Introduction

Watch an Overview Video

Step 1

Tools & Materials

Broom
Measuring tape
Self-leveling compound
Long level or yardstick
Underlayment
Spacers for expansion gap
Laminate planks
Rubber mallet and tapping block
Table saw
Safety goggles
Kneepads
Trim or caulk
Molding, transition pieces

Step 2

Prep the Area

1. Remove baseboards, molding, and doors.

2. Clean floor.

3. Note direction of joists.

4. Fill dips with self-leveling compound or screw down loose or squeaking boards, as necessary to prepare subfloor.

Pro Tip

Laminate can be installed in any room.

Nail heads in subfloor will show direction of joists.

Step 3

Install the Underlayment

Roll out underlayment in abutted rows.

Pro Tip

Check level of floor with long level or yardstick.

Step 4

Begin Laying the Boards

1. Lay first boards against starting wall, groove side out.

2. Use spacers to keep an expansion gap between wall and boards around entire perimeter of floor.

3. Stagger joints at least 8 inches apart: first board in first row should be full length; first board in second row should be 2/3 length; first board in third row should be 1/3 length.

Pro Tip

Acclimate flooring to installation area for at least 48 hours prior to installing.

Laminate should run crosswise to the joists.

If using circular saw, cut flooring finish-side up; if using table saw, cut boards with fine-tooth blade with finish-side down. This will minimize splintering.

Step 5

Join the Boards and Finish Installation

1. Rip final boards to fit.

2. Replace baseboards and molding and add transition molding as necessary

Pro Tip

Join boards by inserting tongue into groove and pushing down until boards lock together.

Never hammer laminate boards.

Nail baseboards and molding to wall, not to laminate.