DIY Network

How to Install Laminate Tile Flooring

Update a kitchen by installing the tap and lock laminate tile flooring with these steps by DIY experts.

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Step 1: Clean Debris

Clean any debris from the floor.

Step 2: Lay out a Strip of Padding

Lay out the first strip of padding. Only lay out one strip to avoid getting the pad dirty. Be sure to measure and trim around cabinets, protruding walls and appliances.

Step 3: Leave an Expansion Gap

Once the first strip of pad is trimmed and laid in, pull it out from the wall about 1/4 inch to leave an expansion gap.

Step 4: Cut the Tongue

Cut the tongue off of one side of the first pieces of laminate tile. Since this first row will not lock into any others on one side, removing the tongue will let it lay almost flush to the wall.

Step 5: Lay the First Tile

Use the spacers that come with the flooring and lay the first tile against the spacers. This allows the floor room to "breathe", because it'll expand and contract differently than the existing floor.

Step 6: Tap and Lock the Tiles Together

Place the groove of the next tile into the tongue of the first one. Use the tapping block by placing its groove over the tongue of the second tile. Then gently tap the first two tiles together with a rubber mallet or hammer. Repeat tapping and locking the tiles together. Be sure to keep placing the spacers along the wall as you go.

Step 7: Lay Out Another Pad

When you've filled up one section pad, lay out another. Attach the separate pieces of padding together with the adhesive strip on the ends. If you don't have padding with an adhesive strip, use duct tape. Then continue tapping the tiles together with a hammer and tapping block.

Step 8: Apply Some Adhesive

A little bit of adhesive on the tongue is a good idea for areas where water might get on the floor such as near the sink, dishwasher or back door.