Step 3: Laying the flooring
Before we start it is important that an expansion gap of I2mm is left between the flooring and the skirting or walls (Fig. 2). This gap is concealed by a quad or bead or a skirting board upon completion of the floor boards. To make this gap easy to maintain use either I2mm thick strips which can be removed once the whole floor has been completed or purchase some manufactured I2mm cork expansion strip, which stays in position upon completion. Commence laying the flooring at a corner of the longest wall in the room with the tongue pointing out from the wall (Fig. 2). Joins of the boards in length will need to be staggered, and best economy of material is when you can use the off-cut of the last board to commence the next run of boards which should give all joins a staggered effect so one does not align next to another, or ideally within 250mm of another join for three board widths (Fig. 3). When you reach the end of the room measure and cut the last board to length and place in position, and commence the next run with the off cut, if possible. Once you have laid a few rows check to ensure the flooring is square by measuring the rows against the opposite wall at 3-4 different intervals along the row. Repeat this process every so often throughout installation. The first board of the next row is pressed into position, and is tapped into position using the rubber mallet and a protection block of 42 x I9mm timber (Fig. 4).
Where there is plumbing or other projections coming up through the floor the expansion clearance of floor to the pipe should be maintained at about I2mm. As you reach the end of the width of the run of the foam underlay roll out the next run.