How to Install Laminate Flooring [12 Easy Steps]
Replace the flooring in our living room was one of the things we planned to undertake as part of our extensive living room renovation.
We had an old carpet in our apartment that had been installed before we moved there.
We’ve been steadily working our way through the house, removing the carpet wherever we had the opportunity – including restoring the original hardwood floors and putting new hardwood flooring in our bedroom to match the originals – and we’re nearly finished with it.
The living room, on the other hand, is connected to both the kitchen and the washing room.
The laminate flooring may be found in both of those rooms.
The original hardwoods in the baby girl’s nursery were uncovered when we removed laminate from the room.
We were extremely cautious when removing the hardwoods.
We had a vague idea that we’d like to replace the carpet in our living room with laminate flooring at some point in the future.
After all this time, “someday” has finally arrived!
In this lesson, we’ll show you how to install laminate flooring, and more particularly, how to install laminate flooring on concrete, so that you can make your home look beautiful.
Because our living room is an old converted garage (at least that is what we believe it to be), the subfloors in here are concrete, as opposed to the rest of our home, which has wood subfloors throughout.
Flooring made of Laminate
Installing laminate flooring is a simple process, and after you’ve done it once, you’ll wonder why anyone would hire a professional installer to do it for them in the first place.
In contrast to ceramic tile, laminate flooring is installed without the need of grout, cement, or adhesives that are set up while you’re working on the floor.
In addition, unlike solid hardwood flooring, which must be hammered down, laminate flooring simply snaps together and is left to remain in place.
Flooring materials such as laminate are not linked to the subfloor or underlayment and are considered floating flooring materials.
Installing laminate is similar to piecing together a huge puzzle, and it should take no more than one day for practically any room to be completed.
What you’ll require
A number of pry bars: 1.
Utility knife: 1 (assorted sizes)
Number of tape measures: 1
Pencil \sQty: \s1
Handsaw or table saw:1 (optional).
Blocks for separating spaces Qty: 1
A number of tapping blocks: 1
Number of pull bars: 1
Hammer: 1 Material
Laminate flooring:(number of square feet: 1)
Underlayment \sQty: \s1
Nails for the finishing touch Qty: 1
Shoe molding:1 (quantity: 1)
Facts About Installing Laminating Flooring
Is it possible to place laminate flooring on concrete?
Yes, it is possible to put laminate flooring on concrete, and this is the way that we will demonstrate in our tutorial.
Installing laminate flooring over any flat and level surface is possible, including wood subfloors, hardwoods, tile, concrete, and other types of construction materials.
The installation of laminate flooring over a soft surface, such as carpet, is not suggested due to the fact that the carpet does not provide adequate support for the flooring.
Is it simple to install laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring installation is a relatively simple project that can be completed by the average homeowner on their own time.
There are only a few tools that are required.
However, with all of the up and down motion and kneeling on your knees, it can be a little taxing on your body.
What would it cost to hire a professional to install laminate flooring in my home?
The expense of hiring an installer is likely on your mind as you consider whether or not to do the laminate flooring installation yourself or pay someone.
Despite the fact that this varies from place to place, the national average is $3-$8 per square foot (which includes both labor and materials).
As an example, our living room has a total floor area of approximately 400 square feet.
It would have cost us approximately $2,800 to hire someone to install laminate flooring in our living room at a cost of $7/sf (upper end of typical because we’re installing a reasonably “good” brand and type of laminate).
If we had purchased all of the flooring for our room and installed it ourselves, we would have saved more than $1,000 in materials costs (thus the hashtag #worthit).
Our actual costs were lower because we were able to REUSE old laminate flooring that we had removed from another part of our property when we discovered the original floors and opted to refinish the hardwood flooring in our baby girl’s room and hall.
Using extreme caution, we carefully removed the laminate floors from the living room and kept them in a closet until we were ready to put them back in.
11 Steps To Install Laminate Flooring
STEP 1 – GETTING STARTED
The Flooring Must Be Acclimatized
Preparing your laminate wood flooring for installation involves allowing it to sit in the room for at least 48 hours, allowing it to expand and contract in response to changes in the room’s temperature and humidity.
After installation, this prevents buckling and other issues from occurring.
Step 2- The Baseboard Should be Removed
Remove the baseboard molding that is currently in place.
Remove the baseboard from the wall using the pry bar, and place the pieces away for reinstallation later on.
A hard, flat surface, such as vinyl, should be laid down before installing floating laminate planks (such as the one used in this project).
If the present flooring has been damaged, it should be removed to show the subfloor.
STEP 3- Underlayment should be Installed
The underlayment for your floating laminate floor should be installed first.
Remove any staples, nails, and other debris from the floor.
The underlayment should be rolled out.
Do not place adjacent strips on top of one another.
