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How to Lay Hybrid Flooring: The No-Frills DIY Guide

How to lay hybrid flooring 01
  • Flooring Tips

Learn how easy it can be to install strong, eye-catching and 100% waterproof hybrid floors on your own.

Unsure whether you can install a new hybrid floor in your Perth home? 

We get it. 

Anyone can jump on YouTube and tackle a DIY project, but it’s tough to know whether you can save time and money by buying and installing hybrid planks yourselves or if the job is best left to the professionals. 

Thankfully, hybrid flooring is, quite literally, engineered for easy installation. Of course, you’ll need to make sure your floor is properly prepared, your planks are measured and cut to size, and you’re following a strict installation roadmap to get the most value out of your time and space.

So that’s exactly what we’ll show you how to do.

Here’s everything you need to know about laying hybrid flooring.

If you want to learn more about hybrid flooring, check out our other resources:

1. How much does hybrid flooring cost?

2. What are the best hybrid flooring brands?

3. Pros and cons of hybrid flooring

4. Hybrid vs laminate flooring

5. Vinyl vs hybrid flooring

6. How long does hybrid flooring last?

What is hybrid flooring?

It helps to know what you’re working with before you start installing new flooring, so here’s a quick refresher…

Hybrid flooring combines two popular flooring types: laminate and vinyl. 

Used individually, these flooring options have their own weaknesses (laminate isn’t waterproof and may swell after contact with moisture while vinyl planks must be glued down which makes them tough to replace).

Hybrid flooring combines the best attributes of each option WITHOUT the drawbacks. The result is an easy-to-install floor (like a floating floor) that can withstand getting wet. Creating the perfect finish for any Perth home or business, hybrid flooring is durable, 100% waterproof and ready to handle everything your family or patrons can throw at it.

Find out more about hybrid floor composition here.

What makes hybrid flooring special?

It’s all in the combination of vinyl and laminate. 

The intersection of these two flooring types creates a durable and rigid floor that offers form and function. This is all possible thanks to multiple unique layers, including:

  • Wear Layer: UV coated for lasting resiliency at home or at work

  • Design Layer: Matching the realistic textures and appearance of timber

  • Waterproof Core Layer: Designed to remain stable against extreme temperatures

  • Pre-Adhered Backing Layer: Delivering acoustics and comfort underfoot

Best of all, hybrid flooring is installed using user-friendly tongue and groove technology, which makes it suitable for a DIY project.

Looking to dive deeper? Get the full Hybrid Floor Pros and Cons here

How to prepare your floors for hybrid flooring

You’ve made the choice to install new hybrid floorboards in your Perth home (great choice!), but don’t get started just yet. Floor preparation is one of (if not the most) crucial aspects of installing a new floor surface. 

Before you measure a single floorboard or watch a single YouTube video, you’ll want to ensure your subfloor (the foundation beneath finished floor materials) is completely dry, free of imperfections and level. Laying hybrid floorboards without an even surface can lead to premature damage and may cause tripping hazards, so take the time to fully prepare your floor.

Allen Brothers Flooring Tip: If installing hybrid flooring on top of a concrete slab, allow at least 60 days for your concrete to fully cure.

Can hybrid flooring be installed over the existing floor?

Yes… but there’s a catch.

Some floors will require more preparation than others before you can safely and effectively install hybrid overlay. Most noticeably, carpet, natural stone and bricks are unsuitable for direct installation. These uneven surfaces can add stress on the joining system of your hybrid floorboards which may lead to buckling or cracks.

If you’re looking to turn a carpeted or brick surface into a new and updated space, you’ll need to rip up the floor covering until you’re working with a smooth and even substrate.

In contrast, if you’re installing hybrid floors on top of a smooth surface like plywood, tiles or concrete then you won’t need to invest as much time or energy into floor preparation. Keep in mind, installing new floors will add extra height to the floor. Even if it feels like a minor amount, make sure you can still open and close doors when your floor has been slightly raised.

Do I need an underlay to install hybrid floors?

In most cases, no.

Most hybrid floor products available come with built-in underlay. This means you can take it straight out of the box and install it on your floor substrate (making sure you’ve prepared the surface correctly). 

However, although hybrid flooring typically comes with a base layer suitable for direct installation, some people invest in separate underlay when a second layer of padding is required (e.g. acoustic protection when installed on concrete in shared apartment blocks).

5 simple steps to install hybrid flooring

You’ve prepared your floor, set aside a spare weekend without distractions, and you’re ready to start the job. Thankfully, hybrid flooring is designed to be quick and easy to install - even with little experience.

As mentioned, hybrid flooring is pre-adhered which means you can install it without nails or glue. As a “floating” floor option, you can just as easily remove individual planks for repair or replacement without having to rip up the whole floor and start over.

So, how do you lay hybrid flooring? By sticking to the following steps.

Step 01: Measure

Measure the size of your room so you know how many hybrid planks you’ll need. Measuring your space will also help you get a feel for your installation project. You’ll want to avoid any awkward shapes or noticeably short planks by the edges of your room, so always take the time to measure and strategise before you pick up a single tool.

Step 02: Prepare

We’ve touched on the importance of proper floor preparation already, but it’s worth mentioning again. You’ll want to tick 4 crucial boxes before you lay a single plank. Solid. Dry. Even. Clean. Until you can confidently say your floor is all of these things, your preparation isn’t done.

Step 03: Underlay (optional)

The right underlay can minimise noise and help make slightly uneven surfaces more stable, but this is an optional step. Most hybrid floors come with underlay pre-attached, so for 99% of DIYers, you can skip to the next step.

Step 04: Install

You’re up to the final step already (yep, it’s that easy!). Hybrid planks are typically installed from left to right, so start by laying the first row with the tongue side of the planks facing away from the wall with each plank in a row slotting together. Be sure to leave an even distance between planks and walls (6mm to 10mm) to allow for natural size variations that occur as a result of temperature changes.

Installing the next row is just as easy. Simply insert the grooves of a plank into the tongue of a previous plank (30 degrees is an ideal insertion angle) and gently tap on the connection with a rubber mallet to engage the click-lock mechanism.

Installation is that simple!

Allen Brothers Tip: Place wedges as you go to maintain your expansion gap and prevent any frustrating headaches when the job is done but the planks have shifted.

Looking to save time AND money? Check out our Hybrid Floor Price Guide for a full cost breakdown

Trust Allen Brothers Flooring for your next home improvement project

Hybrid floors offer the aesthetic of your favourite timber flooring options with a 100% waterproof and highly durable finish underfoot that can stand up to daily wear and tear. However, installing your own floors does require the right tools, plenty of time, and precision to avoid any unwanted and expensive mistakes.

That’s where Allen Brothers Flooring can help.

We’re a team of experts with over 14 years of experience in timber and hybrid floor installation, repairs and maintenance and we’ve proudly served Perth and the surrounding suburbs with a commitment to total customer satisfaction - that’s why we offer a 5 year warranty on all completed projects.

Whether you need help with sanding, coating, polishing or installation, we’re here to help. If you’re ready for a versatile and stylish floor that will meet your needs for years to come, reach out on 0407 983 020 or request a 100% obligation-free quote online now.

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