiles or any other kind of hard floor-covering, then it's okay to put your new floor on top providing the surface of your existing floor-covering is not damaged.

If you're replacing the skirting boards, remove those as well.

Top

Before you do anything else

(1) Make sure your sub-floor is clean - brush or vacuum up anything which will prevent the KronoSwiss laminated floor from lying flat on your sub-floor.

(2) Make sure your sub-floor is flat - get a two metre straight edge, lay it across the floor and if there is a gap of more than 2mm between the straight edge and the sub-floor, you will need to rectify this before laying your new floor.

(3) If your sub-floor is concrete and it's just been laid, make sure the room's properly ventilated and allow it to dry out for at least one week for each 10mm of concrete for up to 40mm of concrete, and for at least two weeks for each 10mm of concrete for anything over 40mm of concrete. With concrete screeds the residual moisture content of the sub-floor should not exceed 75% rH when using a hygrometer.

(4) If you have underfloor heating, make sure that the heating-up phase has been properly carried out before laying your new floor. Under no circumstances lay your floor when the surface temperature of the concrete sub-floor exceeds 27.

(5) If your sub-floor is wood 

(a) make sure any loose boards are nailed down and no nail heads are protruding
(b) make sure the moisture content of the wood does not exceed 10%
(c) make sure any cavity under a ground floor wooden sub-floor is properly ventilated

Top

 

Now condition your floor

(1) Bring your KronoSwiss laminated floor into the room where you're going to install it. Leave the floor in the packs and don't open them until your ready to lay the floor. The ideal environment is a temperature of at least 18C and a relative humidity of 45-60%.

(2) Plan which way you're going to lay the floor. Most manufacturers recommend that you lay the floor in line with the light, the reason being that the header joints are not so visible, but if you want to lay it the other way, go ahead. The beauty about the Valinge 5G jointing system on this floor is that if you don't like the way the floor looks when you first start laying it, you can take it up and put it down differently without wasting any boards in the process. You can even lay the floor diagonally if you want to!

(3) Give a bit of thought as to how you're going to deal with any doorways and check that you're going to have enough clearance under the doors once the floor's been laid.

Top

What tools will you need?

One of our installation kits is a great help when it comes to laying your floor. You get some 10mm plastic packers which give you the correct expansion/contraction gap around the edge of the floor and at the same time they keep the floor in position whilst it's being laid. Once you've finished a room though, make sure you remove these packers. 

You also get a plastic knocking block which you use with a hammer to tap the boards tight to each other. 

Finally you get a pull-bar which is used to pull the last board in a row, and also the last row of boards in the room, tight to each other. Obviously you can't use the knocking block in these two instances so you hook the lip of the pull-bar over the edge of the floor and use the hammer on the other end to pull them in tight.

We also have a kit for cutting the angles if you want to lay the floor diagonally.

Apart from the 'specialist' tools above, you will also need a hammer, a saw (either a fine-toothed handsaw or a jigsaw or a cross-cut saw), a set-square, and a tape measure and pencil. To avoid having to cut the board with the face down when using a jigsaw, use a downward-cutting blade. 

Top

What sort of underlay should you use?

You should make sure wherever a damp-proof membrane is used under the floor that the edges of the DPM go up the walls to be hidden behind the skirting board once that's fitted.

Where you have a concrete subfloor, you must use a damp-proof membrane to comply with the manufacturer's warranty. If you can, use an underlay with a built-in damp-proof membrane such as Basix Premium Green or Combi-Floor, both of which are 3mm polyethylene foam underlays. Simply roll out the underlay making sure the edges of the built-in DPM  overlap each other. Tape the edges of the DPM together and then lay the KronoSwiss laminated floor on top.

For installations where a damp-proof membrane is not required, for instance with chip-board sub-floors, use either the 3mm Uniclic foam underlay or the Basix Standard White underlay which do NOT have built-in DPMs. Roll out the underlay making sure the edges butt up together and then lay the Krono laminated floor on top.

