Installing laminate flooring: A complete guide

Lifestyle | 29 Jul, 2019 |

If you are like 57% of Americans, your home is still a work in progress. Don’t let home improvement projects go uncompleted. Upgrading kitchens and bathrooms,  installing laminate flooring, and freshening paint all add value to your home.

If you have outdated flooring in your home, below is the ultimate guide to installing laminate flooring yourself.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Laminate Flooring

With the right tools, a little bit of time, and some elbow grease you can easily install laminate flooring.

The Tools You Will Need

1. Tape measure

2. Spirit/bubble level

3. Pull bar for laminate flooring

4. Tapping bar

5. Spacers

6. Rubber mallet

7. Hammer

8. Utility knife

9. Pencil

10. Tapping block

11. Gloves

12. Safety goggles

13. Saws: Hand, Jigsaw, Skilsaw or Table Saw

Materials You Need to Gather Before You Start

Nothing slows down a DIY project more than having to run to the store to pick up things you did not get the first time around. The same is true when you install DIY laminate flooring.

• Don’t forget the flooring of your choice,

• Underlayment (typically this is a foam underlayment)

• Mildew-resistant silicone caulk

• Finishing nails

• Threshold pieces — for that beautiful transitions between rooms

Other Items You May Need

Check out your workspace, you may need floor-leveling compound. Don’t forget Items you need for finishing, like quarter-round molding, baseboard or wall base.

Preparation

You want the floor to be clean and flat. If the floor isn’t flat you will have to level it, before you install the foam sheeting. Be sure to remove baseboards and floor trim. 

Layout the Foam Underlamenent

Roll out the foam underlayment. But sheets up against each other; do not overlap. Use tape to make sure the sheets don’t move as you install your flooring.  

Check the Pattern

You do not have to lay out the entire floor, but double-check that you are getting the look you want. It is best to do this in the middle of the room, with only one side touching a wall. Once you are happy, take the planks up and stack them in the corner of the room.

Laying the First Row

You will want to cut off the tounges on the first boards, this will allow for a clean connection to the wall. Then begin laying your pattern on the longest wall from right to left.

Cutting Tips

It is easy to cut laminate planks, but remember to measure twice so you only have to cut once. If you don’t know how to use your saw, be sure to get cutting instructions before you begin. 

Finishing the First Row

So you have been laying full-size planks, but you are at the end, and a full-size plank will not fit. Measure the length of plank you need from, right to left, leaving a 1/4-inch gap before the wall. This will allow the plank to fit and will be covered by the baseboard.

Don’t Forget to Stagger the Planks 

Remember your layout pattern, you don’t want the same pattern in each row. Use the plank you just cut for the first row as the first plank in the second row. This will prevent the rows from matching. 

Watch for Gaps in Seams As You Go

If you notice a gap, tap it in. Don’t wait till you have other rows installed as it will be harder to close. 

Ready for Your Next DIY Home Improvement Project?

Now that you are a pro at installing laminate flooring, what home improvement project will you tackle next?

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