How to Install Laminate Flooring

laying laminate flooring

This post is from an awesome article posted on HGTV online I just had to share!  Check out the original post here with more photos. 

Materials Needed

  • snap-together laminate flooring
  • baseboard
  • quarter-round molding
  • plastic sheeting
  • duct tape
  • finish nails
  • wood putty
  • touch-up paint
  • spacers
  • rubber mallet or tapping block
  • tape measure
  • chop saw
  • circular saw
  • jigsaw

Prep Subfloor

Thoroughly clean the subfloor so that there is no debris on the floor and that it is flat and smooth. Directly onto the subfloor, lay down a layer of plastic sheeting to create a moisture barrier. Tape the sheeting two inches above the floor using painter’s tape. If needed, use duct tape to overlap the edges of the plastic sheeting. Overlap the plastic sheeting by six inches.

Install First Row of Flooring

Use small sections of planks as spacers to hold the flooring away from the wall about 1/4 inch. The spacers help allow for expansion around the perimeter of the floor. Place the first row snug against the spacers. Trim the last plank to length to fit so that it ends 1/4 inch from the wall.

Continue Installing Floor

Use the short trimmed section of the previous row to start the next row. This will ensure the joints between planks in a row are staggered from the joints in adjoining rows. The laminated flooring in this project has a soundproof backing and wood finish. It snaps together by lining up the planks at an angle and then flattening out the row being installed. To save the edges of the flooring boards, use a tapping block or rubber mallet to tap adjoining rows together. This will prevent damage to the tongue or groove with the hammer.
When installing the next plank in the row, lift the plank at an angle to allow it to set/lock in place and tap the plank against the previous plank in the row with a mallet. Continue across the room until reaching the far side. Trim the last row so it ends 1/4 inch from the wall. Measure and cut planks lengthwise to fit the last row.

Install Baseboards and Molding

Remove the spacers around the border and install baseboards and quarter-round molding, covering the plastic moisture barrier on the wall and the gap between the wall and the flooring. Set nail heads slightly below the surface of the molding and fill with wood putty. Let the putty dry, then lightly sand to make sure the surface is even. Use touch-up paint to cover the putty.

Enjoy your new laminate flooring for years to come! 🙂

 Click here to see what Lowes has to offer for laminate flooring!