A few months ago we decided it was time to change the showroom around and started with the largest and most forefront area - right in the entrance. We decided that this display needed to be a kitchen (a well priced kitchen at that) so we can stay competitive with most, but to look more unique than anything else.
We had the walls skimmed, then we had to think about the flooring, (we had a general plan in mind but were unsure of floor material) we already deal with Karndean but we wanted something a little different (at the same time we were approached by Amtico who we were familiar with but didn't currently deal with). Amtico products seemed fantastic; versatile, well priced, excellent quality, it just...ticked all the boxes. The stick down method allowed us to create the following flooring with relative ease...and better yet if one plank gets damaged it simply lifts up and you pop a replacement back in.
Step 1 a; Bring your flooring inside
It's crucial you bring the flooring indoors, at least 24 hours prior to being laid, 48 hours is better. This allows the flooring to acclimatise to the temperature of the room - chances are it's warmer in your house than where it has been stored which will cause it to expand, this is perfectly acceptable and a natural occurrence for most laminate floors.
Step 1 b; Preparation
As always, preparation (for any kind of laminate flooring) is key. Get the floor back to basic, be it concrete, wooden boards, or anything else. Make sure it's sound (sturdy) and then spend a good amount of time cleaning up any dust, knock in loose nails, fasten down or replace old floor boards etc. If the floor is unlevel you can use self levelling compound to create a smooth surface to work with. Our floor was quite uneven and creaky so we covered it with 6mm plywood as a base for our Amtico flooring. 6mm ply can be quite flappy so i used a stanley knife to score the ply on both sides, take care as the blade can slip and always remember your safety equipment, goggles and gloves are a must! Laying this plywood was H.A.R.D. There are over 2,000 screws, each screw being about 6" apart to ensure the plywood is properly fastened down. Take your time and try some knee pads.
Step 2; Plan your layout
This bits fun, it's time to loose lay a small section of your flooring, As you can see in the following images, we've used 3 different decors to create a herring bone pattern, by using a combination of colours you're creating something unique that you're unlikely to come across elsewhere. Also, if you decide to change your colour scheme you can lift up the planks of one colour and relay a new tile so you don't need to change the entire floor!
Step 3; Start laying
To being laying your floor, you'll need good quality tackifier adhesive, this is basically a glue which you paint or roll onto the floor (not too much at a time, you don't want it going off before you're ready). You can see in the below image a slightly shinier area, this has been "glued". With this kind of adhesive it's important to note that it's not intended to completely set, ever. It becomes semi-tacky allowing you to pull up individual planks if needed, in a kitchen you may drop a knife or pan which could potentially damage the floor, with click flooring you'd need to take all the flooring out, up to that point. The glue acts kind-of-like velcro. Make sure you have a clean up every now and again, removing any loose bits/dust/off cuts.
Be careful with your measurements, over-order by 10% which allows for cuts and wasteage and measure twice. To cut the flooring we used a stanley knife, just scoring the top layer of the flooring which allows it to break along the cut edge.
Step 4 ; Step back and enjoy
It's hard work and mistakes can be made but with patience you can step back and enjoy your hard work (or the hard work of someone else if you can't do it yourself).