Can I use laminate flooring on walls?

Yes, you can install laminate flooring on walls! Laminate flooring on walls has become a popular trend in homes and businesses. Not only is it a unique way to bring incredible style to any room, but it’s affordable, which makes it a win-win.

It can be easily installed on walls and can create a rustic, modern or unique feel. The installation process can appear intimidating, but with preparation and the below information, you will have a creative new look in no time.

laminate flooring installed on the wall

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.

whitewashed laminate installed on wall

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.

whitewash laminate on wall

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 on walls

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.

54 comments

  1. Avatar

    Can adding laminate to a wall create noise reduction on the other side of the wall?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Kate, thanks for the question. I do not know if it has been actually tested, but I am going to say yes, as it creates an additional barrier for the noise to have to travel through.

  2. Avatar

    We are gutting a room and want to install laminate flooring on the floor and walls. We will be installing a 3/8″ or 7/16″ OSB substrate to all the walls. Can laminate flooring be installed on walls with an OSB substrate? Does the substrate need to be painted or primed?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Debbie, thanks for the question. It should only be installed on primed drywall. Laminate is heavy and I am not sure the OSB would hold the weight properly. Drywall should be primed or painted.

  3. Avatar

    Hi there,
    I do like to install laminate flooring on my basement walls. It is already insulated and plastic covered but no drywall installed. Can I install laminate flooring on the wall instead of drywall?

  4. Avatar

    Can I use the sticky foam used to stick plasterboard sheets to walls? The walls I wish to cover are plaster finish over brick.

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Steve, thanks for your question. Are you putting plasterboard over the brick? Your wall will need to be solid and stable to install the laminate planks. They are heavy and require a wall that can hold the weight. Be sure to use a material that works well with the adhesive you choose.

  5. Avatar

    I plan to put flooring on a wall where one end will be in a corner, but the other end of the flooring will be exposed as part of the wall continues over a doorway. I have heard to use quarter round in the corner, but what would you recommend on the other exposed end to help it look sharp??

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Rob, thanks for the question. A quarter round is going to make it look the most finished. Some may use a caulking to fill in the gap, but this doesn’t look quite as good. You could also just try to really make straight edges at the corners for a streamlined look. Sorry I don’t have any better recommendations!

  6. Avatar

    If laminate flooring used on walls is fixed with adhesive and nails at the studs then how does it expand properly?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Steve, thanks for the question. You should still leave an expansion gap around the edges for the floor to move. Although the back layer will be glued to the wall, the physical core is what will expand and contract. Just like an engineered hardwood floor, it can still expand and contract even though nailed or adhered to the floor. Since a wall application will not be walked on or have spills, it doesn’t experience pressure on the joints or extreme swelling, which is why we can adhere a laminate to the wall – unlike an actual floor install.

  7. Avatar
    John Wilson Hopkins

    How do you recommend attachment to metal studs on 24″ centers ?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi John, thanks for the question. With metal studs, you will use adhesive only – cove base type with instant tackiness.

    • Avatar

      Any reason why I can’t install only using a finishing nail gun right through the laminate into the studs? No adhesive. Is it due to how it looks or will it break the laminate?

      Second question, ok to install on painted drywall with a very thin knockdown applied?

      • Alana Kane

        Hi Tom, thanks for the question. I believe due to the weight of the planks, it’s advised to also use adhesive. Also, yes, you will probably need to patch over the holes then. Installing over the knockdown may cause an issue due to it not being level. You will want the planks to sit on a smooth surface.

  8. Avatar

    Id like to install vinyl plank interlocking flooring on a thick plywood or composite, particle board. This board would be a wall btw room and closet. I guess id nail it down, maybe w the help of a glue?. But if secured like that why would an expansion gap be required?. I didn’t mind adding the gap, but just trying to understand. Also what type of nails? And what type of adhesive?

  9. Avatar

    I’m installing Evoke Laminate Flooring to an old Fireplace Brick. Which glue to use, and do I take the pad off the floor before gluing

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Ron, for that application, it looks like a polyurethane or silicone adhesive will be best. Your local hardware store should be able to give you some recommendations!

