New flooring can give your home a whole new look. Laminate flooring has become a popular choice because it looks so much like real wood but it’s so much cheaper. Plus it’s durable, stain resistant, and easy to install. There’s no glue or grout involved and the planks snap together pretty easy with just a few tools. In this post we’ll show you how to install laminate flooring and give you some tips to make the process go a lot smoother.
Note: It’s a good idea to let your boxes of flooring sit in your space for a few days. This prevents the flooring from expanding and contracting too much.
- Rubber Mallot
- Carpenter Square
- Utility Knife
- Tape Measure
- Chop Saw with a special blade
- Staple gun or Tacker
- Tapping block
Make sure your floor is level and free of staples.
Tip to fix squeaky floor here: Nails are usually the cause of squeaky floors. You can fix that by either removing the missed nail or by putting screws next to the squeaky area.
We installed our flooring before the moulding was installed. If you already have base moulding it’s a good idea to remove it so the flooring can sit underneath it and you won’t see the gap. Once you’re done with the flooring you can re-install the moulding.
Before we started laying down the floor, we painted the subfloor first.
Remember that New Year’s Eve party where everyone spilled alcohol on the floor? Or your 4 year old tripped and spilled his juice? Or the many failed attempts at potty training your puppies? And that finicky cat that doesn’t like a dirty litter box? I could go on… Trust me, painting the floor with crappy paint will save you from the expense of replacing the subfloor (the plywood under your floors) down the road.
We’ve found it’s a good idea to do this to create a sealed barrier.
It also helps keep the spiders outside and I’m all for that. Just use whatever paint you have or get a cheap can at the hardware store. Roll a good solid layer of paint on the floor, making sure to fill in all the cracks and divots.
Laminate floor underlayment
Our flooring came with rolls of blue underlayment. You can either roll down several feet at a time or put down all the underlayment at once. We cut with a utility knife and used underlayment tape to stick the pieces together in place and then stapled it down. Make sure to not overlap the underlayment, otherwise you’ll feel bumps in the flooring.
Install laminate floor
Our starting point was to assemble three or four rows a foot away from the starting wall to ensure a straight line. Then we slid it into place.
Take any leftover pieces to start the next row as long as they’re not shorter than a foot. Align the planks by angling down and aligning the tongue into the groove. Tap with the mallet to snap it in place. (Read your installation packet as your snap together procedure may differ).
To cut the planks, measure and mark line with a straight edge and pencil. And cut with saw. Don’t forget to allow room for the spacer. We used a chop saw, but if you have a lot of flooring to do it might be worth it to get a laminate cutter.
Stagger planks as you go so that it looks more like a natural hardwood floor. You don’t want any seams to match. Start your rows where you started off the first rather than zigzagging. This will help you keep control of your seams and stagger your planks.
When you’re done installing the laminate flooring, remove the spacers and install the baseboard moulding.
Overall, laminate flooring is pretty easy to install and you can give your home a whole new look in a day. With these diy pro tips your install should go pretty smooth. I hope you enjoy your new flooring!
You might also like our tips for installing floor tile.