How To Lay Laminate Flooring Loving My Floors

How To Lay Laminate Flooring Loving My Floors

How To Lay Laminate Flooring

In this article, Ill cover the tools and materials you need, step-by-step instructions, tips and tricks, and the BEST videos on how to lay laminate flooring.

Laminate flooring has become one of the most popular flooring options for many reasons. It is affordable, durable, easy to install, and can be very attractive looking. There are lots of choices available today, many of which simulate much more expensive solid-wood, engineered, or premium exotic wood floors. Most even have textures that can effectively mimic real wood or popular styles like “hand-scraping”. 

Sold in planks, tiles or squares, most have an interlocking tongue and groove system that doesn’t require glue or adhesives, making installation extremely simple and perfect for DIY. Stain and fade resistant, usually they can be installed on top of existing surfaces like wood, vinyl or tile. One of the best features is that they are resilient to changes in temperature, moisture, and other factors that can cause complications such as expansion and contraction. There is usually no waiting time after installing, and they can handle traffic immediately!

Like all products, quality does vary, so be choosy about what you buy. Some factors to consider when choosing a product are:

Thickness — Thicker floors are generally a sign of higher quality and better durability and longer wear.

Back layer — some products have better back layers, such as moisture resistance or noise-dampening. If not, these can be added as separate layers during installation.

Wood veneer — some products have really wood veneer on the decorative layer.

Warranties — warranties vary by maker, so choose one that suites your needs.

Ready to find out how to lay laminate flooring? Here we go!

So assuming you’ve chosen the perfect product, here is the scoop on how to lay laminate flooring. Of course this information on how to lay laminate flooring works for most products, but you should always check your specific product for any special installation requirements.

Tools and Materials Need to Lay Laminate Flooring:

  • Foam Underlayment
  • Vapor barrier (if required)
  • Laminate Flooring
  • Silicone caulk
  • Floor-leveling compound (if you need it)
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Trim saw and chisel
  • Circular saw / table saw
  • Hammer
  • Bucket
  • Tapping Block
  • Pull Bar

Step-BY-Step How To Lay Laminate Flooring

Step 1: Acclimate the Planks for 48 Hours- As I explained in my article about linoleum. it is critical to let you materials acclimate. At least 48 hours ahead of time, stack them in the room where they will be installed in an alternating pattern. Open the boxes and other packaging and set the thermostat to normal temperatures.

Step 2: Prepare subfloor and remove base molding- Make sure subfloor is clean, and CAREFULLY remove any base moldings.

Step 3: Install base layer- If installing over concrete, install a vapor barrier (a thin plastic sheet barrier). Follow manufacturer guidelines for the correct thickness to buy (usually 6 mil), and overlap the seams by about 8 inches (if required). Then, install the foam under layer if your laminate product does not have an attached foam layer, which many do. Roll out the under layer along side the far wall where you begin installing the floor (usually you start against the longest wall).

Step 4: Trim the Door Jambs- Much easier than cutting the flooring around the jamb! Put a trim saw on top of an upside plank  over the foam underlayment (to give you the correct height), and make the cut. Chisel it out with a chisel or screwdriver.

Step 5: Install the First Row- Lay planks parallel to the longest wall, using 1/2 in spacers every 12 inches or so to give a space for expansion (breathing room). It will later get covered by the molding.

Step 6: Lay the rest of the flooring- Lay each row one by one, matching tongue to groove, and tap in place using scrap wood to protect the flooring making sure there are no gaps. Stagger the rows with each other for a natural look, so you will want to cut the first board so they are offset by about 8 inches and dont line up perfectly, which would look odd.

Step 7: Lay the last plank- Most likely, you will have to cut the last plank because it will be too wide to fit correctly (unless you get really lucky). Use a mark plank on top of the second to last row, slide another plank over it to the spacers and mark the line, then rip cut the plank on your line and install.

Step 8: Install thresholds, transitions, and moldings. You will buy matching thresholds or transitions if you need them for doorways if they change to a different flooring material. Usually they are cut to size and glued down. Remove the spacers and install the base moldings over the expansion gaps. Calk for a nice finish.

Step 9: Have a beer and marvel at your greatness.

How To Lay Laminate Flooring Loving My Floors

Wanna see it in action? Here Are My Picks for the BEST Video Tutorials on How To Lay Laminate Flooring:

1. Here is a good beginning-to-end video on how to lay laminate flooring (sorry about the commercials):

2. Here is a great video that shows how to undercut the door jamb:

3. This is a GREAT video that shows how to lay the last row, and also how to lay laminate flooring over concrete:

Illustration courtesy of vectorlie / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Lay Laminate Flooring

In this article, Ill cover the tools and materials you need, step-by-step instructions, tips and tricks, and the BEST videos on how to lay laminate flooring.

