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Help For You To Set Out On The Right Line

FIRST attach a length of string to two nails, then a chalk line with a chalk chamber, followed by simple lasers evolving into the Leica Lino L2P5, a very useful piece of equipment. Leica are renowned for quality and accuracy, well this is no exception! I have tested this instrument over a few months and I amat a point that I cannot, or
should I say do not, want to be without it. Themain difference is accuracy and speed.

Chalk lines can be tripped over and distorted when catching fibres of a carpet or catching the subfloor. This tool does not need nails, just a position on the floor or tripod. On the floor use the multifunction rotatable adapter
that will rotate through 360deg, useful when projecting the laser lines through doorways at both ends of a room.

The adapter has magnets to attach tometal poles, radiators (take care with the paintwork), clamp rods sold by Leica, or any magnetic surface.

The adapter also has a screw thread to attach to the tripod, although most tripods can be rotated full circle. Once positioned, the tool is switched on by pressing the button on the top.

There are two main functions, locked or unlocked. Locked is when the tool is switched on and a horizontal laser
line is projected. A second press of the on button projects a vertical laser line, but not both together.

These lines are not spirit levelled, just lines. Unlocking is by moving the switch on the side. This projects both horizontal and vertical laser lines that will self-level. If you tilt the tool at an angle beyond the size of the orifice, projecting the laser the line will oscillate telling you it cannot self-level. To adjust, twist until the line remains on and is not oscillating.

In the unlocked mode, a second press of the on button projects four other point lasers, plumb and cross dots. I admit I have not used these laser points to date.

The main functions I use this instrument for are setting out, checking floor levels and stretching carpet patterns, as the line stays straight even when moving the carpet. Chalk lines tend to need resetting after the carpet is moved, when the string catches the fibres of the carpet.

Floor level checks are easy. After placing the instrument, use the target plate provided with the kit or another measuring tool as the target plate if it is not long enough to check the height of the subfloor. The measurement on the target plate shows areas where the subfloor falls out of tolerance.

BS 8204-1:1999 section 6 table 6 Classification of surface regularity of direct finish base slab or levelling screed. Maximum permissible departure from the underside of a 3m straight edge resting in contact with the floor (see annex B) SR1 3mm– SR2 5mm– SR3 10mm.

Even if you ignore these tolerances apply commonsense!

Any dips or lumps in the subfloor will inevitably show through particularly thin vinyl. Giving your client sufficient information will let them decide on levelling or smoothing. Apart from accuracy, the professionalism of your
checks could persuade the client to employ you.

When you detect a dip or lump, mark the area with measurements such as dip 5mm or 4mm lump. Either grinding or levelling can then address these areas. When setting out, this instrument is invaluable, striking
laser lines which can be transferred to the floor not only in a straight line but at 90deg giving you an accurate setting out line for tiles, avoiding errors when installing around centre units.

The first two lines can be marked, and then the instrument moved and reset off the first two lines marked on the floor. The instrument can also be used after applying adhesive to give clearer lines to work to.

Another useful use is when setting lines for sit on and set in skirtings. Instead of working around the room pencilling lines on the wall, just project the laser line onto the wall and work off this line. That saves time and avoids seeing pencil lines if the skirting is not set over the line.

With the instrument locked, you can angle the laser up a stairs measuring the top point equal to the bottom line to give you a setting out line for stringers. If you are using the instrument in poor lighting conditions or over long
lengths, a laser detector can be used up to 30m. I had no trouble detecting the laser line in a property at over 15m, without a detector.

The instrument comes in a hard plastic case. Included in the kit I tested, was the instrument that has a soft case, target plate,multifunction adapter and CD with instruction manuals. This is an easy instrument to use!

John Roberts is founder TAOFS (The Academy of Flooring Skills) and prominent consultant in flooring. TAOFS
offers training in all types of floorcoverings.
T: 07831584334
T: 0116 260 8873

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them online at