How To Install Laminate Flooring? Comprehensive Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
35 min read

Installing laminate flooring yourself is so simple that you’ll wonder why anyone would hire a professional to do it for them in the first place. Laminate flooring, unlike ceramic tile, does not require grout, cement, or adhesives to set up while you are working, unlike ceramic tile. Laminated flooring, on the other hand, is pre-installed and does not require nails to be driven into the subfloor.

The subfloor or underlayment is not linked to laminate flooring, making it a floating floor covering. One day should be enough time to complete the installation of laminate flooring in practically any room.


Before You Begin

The subfloor or old flooring surface must be level, smooth, and free of debris before the new flooring can be installed. In most cases, laminate flooring can be laid straight over old floor coverings such as sheet vinyl, so long as the surface is completely flat, smooth, and without any soft or cushiony spots. A simple underlayment of foam sheeting is usually sufficient as a base for laminate planks. In other cases, you may need to remove the floor and lay down a thin plywood subfloor before installing the foam sheets and laminate flooring.

How to Lay Laminate Flooring | Our Step By Step Guide For Everyone

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • There must be a flat, smooth and clean surface on the subfloor or existing flooring prior to the installation process. Laminate flooring can be laid over previous floor coverings, such as sheet vinyl, as long as the surface is flat, smooth, and not squishy or cushiony. Laminate planks can be installed on top of a basic foam underlayment. However, if the floor surface is damaged or uneven, you may need to remove it and lay down a solid underlayment of thin plywood before laying the foam sheets and installing laminate flooring.
  • Hammer
  • Pulling a bar or a tap block
  • Mallet made out of rubber (optional)
  • Measurement with a tape
  • Straightedge
  • Speed square
  • Sawhorse (optional)
  • Box of chalk


  • Floors made of laminate
  • Tape and an underlayment
  • Recycled wooden spacers

Test the Flooring Layout

Find out how the space will look by fitting some laminate boards to it first. It’s easier to utilize the flooring itself rather than measuring and calculating for a small to medium-sized room.

Assemble a long wall of planks across the space. You can either lock the side joints together or just butt the planks against each other; be careful not to walk on the floor if the joints are not fastened together.

Planks should be arranged end-to-end in a row. Do not force the planks to lock together! This would result in a difficult-to-open lock that could also harm the corners.

Pull up the planks and stack them in a neighboring spot after you have a sense of the general layout.

Install the Underlayment or Vapor Barrier

Underlayment is always recommended by laminate flooring manufacturers before the flooring is laid down. In addition to providing a heat barrier and making the laminate flooring more comfortable to walk on, this thin but dense foam layer also aids in the flooring’s ability to bridge small gaps and bumps in the subfloor. 1

Underlayment sheets should be rolled out and trimmed to fit snugly around each other, but they should not overlap. Tape the seams, as the manufacturer recommends. Adhesive edges are included in some underlayments, which are used to bind the pieces together.

Trim the underlayment to fit the walls and obstructions with a utility knife.


A moisture or vapor barrier may be recommended by the flooring manufacturer if you are installing new flooring over an already existing slab of concrete or similar surface that is susceptible to moisture. Underlayment can also act as a moisture barrier in certain cases. Alternatively, you can use tape to seal the seams of plastic sheeting to create a moisture barrier. Underlayment is usually placed on top of this.

Begin the First Row of Planks

The boards that will be used to edge the first wall should have their tongues (not grooves) trimmed off. With a utility knife, a table saw, or a circular saw, you can usually get the job done.

As you lay the first row, be sure to align it with the longest wall possible, with the boards’ cut edges against the wall. Work your way leftward from the right. Lay a full-size board against the wall, spacing it about 1/4 to 3/8 inches (as instructed by the manufacturer) away from the wall and ensuring that the groove edge faces out. Use scraps of wood as spacers between the floor and the wall to keep the space open.


On the first row, it is a good idea to draw a chalk line at that point. Take measurements at various spots on the wall where planks will begin. Because walls aren’t always straight, it’s possible that the row will need to be shifted in or out (away from the wall). The appropriate gap must be maintained and the re-installed foundation must be checked to ensure it covers the gap. On the first row, it is critical that the groove edge be put in a straight line.

