Home > Installing Laminate Flooring

Installing Laminate Flooring is a Snap! 7 Simple Steps to Laminate Flooring Installation


Our easy step-by-step guide will teach you how to install laminate flooring in 7 simple steps. Look for Tips along the way. Thanks to today’s glue-less click systems, installing laminate flooring is a snap!

Before you begin your laminate flooring installation you must allow the planks to acclimate in the house for 48 hours. This is because temperature and humidity can affect them. Remove any plastic wrapping from the boxes so the air can freely circulate and stack the planks flat on the floor. Unwrap 10 percent more than you need (in square foot/meters) since you’ll waste a little from cutting.

TIP – Mixing planks from different boxes will give you the best visual effect. The 48-hour acclimation time is the perfect opportunity to do this. So why not mix the stacks up now, e.g. if you’re using 5 boxes, spread each box over 5 separate stacks, rotating between boxes, mixing 5 planks a time.

STEP 1: Clean the sub-floor and remove base mouldings and skirting

Remove any existing carpet or wood flooring from the sub-floor. Make sure the sub-floor is clean, debris free, dry and level. If there are base mouldings or skirting you want gone then you should also remove those at this stage with a pry bar or hammer.

Step 2: Install the underlay

Roll out the underlay one row at a time from the longest wall of the room. If you don’t know what an underlay is you can find details on our laminate flooring accessories page. The underlay manufacturer’s directions will tell you whether to overlap the underlay or squeeze each row against the previous one, so pay attention to this when joining each sheet together.

Step 3: Trim the door frames

The Laminate flooring should continue under the doorframe. Put a piece of flooring flat on the sub-floor plush with the doorframe and mark the depth to be trimmed. Then use a flat saw or coping saw and cut the frame parallel to the subfloor so you can then slide your new laminate floor under to create a neat finished look.

Step 4: Lay the first row

TIP – Before you lay the first row, some planks must be trimmed so the floor doesn’t have a “squeezed-in” appearance. It must be uniform. You don’t want to end up with the final planks on one side looking incredibly thin, or on one end unusually short. Cut with decorative side up for hacksaw and decorative side down with a power saw.

WIDTHS: Measure the width of the room to see how many plank widths you can fit. The first and last row of planks should be the same in width for an even look, so both must be trimmed the same. Trim the first row from the tongue side (the less machined side) and the last row from the other side.

LENGTHS: Measure the length of the room and to see how many plank lengths you can fit. The first plank should be the same length as the last plank in the row for an even look, so both must be trimmed the same.

Start with the first plank in the left corner of the room and lay the plank parallel to the longest wall, with the trimmed edge of the cut off tongue running parallel to the wall. If you’ve followed the Tip above correctly then this plank should have been trimmed both length ways and width ways. Place the expansion spacers against the wall and push the plank plush against them.

REMINDER: Expansion spacers are important for keeping the floor tight and also allowing it to expand and contract should it need. Place them every 12 inches or so along the wall and at the end of each plank against adjoining walls. The spacers will later be covered with base moulding.

With the first plank down, you can now install each sequential plank by inserting one short end into the other at an angle and pressing down. When you reach the end of the first row, the last plank should be trimmed in both length and width to match the first.

Step 5: Install the rest of the flooring except for the last plank

For the first plank of the adjacent row cut it to offset the joints of the first row by six to eight inches, because you don’t want to create a too uniform look.

Lift the first row slightly so you can snap the first adjacent plank successfully into position. Continue down the adjacent row, plank-by-plank matching tongue and groove, tapping into place. Make sure each piece has a snug fit and there are no gaps. Continue this process for the entire floor and remember to keep the staggered look going!

If you followed the trimming Tips in Step 4, the last row should be the same width as the first. Remember to leave room for expansion and lay up to and not including the last plank.

TIP: For installing around pipes, drill a hole in the plank a quarter to half an inch larger than the pipe diameter. Cut the plank across the centre of the circle, position and glue the plank pieces back together using a clamp to fasten. Do not glue the laminate floor to the sub-floor. For finishing hide the hole with a pipe collar.

Step 6: Install the last plank

You’ll need to make sure the last plank is trimmed perfectly to fit. It is a rather awkward last one to fit because you have to get in at an angle. We recommend you first put the plank you’ll be using in the final space and mark the join to the next to last plank with a pencil. Then cut the plank along this line.

Now that you’ve got the right size it is best to make the next to last plank slightly loose and join the last plank to it by the short end. If you have someone to help you this will make it a lot easier. Then you can both ease the final two planks into their final installation position.

Step 7: Finish off with the base moulding and you’re done!

Remove spacers and install the base moulding to cover the expansion gaps. It is best to check with your base moulding manufacturer as to how to properly install, but a general rule of thumb is not to use nails for the base moulding or skirting. It is best to use wood glue only.

www.LaminateFlooringManufacturers.com wish you the best of luck for your laminate flooring installation! We hope you found our 7-step guide useful and welcome your comments or suggestions about how we can make it better.