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Can I use laminate flooring on walls?

Yes, you can install laminate flooring on walls! Laminate flooring on walls has become a trend in homes and businesses. Not only is it a unique way to bring incredible style to any room but it is also affordable which makes it a win-win. It can be easily installed on walls and creates a modern, nature-inspired look. The installation process can appear intimidating, but with preparation and the below information, you will have a creative new look in no time.

Installing Laminate Flooring on Walls

Below you will find everything you need to know about bringing this design style to your own home or business, including a list of supplies, step-by-step instructions, and a video tutorial. As always, you can call us at 1-800-520-0961 or utilize our online chat if you need assistance or have additional questions.

Tools and Supplies

  • Laminate Flooring
  • Trim
  • Measuring Tape
  • Stud Finder
  • Pencil
  • Chalk Line
  • Table Saw
  • Construction Adhesive
  • Chaulk Gun
  • Nail Gun
  • Brad Nails
  • Air Compressor
  • Saftey Glasses
  • You may want to purchase 1/4″ shims in order to assure you have a proper expansion gap

How to Install Flooring on a Wall

The installation process is very similar to installing laminate on your subfloor, however, the planks must be permanently attached to the wall so they stay in their place. It is important to remember that you still need an expansion gap when installing on your walls, as the material will still expand and contract with changes in temperature and moisture levels. Below you will find step-by-step instructions on how to install flooring on your wall. You may also refer to this video by Armstrong flooring for a visual representation of the steps listed below.

  1. Measure the height and width of your wall in order to determine the amount of flooring you need. As with floor installations, you will need to purchase 5-10% extra flooring to allow for errors as well as cutting pieces to fit.
  2. Prior to installation, you will need to allow your flooring to acclimate to the temperature and humidity of the room. You can do this by removing the planks from the box in the room you are installing them in.  Always refer to your manufacturer’s guide to know exactly how long your particular flooring needs to acclimate for.
  3. You will need to make sure you have a 1/4″ expansion gap around the entire perimeter of the wall. As I mentioned in the tools and supplies list, you may want to purchase 1/4″ shims in order to assure you have a proper expansion gap.
  4. You will need to use a stud finder to find the studs in your wall. Once you have located them, you will want to mark their locations with a chalk line.
  5. Next, you will want to lay out your planks on your floor to get an idea of how they are going to look on your wall. You can arrange them however you feel is visually appealing. For a more random, natural look, you will want to make sure the end joints of adjacent rows are staggered at least 6″ apart. You will also want to avoid allowing plank ends to align. You may need to rip your first row of planks to assure everything fits nicely. Ripping a plank means making a straight cut lengthwise.
  6. Once you have your planks laid out how you want, it’s time to begin your install. Prepare to do this by loading your nail gun and by cutting off the tip of your construction adhesive and placing it in the caulk gun. Apply your adhesive in a serpentine pattern (a repeating letter S) to the back of the first plank of the bottom row.
  7. Place the plank on the wall above your expansion gap and face-nail the plank at the stud location. Make sure the nail is low enough that the trim will cover it. You are going to then blind-nail the plank through the groove at the stud location. Repeat this process until your first bottom row is complete.
  8. Apply adhesive in the same manner as you did for the bottom row to the planks for your next row. Use the angle-angle installation method to angle and fold your flooring into place. (Make sure to double-check your flooring manufacturer’s installation guide to make sure this method will work for you.)
  9. Since only the planks in the bottom row get face-nailed, you will go straight to blind-nailing through the groove at the stud location for the rest of your installation.
  10. Continue to apply the adhesive to your planks in a serpentine pattern, use the angle-angle installation method, and blind-nail as you continue up the wall.
  11. You may need to rip the last row of planks in the same manner that you had to rip the first row. Do not forget to leave that expansion gap at the top.
  12. Lastly, add trim work to create a finished look.

Laminate Flooring on Walls

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • This installation guide is based upon installing laminate on your walls.
  • The installation wall should be primed or painted drywall ONLY. Make sure you DO NOT install directly over wallpaper or paneling.
  • As mentioned above, always refer to your flooring manufacturer’s guide for acclimation information, installation information and proper care instructions.
  • Expansion gap, expansion gap, expansion gap! This is so important when installing flooring whether on the subfloor or on your wall.
Laminate Flooring Barn Door

Do you have additional questions we can answer? We will be happy to help. Post your question below this article. You may also browse our wide selection of laminate flooring remnants for your laminate wall project.

More Unique Design Ideas:

About Bestlaminate

Bestlaminate
Bestlaminate’s blog is dedicated to you by making the home improvement process easier and more affordable. We hope to make your home remodeling and maintaining a more positive experience.

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14 comments

  1. can you install laminate directly on to the wall framing , no drywall The framing is 16 inches on center and fully insulated with vapor barrier.

    • Hi Roy, thanks for reaching out. You can go ahead and install laminate directly on the wall framing. We recommend using a nail gun and adhesive on the studs to ensure the flooring is well secured. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  2. How about installing in a rv. I want to put on one wall in the living room. I did put vinyl planking on the floor and love it. I don’t like the weight of laminate, but. Please give me your thoughts.

    • Hi Rodney, thanks for reaching out. When installing any flooring on the wall, the most important factor is to make sure that the flooring is secured properly so it doesn’t fall off. When installing on a regular wall, you can nail planks directly into the studs in your wall. In an RV, we assume there are no studs, so the only option is to glue the flooring to the wall. Like you mentioned, laminate may be too heavy and there is no guarantee that glue will hold. Vinyl is definitely a better option, since it is more light weight. Your best bet is to try installing a thin vinyl with a heavy duty glue. Please know, the warranty on your floor will be voided. We hope this helps!

  3. Can I install laminate flooring over paneling?

    • Hi Ron, thanks for reaching out. If you are referring to wall paneling, that should be fine. Please make sure that the paneling is secured to the wall, and nail the laminate to the wall or paneling so you don’t have to worry about the laminate falling from your wall. Hope this helps!

  4. 7mm thickness of laminate flooring sufficient for walls?

    What’s the thickest you can use?

    Is there a double sided tape I could use INSTEAD of an adhesive?

    • Hi John, thanks for reaching out. We have seen many of our customers install laminate on walls and it looks great! We recommend nailing the planks to a stud on the wall, using a nail gun on the locking edge. This way, you can be certain that each plank is properly mounted to the wall. We would not recommend using double sided tape. As far as thickness, there is no rule but we advise using a thinner laminate since it will be more lightweight. Please know, laminate is intended to be installed on the floor, so installing on the wall will void your warranty. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  5. Can you tell me why I need to prime or paint new drywall?

    • Hi Dennis, thanks for your comment. You can go ahead and install directly on new dry wall, or on a primed and painted wall. The blog post recommends not to install directly over wallpaper or paneling, and this is to ensure that the flooring is well attached to the wall.

  6. Can I glue the laminate to a concrete wall?

    • Great question, Jerry! Yes, you can glue laminate flooring to a concrete wall. You will need cove base adhesive, because it is formulated for quick grab and rapid set-up for faster, stronger installations. You can find this type of adhesive at any hardware department store. Happy installing!

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