Complete the remaining full-length planks, making your way from the left side of the chamber to the other end. Using a hammer and a tapping block or draw bar, secure one piece to its next with a snug fit. There should be no space between the ends of the joints. To help seal the ends of the boards, some manufacturers recommend tapping them with a rubber mallet.

Finish the First Row

On your first row, as you get to the left end, your last plank will be too long. Measuring from right to left on a full-size plank will save the tongue-end for attaching to the last full plank, so make careful to transfer this measurement. It’s important to take into account the wall’s extension.

Use a circular saw or a jigsaw to trim the wood to the proper length. This will be the first plank in the second row, starting back at the right side, so keep the cut-off end.

Glue the tongue-and-groove end joint on each end of the final cut piece into the first row of flooring as before. At the end of a set, a draw bar comes in especially handy.

Plan the Next Rows

The last piece of each row is always cut off, starting the next row of flooring on the right with the cut-off piece from the left.

Laminated plank rows should have a sawtooth appearance to prevent seams from matching in neighboring rows. Structural stability would be compromised as well as aesthetics if this were to occur.

Cut pieces should be at least 16 inches long, but if the flooring is solid and secure, the lengths can be as short as 1 foot. The first row should begin with a partial board on the right end if you find yourself with a short chopped piece on the left end. As a result, the cut board on the left will be a suitable length for the project.

Continue Laying More Rows

The second and succeeding rows of planks should be installed in a manner similar to, but slightly different from, the first row. Hold each piece at a 45-degree angle and insert its long tongue edge into the groove of its preceding row, then lower it flat to the floor to secure it in place. Finally, use a hammer and tapping block or a pull bar to tap the piece into its neighbor in the adjacent row (on all but the first piece in each row).

Install the Last Row

It is likely that you will have to rip your final row of planks to complete the room’s flooring installation unless you are exceptionally fortunate. Allow for the 1/4-inch expansion gap between the flooring and the wall by marking planks in this last row for ripping. This is the last row of planks that need to be cut.

Refitting ripped planks in the same manner as before is necessary for this final row. Working so close to the wall makes this a little more difficult with the final row of planks. It’s still possible to slant the board up to get it into locking position in even the most constrained of areas, such as under a cabinet overhang.

Remove any spacers, then apply baseboard molding around the room’s perimeter to complete the installation. The molding should completely cover the spaces in the walls.


Mark the long cutting lines for rip cuts along the length of the flooring boards with a long straightedge, a T-square, or a chalk line. Mark crosscut lines with a speed square or try square.

Tips for Cutting Laminate Flooring

When cutting or ripping laminate planks, you don’t have to worry about your technique too much. The planks are very thin, with a core of fiberboard that cuts easily. Perfect cuts aren’t necessary because they’ll be covered up by the baseboards and molding when they’re installed.

When cutting or ripping laminate planks, you don’t have to worry about your technique too much. The planks are very thin, with a core of fiberboard that cuts easily. Perfect cuts aren’t necessary because they’ll be covered up by the baseboards and molding when they’re installed.

Consider your cutting or ripping approach when working with laminate planks. The fiberboard core of the planks allows for easy slicing. In order for the baseboards and moldings to hide the cut edges, flawless cuts aren’t necessary.

How to Clean All Types of Flooring

Cleaning an uncarpeted floor can be done in many ways, but there are times when you need a bucket and some elbow grease to really get the job done. Whether it’s part of your spring cleaning ritual, or something you’re considering doing now that you’re spending so much time at home, it’s a good idea to go through your belongings. While cleaning your floors the appropriate manner may seem difficult at first, it’s actually rather simple as long as you take your flooring type into account. All you need to know about cleaning floors of all kinds is here.

How to Install Laminate Flooring | Cheap Flooring Guide 2019

Start by sweeping

Prior to using the mop and bucket, make sure your floor is free of any dust, hair, or other debris that might cling to it. In addition to utilizing a vacuum cleaner, a good old-fashioned dustpan and brush will accomplish the job just as well. When it comes to cleaning with a broom, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve created this video to show you how to get the most from your broom and avoid spreading dirt all over your home.

