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I recently laid quick step uniclic flooring in a relatives bedroom. This is the 12th laminate floor I have laid, 6 were glued boards and 6 have been click style boards, so I'm definitely qualified to speak on the subject!
I've listed a con as 'experience required’; this may be slightly unfair as I would say it's true of all laminate floors, especially the cheaper ones. They will only look really good if they have been fitted really well. The quick step uniclic floor is however at the higher price range of laminate floors at around 13.99 per sq metre, so I would say it is slightly more forgiving when mistakes are made. When dealing with home improvements materials I tend to stick to the old saying, "you get what you pay for". I feel I've been proved correct with laminate flooring. I've dealt with cheaper floors and they don't give the same appearance and they definitely pose more problems when fitting.
Fitting a laminate floor is not too difficult a job. Yes, I DO think the more you've done it, the better the floor will look. However you won't get anywhere if you don't try! As with all laminates, the room has to be clear and an appropriate underlay has to be fitted. This would normally be a foil backed foam sheet. Other types may be required for unusual circumstances, floors with damp problems etc. The shop will advise.
This floor was probably the easiest I've ever fitted. The boards were thick, 8mm I think, which is a good thing as they're not flimsy and won't bevel or warp easily. The instructions are fairly self explanatory, just a few points to consider about spacing between walls etc. The 'clic' system was particularly good as it really wasn't difficult to put the boards together. I've found other click floors a nuisance as the boards have been tricky to fit together. The clic system is definitely superior to gluing which is much more time consuming and generally harder. Glued floors also can't be walked on until dry and usually extends ends up extending the job by a day! The boards also cut well using power tools and had tools alike. When cutting with power tools care has to be taken to avoid excessively damaging the laminated side as this sis the side you will see.
The floor was quite quick to fit. I did a room approx 12ft x 12ft in about 4 hours. Beginners will take longer! The floor, if skirtings are not removed, will have to be finished by beading round the edges to cover the expansion gap. If skirtings are removed you simply re-fit them over the top of the floor.
The floor is on the expensive side but you do get a quality looking floor which is much easier to fit, when compared with the cheaper versions. A point I would make is about tools etc. You will need a bit of general know how on power tools and have access to a jigsaw and maybe a mitre saw (saves on the strength sapping hand saw!) . It speeds the work up and does a much better job of the cuts.
If you fancied having a go at fitting a laminate floor I would suggest spending a few extra quid on a good quality click flooring such as this. It pays dividends in the long run!
Good review, iv'e got the complete of the downstairs laminated in perspective, cost a little bit more, but well worth it.
mattydalton 06.02.2004 15:28
I'm kitting my flat out with it soon thanks for the tip!
ampuk2000 06.02.2004 13:59
Seems like your an expert on laminate flooring - 12 floors you must be keen. I haven't layed any yet but if I do I will take your advice and get one without glue and pay a bit more to get decent quality.