The underlayment, which is made of foam, absorbs sound and makes the floor feel more sturdy and lasting.
Some flooring planks are pre-installed with underlayment padding, which saves time and money.
Because this sort of flooring does not require the use of an underlayment, it is not necessary to install one.
STEP 4- Make a plan for the layout
In order to determine the direction to lay the laminate wood floorboards, first determine which wall is the longest and straightest in your home.
Avoid placing a thin strip against the wall that serves as the main point.
The planks in the last row should be at least 2 inches broad to ensure a solid foundation.
Consider leaving a 1/4-inch gap between each wall.
If the last row will be less than 2 inches wide, multiply the width of the last row by the width of a complete board and divide by two to get the final width.
Planks in the first and last rows should be cut to this length.
STEP 5-First Row is to be Cut
In some cases, ripping or cutting the initial row of planks lengthwise may be necessary depending on your configuration.
Use a power saw to cut with the finished side down; if you’re using a handsaw, use it to cut with the finished side upward.
Clamps can be used to keep the floor planks in place as you cut them.
STEP 6- Make Use Of Spacers To Create A Gap
Space chips are included in the purchase of laminate wood flooring kits.
Place these between the wall and the boards, leaving a 1/4-inch expansion gap between the two surfaces. Once the baseboard is installed, it will no longer be visible.
STEP 7- Install the First Row of a Table
Install the laminate floorboards such that the tongue side of the planks is facing the wall and vice versa (some manufacturers recommend you cut off the tongue edge of planks that face walls).
The tongues and grooves of one plank are connected to the tongues and grooves of another.
You may be able to connect the planks tightly by the hand, or you may need to use a pull bar from the installation kit and a hammer to draw them together, or you may need to use a tapping block to tap the joints together with a hammer.
Cut the last plank in the row to the desired length (keep the scraps if they’re at least 12 inches in length, else discard them).
STEP 8- Additional Rows Should Be Installed
Install more rows of laminate wood flooring to complete the project.
Keep the seams in adjoining rows at least 12 inches apart as you snap on new rows, just like you would on a wood plank wall or a brick wall, to make it look more natural.
It is common to be able to start a new row with a scrap from the plank that was cut to finish the preceding row.
STEP 9- Install the last row of the table
After sliding the planks for the final row of flooring into position at an angle, carefully prying them into place with the pry bar will be required.
Always leave a 1/4-inch expansion gap between the last row and the wall as you are finishing a row.
STEP 10-Casings should be cut around
Make a cut around the door casings.
You should avoid attempting to cut planks to fit around door casings.
Instead, use the jamb saw to cut the door casing about 1/16 inch higher than the height of the flooring, allowing the planks to glide under the casing without getting caught.
Put down a piece of flooring with underlayment on the floor, placing one edge of the flooring up against the casing.
Place the jamb saw on top of the casing and cut it to the required height using it.
STEP 11- Trim should be reinstalled
Remove the trim and reinstall it.
After the planks are in place, reattach the baseboard molding using a hammer and finishing nails to complete the project.
In the following step, you will apply shoe molding to cover the expansion joints, and you will use transition strips to link the laminate to neighboring surfaces like tile or carpet.
Nailing should not be done through the floor, but rather through the trim and the wall.
Our Final Thoughts
Make a rough layout of your room, complete with measurements, before you go shopping.
Pay attention to where the flooring changes to another type and any other features like stair landings and exterior doors.
Inquire with your salesperson for assistance in selecting the appropriate transition moldings for these places.
In addition to basic hand tools such as a tape measure, square, and utility knife, you’ll need a few specialized tools to learn how to install wood flooring.
Frequently Ask Questions
Is it important which way you lay laminate flooring while installing it?
Our personal preference is that the laminate flooring be laid such that it runs parallel to the room’s longest wall, but this is something we believe should be done as well.
Although it is preferable to match the direction of wood or laminate flooring put elsewhere in your home to which the room will link, it is advisable to do so in order to prevent the room from changing.
All of the flooring in your home should be installed in the same direction throughout.
Do you have to trim the tongue of the first row of laminate or can you leave it as is?
It will be necessary to trim off the tongue of the laminate flooring on the side of the room that will be facing the wall before you can begin installing the first row of laminate flooring.
The tongue should be easily removed using a standard tool knife.
It will be necessary to place spacers between the first row of laminate and the wall after that.
This contributes to the creation of the appropriate expansion gap around the perimeter of the space.
What is the best way to cut laminate flooring?
We used a miter saw to cut the laminate flooring in half lengthwise.
We used a jigsaw to cut the laminate flooring over the width of the room (for the last row in the room).
Alternatives include purchasing a laminate floor cutter such as this, which allows you to cut the laminate swiftly and easily without having to return to your saw every few minutes.