Hardwood floors

After sweeping a hardwood floor, use a damp cloth and a tiny amount of wood floor cleaner to address any stubborn stains. Flat-head mop and microfiber pad, or a microfiber string mop, that has been well wrung out, should be used to clean this type of flooring once the previous steps have been performed. As a result, follow Deborah Baldwin’s instructions at This Old House:

Cleaning solution can be controlled by spraying it on with a half teaspoon per 2 square feet of surface area, moving with the grain. There’s no need to follow up with a rinse. There’s no need to buff here, although soft socks and cloth diapers work great.

Don’t mix baking soda and vinegar to manufacture your own cleaning product. When it comes to cleaning your hardwood floor, you can use a large amount of black tea to both remove dirt and disguise any scratches. Experts disagree on the wisdom of using Murphy Oil Soap: Wood can be safely treated with it, although it can also leave a residue.


Bathrooms and kitchens were formerly popular places for hardwood floors, but over the past century, they’ve fallen out of favor. It wasn’t until germ theory became widely accepted that people weren’t happy with the idea of having porous wooden floors in areas where sanitation was critical. It was during this time that a brand-new substance known as linoleum began widely used. So, how do you get linoleum floors clean, exactly? According to the Green Cleaning Coach, Leslie Reichert:

Spray a part of the floor at a time with a mixture of hot water and a few drops of dish soap, then wipe with a damp microfiber mop. If the floor feels a little sticky to the touch, use another clean, damp microfiber mop or towel to wipe it down.

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring may have the appearance of wood or tile, but it is considerably easier to maintain. According to Bill Dearing, president of the North American Laminate Flooring Association, a laminate floor can be damaged by relatively few things. Do not allow water to penetrate the subfloor in any way. Otherwise, spot treat any particularly unclean areas with your preferred all-purpose cleaner before mopping as usual. (Dearing points out that polishing laminate flooring will damage it.)


Additionally, ceramic and porcelain tiles are generally easy to maintain. Your best bet is to use a mop and a neutral floor cleaner, being careful not to use anything too abrasive that could harm or dull the shine of the tiles. Make sure there isn’t anything stuck in the grout between the tiles by taking your time. You can use a steam cleaner on the tile and grout if you want to do a thorough job.

Vinyl flooring

Spot-treat any sticky places, then mop the vinyl floor with a neutral floor cleanser (here’s a formula for preparing your own), like tile flooring. Pouring water directly on vinyl, as with laminate, is a bad idea since you don’t want it to seep underneath the flooring. You can also go over the floor again with a solution of white vinegar and water if you detect mop streaks when you’re done.


Q. How do I clean my laminate flooring?

This gorgeous, low-maintenance flooring is also quite durable. In order to ensure that your laminate flooring lasts for many years, there are a few basic procedures to follow. Your laminate floor can be kept clean with a soft brush or other wood floor accessories by simply dust mopping or vacuuming.

  • The laminate flooring panels can be cleaned with a moist cloth or mop without causing harm, but don’t use too much water. Use a clean, soft cloth to completely dry the floor.
  • A clean, dry cloth can be used to remove any stains or water from damp feet or boots. Do not let your laminate floor get wet if you can help it.
  • Laminate floors shouldn’t be cleaned using products that contain abrasives, soaps, or “clean and shine” combos.
  • Steel wool or any other scouring pad that could damage the laminate should be avoided.
  • Laminate flooring should not be waxed or polished.
  • Avoid using chemicals or steam cleaning on the laminate flooring.

If you have tar, asphalt, paint, or oil stains on your laminate flooring, try removing them with acetone or nail polish remover. Wipe it down with a moist cloth after that.

Check out our new Laminate Flooring Learning Center for more information on cleaning laminate flooring.

