There are many different ways to finish a floor, and the materials involved can vary widely in cost. For instance, depending on the floor area and quality of product, carpeting your home could cost anything between £2,000 and £12,000.
Whatever flooring you opt for, there are certain tools you will need to install it. Let’s take a look at them:
Tools for laying hardwood/laminate flooring
Retractable knife, metal straight edge, tape, circular saw, drill with spade bit, adhesive, handsaw, wood chisel, hammer
If you’re laying wooden flooring on a concrete sub-floor, you’ll have to put down a damp-proof membrane, followed by an underlay. Both these steps will involve cutting, so get yourself a retractable knife and metal straight edge. You’ll also need tape to stick together the sections of underlay.
For cutting wooden floorboards down to size to fit the room, use a circular saw. Make sure the saw is fitted with the appropriate blade for cutting the wood you’re using.
When it comes to fitting boards around pipes, use a drill fitted with a spade bit to create a hole for the pipe. Then use a saw to cut a wedge section out of the board, and stick it in place using adhesive.
You may need to cut down doors and their frames to accommodate the new floor. Use a handsaw to cut into the doorframe, then a hammer and wood chisel to remove the unwanted section.
Tools for laying carpet
Hammer, adhesive, retractable knife, metal straight edge, tape, carpet stretcher, carpet tucker
Fitting carpet involves placing a strip of gripper around the perimeter of the floor to help hold the carpet down. Gripper comes with nails already embedded in its surface, but you’ll need a hammer to bang them into the wooden floor below. If the sub-floor is screed or concrete, then you can use an adhesive to stick down the gripper.
Sizing the carpet and its underlay to the room will involve some cutting, so make sure you’ve got a retractable knife and metal straight edge to hand. Use tape to stick sections of underlay together.
When fitting the carpet, you’ll need a carpet stretcher and carpet tucker. These metal implements are used to stretch the edges of the carpet towards the wall and hook them to the gripper strips. You can also use the carpet tucker and a hammer to fit the carpet edge under the threshold strip in any doorways.
Tools for laying vinyl flooring
Retractable knife, metal straight edge, adhesive, sealant, sealant gun
Whether you’re laying vinyl flooring in sheet or tile form, you’ll need a retractable knife to cut it to size or to fit it around obstacles such as sinks.
To fix the vinyl to the floor, use double-sided tape or spray-on adhesive, but make sure the room is well ventilated before using the latter. If your vinyl floor is in a bathroom or other area that might get wet, you can use a waterproof sealant along the edges to prevent moisture collecting underneath.
Tools for laying ceramic/stone tile flooring
Tiling adhesive, gauging trowel, notch trowel, spirit level, circular saw, floor tile grout, grout float, grout-finishing tool, sealant, sealant gun
When fixing the tiles to the sub-floor, use a gauging trowel to apply the tiling adhesive to the floor, then spread it using a notch trowel. Check the flatness of the tiles as you lay them using a spirit level. For cutting tiles down to size, you’ll need a circular saw fitted with a tile blade.
Once the tiles are all in place, use a grout float to work the tiling grout into the gaps between the tiles, then smooth it off with a grout-finishing tool. Seal the edges of the floor with sealant.
General tools and safety equipment for laying flooring
Regardless of the type of flooring you’re installing, there is some equipment you will always need. A tape measure is essential for measuring the sections of flooring, and a soft broom and dustpan and brush can be used to keep floor surfaces clean before and after laying.
It’s important to stay safe during various stages of laying flooring. Protect your knees from hard floors with a pair of knee pads. When cutting or drilling any flooring material, wear safety goggles, gloves and a mask.
At Fixings and Powertool Center we stock a wide variety of tools and equipment for laying flooring. Whether you’re after the best tools for the job, or advice on how to go about it, our team of friendly experts is here to help. Contact us here.