Find a Branch

Lawsons are the largest independent timber, building & fencing merchants in London and the South East of England. Established in 1921 Lawsons now have a number of branches offering the complete range of building materials.

Find Your Nearest Branch

How to Prepare Your Floor for New Coverings

A good base for your new floor will make sure that you get the most out of your material, avoid squeaky floorboards, and depending on your type of house you may even be able to reduce heat loss. Whether you’re laying a new carpet or wooden flooring, it’s important to get your floor prepped and level with a good new base.

Fix Any Loose Floorboards

One of the first things to do is to fix loose and creaking floorboards. This isn’t just to avoid annoyance – loose floorboards move up and down, and will loosen further over time as you move then back and forth when moving which can crack or damage your top floor covering.

You will need to use a detector to avoid pipes and cables under the floor. Once you have identified a loose board and checked for a safe fixing position, drill a pilot hole through the board into the joist below. Then, use the right length screw to secure the board.

Lay Your Hardboard or Plywood

Once your floorboards are ready, it’s best to use hardboard to create a completely level and safe surface for your flooring. This is relatively quick and easy to do – you can even staple the squares of hardboard down, but you can also nail it down if you prefer. Make sure that your boards line up and don’t have any gaps between them to keep the area as neat and flat as possible.

Once you have a level surface, you can put your underlay onto the floor and then whatever flooring you prefer. Levelling and taking care of your floor before replacing the top level flooring will ensure that your floor is comfortable to walk on and any laminate, engineered wood flooring, or wooden floors look their best for far longer.