Q. What are laminate floors and how are they made?

The appearance of a hardwood floor can be achieved by using laminate flooring. Although it has the appearance of wood, laminate flooring is not made from real wood. The elements that go into laminate floors are glued together under great pressure to form a single unit. A moisture-resistant HDF layer is sandwiched between two layers of laminate (high density fiberboard). High-resolution images of genuine wood flooring complete the look. Laminate flooring is then given an incredibly durable, transparent covering manufactured from resin-coated cellulose to protect it. If you’re looking to save money and time on a floor but still want the look and feel of real hardwood, laminate flooring is for you. Laminate flooring is also more environmentally friendly because to this construction, which requires less wood and makes better use of the wood fiber that is used.

Q. What is the difference between laminate flooring and hardwood flooring?

Laminate flooring and hardwood flooring both have the ability to improve the look of a property. The advantages of laminate flooring are numerous, despite the fact that hardwood is widely considered to be the better option. Laminate flooring is generally seen as a more attractive option because of the distinct distinctions between the two. There should be no installation of solid hardwood below grade, regardless of the thickness of the wood. Above or below grade, laminate flooring can be put over almost any other flooring material. Engineered hardwood flooring, on the other hand, is made up of numerous layers of wood covered with a hardwood veneer instead of being constructed entirely of solid hardwood. There are multiple layers of laminate flooring, which is typically 7mm to 8mm thick (3/8″ to 3/8″). Stability and strength are provided by the laminated construction of these pieces. Laminate flooring has a picture of hardwood on the top surface. The texture and color of natural hardwood are faithfully reproduced in high-quality pictures, and the surfaces of fine laminate flooring are very similar to the real thing. Laminated flooring is a long-lasting, resilient, and economical alternative to hardwood that is gradually becoming one of the most popular flooring options.

Q. How do laminate floor panels lock together?

A variety of edge joining technologies are available for use in the assembly of laminate flooring panels. A mallet and a tapping block are required for some laminate flooring connections, while others snap together by hand. A mixture of “bang” or “tap,” as well as a “snap,” is used by certain others. While most of the numerous ways for securing your laminate floor work effectively, it is crucial that you carefully read the instructions for installing your laminate flooring. Before you begin installing your flooring, familiarize yourself with how the pieces go together. Uniclic, Kronotex’s Clic2Clic, Classen’s EasyConnect, and Lamton’s InstaLock are all well-known and widely used laminate floor joining methods.

Q. Where can I install laminate wood flooring?

A. Laminate flooring is a versatile flooring option. It can be put in almost anywhere in your house, on wood or concrete, above or below ground. Laminate flooring should not be installed in certain areas. Due to the fact that laminate is made of wood, it is not advised that it be used in damp areas such as bathrooms, laundries, saunas, covered porches, or verandas. To avoid warping or swelling of your laminate flooring, avoid prolonged exposure to moisture of this type. It is possible to install laminate flooring in bathrooms where water will not remain on the floor for long periods if appropriate installation methods are followed. The tongue of the planks to be used in the spill-prone regions of the bathroom should be coated with a thin bead of glue before installation. When cleaning up a spill, be sure to quickly dry the area with a clean cloth.

Q. What are the advantages of laminate flooring over those of solid hardwood flooring?

laminate flooring has a number of advantages, the most obvious being that it costs half as much as traditional hardwood flooring. Depending on the type of flooring, the savings can be considerably greater. Laminated flooring, on the other hand, is designed to be simple to install, making it an excellent option for most do-it-yourselfers. Nails are not used in the installation of laminate, and glue is no longer necessary in many circumstances. In terms of speed and cost, laminate flooring is ideal. In terms of scratch and fade resistance, laminate flooring is generally meant to be superior to solid hardwood flooring.

Q. What do I need to know before I start installing my laminate floor?

A. Before beginning the process of installing a laminate floor, you should keep many factors in mind. The installation of your laminate floor will go more smoothly if you do your homework before you start.

  • Flatten, dry, and smooth your subfloor.
  • For soundproofing, always put underlayment under your laminate floor.
  • Almost any hard, flat surface can be covered with laminate flooring and underlayment/vapor barrier, including concrete, wood, vinyl, linoleum, and tile.
  • When laying laminate flooring over radiant heating, special attention must be taken. Read the laminate flooring and radiant heat system instructions thoroughly before doing any work on either of these systems.
  • Make sure you follow the directions provided by the manufacturer of your laminate flooring.
  • Allow the laminate flooring to adapt to the room for as long as possible before installing it (min. 48 hours)
  • Before installing laminate flooring, thoroughly inspect each panel for any faults or damage.