Transit sound is what you hear when someone walks across a floor in the room above you so if this is likely to be a problem, use the TransitSound underlay which has been specially designed to minimise this noise. It has a built-in damp-proof membrane and is recommended for use in multi-storey buildings. TransitSound should not however be used with under-floor heating.

Drum sound is what you hear when you walk across your floor. UniSound has been specially designed to minimise drum sound and is ideal where the sound of tapping high heels can sometimes be disturbing. UniSound has a built-in damp-proof membrane.

Uni-Soft Board is a 6mm fibreboard sub-floor designed for increased heat and sound insulation. It comes in panels 860mm x 590mm, the panels being loose-laid but butting up to each other. Alternatively you can use the 7mm Basix Boardz Fibreboard underlay which is laid in exactly the same way. Neither of these  underlays are suitable for use with under-floor heating and neither has a built in DPM.

Use a Damp-Proof membrane wherever the underlay you require does not have a built-in damp-proof membrane and the sub-floor is concrete.

Top

Allowing for expansion and contraction

Wood will move depending on the ambient temperature and humidity so you must allow for any expansion and contraction to take place, otherwise you will find the floor lifting up in the most unlikely places. You make this allowance by leaving a 10mm gap around the edge of the floor and the 10mm plastic packers in the installation kit shown above are ideal for this. However, don't forget to allow 10mm around every edge of the floor - for instance, around radiator pipes and at doorways amongst others. Don't worry about this 10mm gap being visible when you've laid the floor - we'll deal with finishing off the floor later.

A guide for this allowance for expansion and contraction is 1mm per metre of flooring on each edge of the floor, so be careful if your room is greater than 10 metres in any one direction, or if you're running a floor through a doorway from one room into another without a break and the combined length of flooring in the two rooms exceeds 10 metres. In these situations you can either increase the 10mm allowance - for example, if your expanse of floor is 14 metres long, allow 14mm on both sides of the room - or put in an expansion joint profile, for instance across a doorway.

Top

The Valinge 5G jointing system

Just before we get into telling you how to lay the floor, it's worth explaining how these the jointing system works and just how versatile it is.

With this jointing system, the longitudinal joints are different to the header joints so let's start off with the longitudinal joint.

Put the tongue of the new board into the groove of the board already in place at an angle of about 40 and then ease the board down until the two boards are flush with each other as shown.


For the header joints, position the tongue of one board and the groove of the other board so that they are in the right place and then using your hand, push down on the top of the board until you hear an audible click. If the top surfaces of the two boards are not flush with each other, you know the joints have not engaged correctly.

Have a look at the Valinge video to show you exactly how to do this..

Top

Now you can start laying your new floor

It's best to start in a left-hand corner of the room and work from the left-hand side to the right-hand side of the room. Doorways can present a bit of a problem, so give some thought as to how you're going to cope with them before you decide which wall to start from.

First of all, put down your underlay as described above and don't forget to use a separate DPM on a concrete subfloor if there isn't one already built in to your chosen underlay.

Take your first board and saw the tongue off the longitudinal joint and if necessary, off the header joint as well. 

Then lay the board in the corner of the room with what was the tongue-side of the board facing the wall and insert at least two 10mm plastic packers along the back wall and one along the wall on your left to allow for expansion and contraction. The reason for cutting the tongues off is that the tongue on a board projects by 3mm so if you put a packer between the board and the wall without cutting the tongue off, you will end up with a 13mm gap between the wall and the actual surface of the floor. Most skirtings are 14mm thick so there's a danger the expansion/contraction gap will be visible. 

Take the second board, cut the tongue off the longitudinal joint ONLY, and join the header joint to the header joint of the first one as shown above. Don't forget to put two more 10mm plastic packers along the back wall.

