Laying a laminate floor


I want to lay 'real wood' actually (as opposed to 'solid wood'), but believe the process is the same as laminate. I've just come across something for the first time though, in instructions that Homebase provide off their website; they are saying that if I want to lay the boards in the same direction as the existing floorboards (ie towards/away from the window), then I have to put down a 4-6mm fibre-board underlay, at 45 degrees to the new boards. This sounds like lots of faffing about to cut the underlay boards to fit the room (rather than just rolling out some underlay from corner to corner), so the question is, what if I don't follow their advice and just use a foam underlay running 'across' the room, then lay the new floor in the same direction as the existing one?
No other companies have listed this as a requirement, so are they (Homebase) just being over cautious, or are the others being 'loose with the truth'? TIA matty
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believe
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website;
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(Homebase)
Firstly from experience I would say that the fibreboard is best - it's easy to cut, and the new floor feels and sounds better laid over this type of underlay. When you mention foam underlay I don't know if you mean the thin polystyrene designed for laminate / real wood, or carpet underlay. The thin polystyrene is only 2mm thick and is a poor substitute for fibreboard. Carpet underlay is too spongy and I've seen floors laid on this that bounce like a trampoline when walked on! Wesco also recommend laying the fibreboard diagonally, but I have never done that - instead I always do exactly as you suggest and lay the boards in the opposite direction to the floor, and have not had any problems over years of use. Another consideration is a damp membrane - you will need one of these if laying on a concrete floor - it's just a sheet of thick polythene but is essential on concrete. Graham
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Many thanks for the advice Graham. You recommend laying the boards at 90 degrees to the existing flooring; this will result in 'finishing' the flooring at a door, ie the last board would go down exactly across the door so I wondered if this is going to create problems or would it make no difference at all?
Do you remove skirting and replace (refit), or leave in situ and fit a bead (just looking for help deciding what is the best option :o) TIA matty
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years
door
bead
Sorry I was not clear - I meant I lay the floor in the opposite direction to the underlay, as you suggested in the original post. The new floor should definately go towards / away from the window. Personally I always remove the skirting for a much neater finish. Often you have to finish at a doorway - lots of threshold strips available at the DIY stores so not a problem. For a neat finish around the door frame I usually cut out a rebate so the last board when pivoted down just scrapes the frame and the rebate allows for expansion but looks neat. P.S. Wickes usually the cheapest for fibreboard underlay. Graham
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