How to Install the First Row of Laminate Flooring — So That's How You Do That!

How to Install the First Row of Laminate Flooring - So That's How You Do That!

Before we get started

Before I guide you through the steps of how to install the first row of laminate flooring, I want to be sure that you are ready for this step. Lets go through a few things and see where you are at.

By the time you get to this step you should already have-

    all existing flooring removed all of the door jambs should be cut your lay out is complete(You know how big your first piece will be)

All three of these steps are very important, but the layout process is the most important. If you dont know how to do these things, thats okay I will show you in my other videos. I have all the complete steps for a laminate installation right here on my website.(Just Click Here)

Step 1 Layout the first row of laminate flooring

Lets get started and I will show you how to install the first row of laminate flooring.

The first thing that you want to do is lay out your first row of laminate flooring from wall to wall. You will have to make a cut or two for your beginning and end piece. Once you do this, than we need to position this row away from the wall far enough so we can mark and cut the correct amount off the first row.

Our goal here is to have either a similar size ending row on the other side of the room or avoid having pieces that are too small somewhere else. (I cover this in my HOW TO Layout Laminate Flooring videos.)

I always snap a line on the floor using a chalk line, that gives me a nice straight line to guide me. I then slide the row of laminate to the chalk line. Once it is all straight then we can move on to the next step.

Here is a video that shows what weve talked about-

Step 2 – Scribing the wall

Lets move on and Ill show the next step on how to install the first row of laminate flooring

We need to make a marking board that we will use throughout the entire laminate installation. This board will take the place of a tape measure to the point where it will almost be obsolete. This marking board is going to make your laminate installation a lot simpler.

I like to use a scrap of laminate flooring that is at least a foot long.On each side of the laminate flooring there is a male and a female end of the tongue and groove. Cut off the female side flush with the scrap of laminate. The male part usually extends an 1/8 of an inch beyond the laminate. This will serve as part of the recommended gap that we will be leaving along the walls, which is usually a ¼ of an inch. I use a marker alongside of the marking board and that will give us the additional 1/8 of an inch that we will need for our gap.

Now that we have our marking board, place it against the wall and on top of the laminate flooring. Begin to slide the board along the wall while marking the laminate flooring with your marker. This will transfer any waves in the walls so you will have a perfect fit.

I have a great  video that shows what we  just talked about in this step of how to install the first row of laminate flooring, check it out!

Step 3 – cutting laminate flooring

    or a table saw

I use a jig saw for most of my cutting but you can also use a table saw.  (I try not to use a table saw because I really hate to take that big thing out of my truck.) Jig saws are pretty inexpensive and very easy to use,  so I suggest picking one up. When I am cutting my laminate flooring, I always cut the line that I marked completely off. This will then give you the proper gap between the wall and the laminate flooring. Here is a video that you will see how I cut my first row of laminate flooring-

Step 4 – Installing the first row of laminate flooring

We are almost there! Here is the next step on how to install the first row of laminate flooring. I like to build my floor out a few rows so I have a solid foundation. I start by putting together the first row of laminate flooring and then add to that 3- 5 additional rows. Dont be too concerned about the laminate flooring being perfectly in place right now. It will move around a lot at first. Once we get a few rows built onto the first row, I will show you how to temporarily secure the floor for the entire installation. Remember this- installing the first row of laminate flooring is the most time consuming part of the installation. Once this is done the rest of this installation will get easier and if you follow my instructions, I know you can do it!

Step 5 – securing the floor

This step is very important and I would not skip it. I laugh when I see all these wedges and spacers that companies are selling. They say just slide this wedge in between the laminate and the wall to keep the floor in place. It never works and it will have you so frustrated you will want to quit! I use a simple method to secure the floor temporarily and trust me it will not move at all.

First lets be sure the floor is straight. We need to measure away from the wall that the laminate flooring will be sliding up against. It can be any measurement but we will use 3 feet. I will mark the floor at the 3 foot mark on each end of the wall and then snap a line. Now slide the laminate flooring against the leaving at least a ¼ inch gap. Now measure from the laminate flooring to the line that we just snapped.

The goal is to have an equal measurement the entire length of the floor. Once the laminate flooring is straight and in place, it is time to temporarily secure the floor using screws. I drill pilot holes into the laminate every 2 feet. I keep these hose holes close to the wall so the trim will cover them. I usually drill in about ½ inch from the edge of the laminate. These holes can be filled in with colored wood putty that matches the laminate flooring. So if you drill in a little farther from the edge thats okay. Once you fill them no one will be able to see them anyway.

This video will show everything we just talked about

I hope this was some good  information about how to install the first row of laminate flooring.

 Click on the Button Below for a few more videos that I think will help you get started with your installation!

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