Keep laying the boards in your first row (all with the tongues cut off the longitudinal joints up against the wall) until you can't fit any more full-length boards in the row. Either measure the required length of the last board in the row not forgetting to allow for the 10mm gap at the end, or 

(1) turn a full board round the wrong way (keeping the decorative surface uppermost) and lay 
it groove-to-groove against the last board you've laid

(2) position it so that it's tight up against the right-hand wall and insert a 10mm packer so that
it's sitting on TOP of the tongue. Do NOT under any circumstances cut off the tongue on the header joint and do not place the packer between the tongue and the wall otherwise you will end up with a 13mm gap

(3) Using a set square, draw a line across the board in line with the header joint of the last board laid

Cut the board to length, cut off the tongue on the longitudinal joint that is going up against the wall, and put the board in place. 

Congratulations - you've now laid the first row!

Top

The next row

Take the offcut from the end of the first row and unless it's less than 300mm in length, use it to start the second row, not forgetting to put a 10mm plastic packer between it and the wall. 

Just to repeat, put the tongue of the first board of the new row into the groove of the board of the first row at an angle of about 40º and then ease the board down until the two boards are flush with each other as shown.

 


For the header joints, position the tongue of one board and the groove of the other board so that they are in the right place and then using your hand, push down on the top of the board until you hear an audible click. If the top surfaces of the two boards are not flush with each other, you know the joints have not engaged correctly.

Top

The last row

When you get to the last row, you will almost certainly have to cut the boards lengthways to get them to fit between the wall and the floor you've already laid. The simplest way to do this is to measure the distance between the wall and the floor you've already laid with a tape measure, deduct 10mm to allow for expansion and contraction, and cut the board accordingly. You'll be surprised how often the walls of a room are slightly out so take the measurement at both ends of the board and if necessary in the middle of the board. 

This last row can be a little fiddly to fit and this is where the pull-bar comes into its own. Use it on both the longitudinal and header joints wherever necessary.

Top

Bathrooms

KronoSwiss floors are not guaranteed for use in bathrooms.

Doorways

Doorways take a little bit of thought, especially if you're running the floor through from one room to another without a break, but providing you plan ahead, they shouldn't be too much trouble.

Before you get too close to the doorway, in fact before you start laying the floor, get an offcut of the floor 
and the underlay, position it against the door jamb, and use a hand saw to undercut any door linings and architrave sections as shown. Clear out any rubbish underneath the door frame so that the floor can move freely underneath.

If you're running the floor through the doorway without a break, obviously undercut the door linings and architraves all the way through - if you're stopping the floor at the doorway, just cut the door lining as far as the floor is going. You should end up with a gap at the bottom of the door jamb which allows you to slide the floor and the underlay underneath, which at the same time gives you the 10mm gap for expansion and contraction, now conveniently out of sight underneath the door lining.

When you get to the doorway with the floor, you will have to cut the boards to shape so that they fit round the edges of the door jambs. Don't forget to allow the 10mm for expansion and contraction wherever necessary. Remember also that the 10mm expansion and contraction gap running along the wall or skirting board will disappear under the door lining once you get to the architrave around the door frame.

Having cut the boards to shape, you then have the problem of joining them to the other boards already in place and sliding them under the door frame, something which is impossible to do. The answer is to chisel off the leading edge of the groove and use a PVA D3 adhesive wherever necessary to join the boards together.

 

The boards can then be slid into position and using the knocking block or a pull-bar, the joints can be closed up tightly.

If you are stopping the floor at a doorway, or indeed wherever else the floors butts up to a different floorcovering, you will need to use the Incizo profile to join the two floorcoverings together. This profile is very versatile and should cope with all sorts of floorcoverings. 

Remember to leave the 10mm allowance for expansion and contraction underneath between the base plate and the edge of the Krono laminated floor. 

Top

Radiator pipes

A little bit of thought well in advance will save you a lot of head-scratching when you come to a radiator pipe. If you can, plan the floor so that the header joint between two boards lies right across the centreline of the pipe.

Mark the position of the pipe on the board and cut the board that's going between the wall and the pipe to the required length. Join the two together and drill out a hole with a diameter equal to the diameter of the radiator pipe plus an extra 20mm. This then allows for the 10mm expansion/contraction gap all round the radiator pipe.