  10. Avatar

    How do you handle edges with plank flooring on the wall? I have two concerns: I’m doing an L-shaped wall so what border to use where the two walls meet, and what about the edge of the wall which is true-opened-into-the-room edge? Quarter round in both cases? I can’t just leave it rough…

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Brian, thanks for the question. It depends on the look you want! If you’re OK with a bit of a gap, you could simply fill it in with adhesive or wood filler. If you prefer a quarter round, you can use that as well. If you look closely at this project, you can see they just left a small gap in the edges of where the walls meet: https://www.bestlaminate.com/blog/she-shed-diy-photo-studio/

    • Avatar

      Why can’t you install laminate on paneling

      • Alana Kane

        Hi Elaine, thanks for the question. I believe it should not be installed on paneling due to the weight and ability to secure the planks. By installing directly into the wall, you are able to secure the planks. Panelling will make it hard to secure directly to the wall. It may not support the weight of the laminate as well.

  11. Avatar

    Thank you for taking questions.. I was going to brad nail through the laminate. Will a brad nail penetrate the laminate flooring.. im not taking about the tongue part, but the board itself

    thanks

  12. Avatar

    Thank you for taking questions.. I was going to brad nail through the laminate. Will a brad nail penetrate the laminate flooring.. im not taking about the tongue part, but the board itself

    thanks

  13. Avatar

    What about laminate with an attached pad on the back? How would you go about installing this? Would you be able to still use adhesive and would it still bond the attached pad and the wall? The laminate I am looking at comes with the attached pad already on it.

    • Avatar

      Hey Nate, I have a feeling you are not going to like my response. Unfortunately you are going to want to remove the pad firstsince the attached pad has a glue already and could come apart. Also you would still want to glue it directly to the wall and still nail it.

      • Avatar

        Why can’t I put laminate flooring over my old wallpapered hall walls?

        • Alana Kane

          Hi Lisa, thanks for the question. You can install over the wallpaper as long as the wall is in good shape and smooth. You can nail the laminate over the wallpaper.

      • Avatar

        Can I nail floor. Right to studs. And face nail it? Want to pit in outdoor kitchen

        • Alana Kane

          Hi Lee, thanks for the question. If it is outdoor, I would recommend using an SPC vinyl. It is waterproof and will stay ridged when heated by the sun. You can use finish nails on wood studs in combination with adhesive. Hope this helps!

  14. Avatar

    Hi, I want to create a laminate accent wall using different colors. I know I need to buy from the same manufactuer but does the planks have to be the same thickness?

    • Avatar

      Hi Jennifer, thank you for reaching out. In order to interlock the planks, they honestly need to be from within the same line of flooring, not just the same brand. This would end up meaning that the thickness needs to be the same as well.

  15. Avatar

    I would like to install laminate in the kitchen as a backsplash. It would be going over 1″ x 2″ ceramic tile. Does the tile need to come down? Also, some sites talk about whether a particular laminate is suitable for a vertical installation or not. Others do not make that distinction. If there is a difference, what makes a laminate suitable (or not) for vertical installation?

    • Avatar

      Hey John! Thank you for reaching out. If the laminate flooring is meant for a floating installation, there is not going to be any specific install for that purpose. Also, laminate is not water proof – so that would be a slight risk for that type of install.

  16. Avatar

    do I need to use adhesive with a waterproof laminate that has a plastic backing in a bathroom and exactly how do I attach and where? thank you

    • Avatar

      Hey Pam! Great question. If it is meant for a floating application, adhesive is not necessary. I would recommend contacting the manufacturer directly to determine if it is acceptable, that way you can avoid any warranty issues.

  17. Avatar

    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.

    • Avatar

      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!

  18. Avatar

    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.

    • Avatar

      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!

  19. Avatar

    Can I install laminate flooring over paneling?

    • Avatar

      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!

  20. Avatar

    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?

    • Avatar

      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!

  21. Avatar

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

    • Avatar

      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.

  22. Avatar

    Can I glue the laminate to a concrete wall?

    • Avatar

      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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