Online installation instructions are available for every brand of laminate floor sold by BuildDirect.

How to Install Laminate Flooring

A step-by-step video tutorial on how to lay laminate flooring. Everything you need to know about laying laminate flooring.

8 Essential Tools for Laminate Flooring Installations | The Family Handyman

Q. What do I have to do before installation?

A. The room in which the laminate flooring boards will be put must be acclimated for 48 hours prior to installation. At least 65°F (15°C) should be the ideal temperature for installation. Before, during, and three days after the installation, a floor surface temperature of 59°F and an overall room temperature of 64°F must be ensured.

Q. Do I have to keep staggering the planks in my laminate flooring installation?

The first row of planks should be full, the second row is 2/3, and the third row is 1/3. A For the remainder of the installation, the space between joints in each row must be at least 8 inches.

Q. How do I determine the direction in which to install my laminate flooring?

A. When planning the layout of your floor, think about the amount of light that is coming in. It is usually best to install laminate flooring with the planks running parallel to light coming in windows or glass doors. An ideal beginning wall is one that is long and straight, however this is not always practical.

Q. Will there be any cutting waste?

A. When planning the layout of your floor, think about the amount of light that is coming in. It is usually best to install laminate flooring with the planks running parallel to light coming in windows or glass doors. An ideal beginning wall is one that is long and straight, however this is not always practical.

Q. What is the reason for the necessary 10mm gap left around the perimeter of the interior and around other obstacles within it?

Consider the amount of natural light coming into your home while laying out your floor plan. Installing laminate flooring with the boards running perpendicular to the incoming light from windows or glass doors is the preferred method. Long and straight starting walls are ideal for any installation.

Q. I didn’t get my first row straight. Can I continue?

A. Stop right now. The foundation – and possibly the most important aspect – of a successful installation is a perfectly straight first row. The entire installation will be affected if the first rows are not properly aligned or the joints are not adequately sealed. It will get worse as you go on with the installation In order to avoid the formation of wedge-shaped gaps between planks on both sides and ends, all planks must be parallel to each other. Poor alignment can also be the result of residue getting stuck in the grooves. Before installing, make sure that all of the grooves are free of dirt and debris.

Q. How do I choose the right moldings?

A quick primer on laminate flooring moldings and how to make the most of them is provided here:

Molding of the shoe’s soles
Expansion space at walls and other vertical surfaces is filled with this material.
Useful for adding a finishing touch at outside openings where laminate flooring stops
Connects different-height floor coverings together with laminate.
Use a T molding in entrances or thresholds to connect two identically-sized sections of flooring together.
Stair nose molding
Stain and landings with exposed outer edges
Round molding, quarter
Molding used behind cabinets to support objects flush against the wall in the same manner that base shoe molding is.

Q. How should I install moldings?

A. Only wall moldings can be glued or nailed; floor moldings cannot be used. B.

Q. What is a floating floor?

All of the components of a floating floor are attached to each other, but they are not attached to the supporting floor in any way. Floating laminate flooring are the most common method of installation.

Q. What is HDF and what is it made of?

In its simplest form, HDF is a thick, moisture-resistant fiberboard with a high fiber density. Sawdust, shavings, and wood chips from wood processing mills go towards its creation. A melamine-urea-formaldehyde resin is applied to a pulp made from this woody source. After that, the pulp is dried and turned into panels by pressing.

Q. How is the paper applied to the HDF core?

melamine impregnated paper is thermo-fused to the core and covered with an aluminum oxide wear layer.

Q. Why is a moisture barrier used on concrete?

One of the advantages of concrete is that it can hold a lot of water. Because the soil under the concrete can transport humidity into the floor, it is critical that no direct contact be made between the laminate flooring and the concrete floor. A laminate floor’s long-term health and the installation’s success both depend on the use of a moisture barrier over all concrete surfaces.