Laminate flooring has become one of the most popular flooring options for many reasons. It is affordable, durable, easy to install, and can be very attractive looking. There are lots of choices available today, many of which simulate much more expensive solid-wood, engineered, or premium exotic wood floors. Most even have textures that can effectively mimic real wood or popular styles like “hand-scraping”. 

Sold in planks, tiles or squares, most have an interlocking tongue and groove system that doesn’t require glue or adhesives, making installation extremely simple and perfect for DIY. Stain and fade resistant, usually they can be installed on top of existing surfaces like wood, vinyl or tile. One of the best features is that they are resilient to changes in temperature, moisture, and other factors that can cause complications such as expansion and contraction. There is usually no waiting time after installing, and they can handle traffic immediately!

Like all products, quality does vary, so be choosy about what you buy. Some factors to consider when choosing a product are:

Thickness — Thicker floors are generally a sign of higher quality and better durability and longer wear.

Back layer — some products have better back layers, such as moisture resistance or noise-dampening. If not, these can be added as separate layers during installation.

Wood veneer — some products have really wood veneer on the decorative layer.

Warranties — warranties vary by maker, so choose one that suites your needs.

Ready to find out how to lay laminate flooring? Here we go!

So assuming you’ve chosen the perfect product, here is the scoop on how to lay laminate flooring. Of course this information on how to lay laminate flooring works for most products, but you should always check your specific product for any special installation requirements.

Tools and Materials Need to Lay Laminate Flooring:

  • Foam Underlayment
  • Vapor barrier (if required)
  • Laminate Flooring
  • Silicone caulk
  • Floor-leveling compound (if you need it)
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Trim saw and chisel
  • Circular saw / table saw
  • Hammer
  • Bucket
  • Tapping Block
  • Pull Bar

Step-BY-Step How To Lay Laminate Flooring

Step 1: Acclimate the Planks for 48 Hours- As I explained in my article about linoleum. it is critical to let you materials acclimate. At least 48 hours ahead of time, stack them in the room where they will be installed in an alternating pattern. Open the boxes and other packaging and set the thermostat to normal temperatures.

Step 2: Prepare subfloor and remove base molding- Make sure subfloor is clean, and CAREFULLY remove any base moldings.

Step 3: Install base layer- If installing over concrete, install a vapor barrier (a thin plastic sheet barrier). Follow manufacturer guidelines for the correct thickness to buy (usually 6 mil), and overlap the seams by about 8 inches (if required). Then, install the foam under layer if your laminate product does not have an attached foam layer, which many do. Roll out the under layer along side the far wall where you begin installing the floor (usually you start against the longest wall).

Step 4: Trim the Door Jambs- Much easier than cutting the flooring around the jamb! Put a trim saw on top of an upside plank  over the foam underlayment (to give you the correct height), and make the cut. Chisel it out with a chisel or screwdriver.

Step 5: Install the First Row- Lay planks parallel to the longest wall, using 1/2 in spacers every 12 inches or so to give a space for expansion (breathing room). It will later get covered by the molding.

Step 6: Lay the rest of the flooring- Lay each row one by one, matching tongue to groove, and tap in place using scrap wood to protect the flooring making sure there are no gaps. Stagger the rows with each other for a natural look, so you will want to cut the first board so they are offset by about 8 inches and dont line up perfectly, which would look odd.

Step 7: Lay the last plank- Most likely, you will have to cut the last plank because it will be too wide to fit correctly (unless you get really lucky). Use a mark plank on top of the second to last row, slide another plank over it to the spacers and mark the line, then rip cut the plank on your line and install.

Step 8: Install thresholds, transitions, and moldings. You will buy matching thresholds or transitions if you need them for doorways if they change to a different flooring material. Usually they are cut to size and glued down. Remove the spacers and install the base moldings over the expansion gaps. Calk for a nice finish.

Step 9: Have a beer and marvel at your greatness.

Wanna see it in action? Here Are My Picks for the BEST Video Tutorials on How To Lay Laminate Flooring:

1. Here is a good beginning-to-end video on how to lay laminate flooring (sorry about the commercials):

2. Here is a great video that shows how to undercut the door jamb:

3. This is a GREAT video that shows how to lay the last row, and also how to lay laminate flooring over concrete:

Illustration courtesy of vectorlie / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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