 

Chisel off the leading edge of the grooves wherever neccesary and apply a PVA D3 adhesive to join the boards together. Put the boards in place and use the pull-bar to join them together. Use a radiator pipe cover to finish off around the pipe.

Alternatively, mark the position of the radiator pipe on the board, drill out a hole with a diameter equal to the diameter of the radiator pipe plus the extra 20mm to allow for the 10mm expansion/contraction gap all round the radiator pipe, and then cut out the block of flooring between the pipe and the wall so that the board can then be fitted around the pipe.

Once the board is correctly in place, glue the block of flooring back in position and fit a radiator pipe cover to finish it off.

Top

Finishing off

Once you've finished laying your floor, remove all the 10mm plastic packers. If you removed the old skirting boards at the outset and you're either refitting them or replacing them with new skirting boards, make sure that the thickness of the skirting being fitted is at least 12mm at the base. Any less than that and the 10mm gap allowed for expansion and contraction may become visible.

           

2400mm x 58mm x 12mm matching skirting

2400mm x 90mm x 18mm matching skirting

 

Either the 58mm skirting (12mm at the base) or the 90mm skirting (18mm at the base) can be used as replacement skirting and these are available to match most floor finishes. Adhesive is the best way of fixing both these skirtings to the wall, although assembly clips are available if required.

Where the existing skirting boards have been left in place and the 10mm expansion and contraction gap has been left between the skirting and the edge of the floor, you will need to use a beading to cover this gap. Use either a scotia beading to match your floor or a white scotia beading to blend in against your white skirting. Both of these should be glued or pinned onto the skirting. 

N.B. Do NOT under any circumstances glue or pin skirting or beading to the floor. The floor must be allowed to move freely under the skirting or beading at all times.

Top


Looking after your floor

Your new floor is remarkably tough and will cope with just about anything. However, your floor's biggest enemy is grit and the smaller the grit, the worse it is. So, the first thing you MUST do is put an entrance mat just inside each external door to encourage people to wipe their feet, and hopefully that will prevent any problems from arising. Don't forget to clean the mat every so often.

Use a brush or a vacuum cleaner to get all the loose dirt off the floor whenever needed. Occasionally it might be necessary to use the Unilin Flooring Cleaner to give your floor a really good clean but generally speaking, a quick brush or vacuum is all that's required.

 

If something gets spilled on your floor, wipe it up as soon as possible. If the floor's still sticky afterwards, use a slightly damp cloth to clear it up. Don't use too much water as this can leave a film on top of the floor and if it's not dried properly, unsightly smear marks might appear. If you do get some smear marks, use the Unilin Cleanspray to remove them. 

DON'T use any polish on the floor. The surface of your floor is non-porous so it won't therefore absorb any polish.


If you get any marks on the floor that are really difficult to shift such as scuff marks from shoes or paint, use an organic solvent such as white spirit or thinners. Use a cloth, don't pour it directly onto the floor and gently rub away the mark.

Extra care must be taken when using a laminated floor in a bathroom due to the increased risk of water damage. Make sure any spilt water is wiped up immediately and also use a bath mat when using the bath or shower.

Top

Repairing a floor

Although these floors are tough, they're not indestructible and you might find that either a board needs repairing or in extreme cases, it might have to be replaced. Use one of our repair kits to repair any minor damage - they're very simple to use and afterwards you wouldn't know that a repair's been done. 

Replacing a board is simple as well. The beauty of the Valinge 5G jointing system is that the boards can easily be taken up and re-used without any detriment, so take up the floor as far as the damaged board, replace it and then relay the boards that have not been damaged as before. In certain cases it's not always feasible to take up the undamaged part of the floor so you will have to replace the damaged board with the rest of the floor still in situ. Give us a ring and we'll talk you through how it's done but don't worry - it's not as complicated as you might think.

Top


FLOORS Direct  - 01782 791503

Main home page

KronoSwiss home page

Contact us

Return to top