Q. How can I get the shine of my floor to increase?

The shine cannot be altered because it is a factory-created feature. A As a result, if you have a laminate floor, you should never wax or polish it.

Q. How does laminate flooring from BuildDirect compare to other laminate flooring products?

A. All of BuildDirect’s laminate floors are made using wood fibers that have been repurposed. Self-locking tongue-and-and-groove systems from this manufacturer are known for their superior joint integrity and ease of installation without the use of glue. An environmentally friendly hydrophobic compound is applied to all edges to prevent water from getting in. BuildDirect’s laminate floors are tested to ensure that they are water, wear, fade, and stain resistant. The floor can be walked on soon after installation.

Q. Can laminate flooring be installed on steps?

Yes, laminate flooring can be laid on steps, but the planks should be fastened down with conventional wood glue for this extraordinary installation. Need to nail down the moldings and transitions.

Q. Can laminate flooring be installed in my screened in porch or patio?

There is no need to lay laminate flooring in a climate-controlled environment.

Q. Can we install laminate over carpet?

Do not remove any carpet or padding before to installation.

Q. How often do the wood grain patterns repeat on your flooring?

A. Every 20 boards, the patterns repeat.

Q. How do I care for and maintain my laminate floors?

As a result, laminate floors are not completely impervious to stains and scratches. As part of your floor’s routine maintenance, we propose the following techniques to improve the longevity and aesthetic appeal of your laminate flooring.

  • You may protect your laminate flooring by placing a doormat outside the door to catch any moisture, sand, grit, and other potentially damaging elements before they reach your home.
  • On a laminate surface, only use colorfast, non-scratch carpets or pads.
  • You don’t want to put sharp or pointed things with concentrated weight, such high heels, on laminate flooring.
  • Protective felt pads or wide castors can be used under furniture legs or appliance levelers.
  • Furniture and appliances should not be slid across your laminate flooring. Rolling dollies can damage laminate surfaces, so cover them with plywood or another protective material before moving heavy furniture or appliances.
  • Increase the resistance to indentation of furniture by rearranging it from time to time.
  • After installation, do not seal or treat your laminate floor panels.
  • Laminate flooring should never be sanded, lacquered, or refinished.

How to Install Laminate Flooring – Forbes Advisor

Q. How do I repair minor scratches?

A. Laminate floor repair paste can be used to patch minor scratches or nicks. B. Almost every retail flooring store should carry it.

Q. What is the difference between a brown core and a green core in laminate flooring?

The cores are interchangeable. A The green product is the consequence of the addition of a coloring agent to the adhesive used in the manufacture of the HDF core.

Q. How do I replace one plank of my flooring due to damage?

Planks can be replaced by disassembling the floor and then reinstalling the planks. A. (s). It’s more difficult to replace a single board that’s hard to reach using this method. The detailed instructions can be obtained by contacting a BuildDirect product specialist. 1-877-631-2845 is the toll-free number.

Q. What is the wear rating for your product?

a. The AC3 rating is found on every laminate floor available from BuildDirect (suitable for all residential applications in addition to light commercial applications such as hotel rooms and small offices).

Q. What is a laminate flooring AC rating?

A. The Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (ELPF) has adopted AC hardness ratings as a standard metric. All of these factors are considered in the AC test, which measures the durability of a material’s surface. AC clearance will be rejected if a laminate flooring fails to meet all of the requirements for each of these ratings. If you buy laminate flooring from BuildDirect, you can rest assured that it has a minimum punishment class of 23 (heavy) or 31 (moderate). Both AC ratings 4 and 5 can be used in the home, but are better suited for high-volume commercial applications. AC ratings lower than 3 should only be used in low-volume residential areas. Here’s a more in-depth explanation:

  • AC1 is best suited for areas with less traffic, such as a bedroom.
  • AC2 can be used in living rooms and dining rooms in the average home.
  • A broader range of settings can benefit from AC3, including tiny offices and other types of light commercial establishments.
  • High-traffic business facilities, such as boutiques, offices, and dining establishments, can all benefit from AC4 installation
  • Even though AC5 is still quite robust, it can endure the heavy traffic of department shops and public buildings.
Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.