Home Laminate Flooring Laminate Flooring Installation: Frequently Asked Questions

Laminate Flooring Installation: Frequently Asked Questions

by Bestlaminate
Published: Last Updated on 19 comments 7 minutes read

Laminate flooring installation is a great project for DIY homeowners! But don’t fret if you find yourself having questions, it’s only natural! Here’s a list of 10 frequently asked questions right from our customers.

1. Can laminate flooring be installed on steps?

Yes, laminate floor can be installed on steps. The planks should be glued with regular wood glue with no underlayment. The moldings and transitions need to be nailed down. Here’s more information about installing on steps.

2. Can I glue laminate flooring?

It is possible to glue the planks together. In some cases, this is actually recommended by the manufacturer to seal the joints in water-prone areas. For example, in some cases it is suggested to seal the joints in the bathroom and certain areas of the kitchen. Check with the specific floor first and evaluate your project before determining if this is a necessary procedure for your floor.

Keep in mind that these floors should not be glued to the subfloor, and only within the tongue and groove.


3. Can laminate flooring be installed in basements?

Yes, laminate flooring can be installed in basements. Make sure your underlayment has a vapor barrier to keep moisture from coming up through the cement subfloor. This excess moisture can ruin your lamiante flooring. A good underlayment for this type of installation is Visqueen Vapor Barrier. Do not install on any floor with a drain and make sure you subfloor is level.

Shep Greene - QS Burlap Hickory 2

4. Can laminate flooring be installed over carpet?

Laminate flooring cannot be installed over carpet. Laminate flooring is a floating floor system- meaning it is designed to cover any floor surface without being fixed to it. This makes it possible to cover almost anything- from linoleum to vinyl, ceramic to hardwood, and of course concrete and plywood sub-floors. Carpet is the only exception. While it is possible to install laminate over industrial carpet, any other type must be removed along with the padding underneath. Installing over plush carpet types creates too much flexibility under the laminate flooring, which can cause the locking system to break due to too much padding.

5. How much space should be left for expansion?

The  most important rule  for laminate flooring installation is to leave an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room and around any stationery objects such as pipes, columns, built in cabinets, etc. For a standard room you need to leave at least ¼” space for floor expansion. For bigger rooms, you need bigger expansion gaps. Ignoring this important rule may cause the floor to buckle.

6. Can laminate flooring be installed over heated floors?

Absolutely. Floors with radiant heat are no problem- you just want to be sure that the temperature is below 80°F at all times. Turn the heat down to 60°F one week before installation, so that the floor can properly acclimate to the room temperature. As with installing over concrete, a vapor barrier is required underneath your foam underlayment, to protect against humidity.

7. Can laminate flooring be installed over carpet underlayment?

No, you have to remove it. Carpet underlayment is too thick. The most laminate flooring underlayment is only 3mm thick (1/8”). If you reuse your thick carpet padding, your floor will be too bouncy and it may damage locking system. Use our tutorials and get yourself familiar with the installation of the laminate underlayment.

8. What’s the best tool to use to cut laminate flooring?

Any type of saw with a medium-coarse blade works fine for cutting laminate, however the best option is to use a table saw for all of your straight cuts, and a jigsaw where you need to cut around doorjambs and other obstacles. When cutting the laminate, it is very important that the teeth of the blade are cutting into the decorative surface of the laminate- this way all chipping takes place on the back side. Laminate flooring is very DIY friendly, and to install it you need just few basic tools. A friend will be helpful too.

9. What is underlayment and is it necessary?

The foam underlayment is essential to the bow and flex of the laminate. Being a wood product, it will expand and contract with the climate of the room- and the foam allows it to do this without any friction between the laminate and the floor underneath it. For installation over concrete, you must first put down a plastic vapor barrier before laying the foam.

10. How long should the floor acclimate prior to installation?

The recommended time for acclimation is 48 to 72 hours. Be sure that while this process is taking place, you have the room temperature set between 59° to 68°F with a relative humidity of 50-60%. Always be sure to refer to the installation instructions to find the acclimation hours, room temperature, and relative humidity recommendation specific to your flooring brand.
Acclimate your flooring by cross stacking the boxes

Do you have additional questions we can answer? Head over to our Bob & Betsy series to find more frequently asked questions or you can post them below this article and we will be happy to help you!

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*This post was updated from 2010 to give you a better reading experience!

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Bev August 14, 2022 - 1:02 am

I have carpet over concrete in my basement. The carpet is damaged in one area and we would like to lay laminate in that square area up to a section where we want to keep as carpet. (So not a traditional transition like a doorway but a line in the middle of a room) how can I transition from laminate to carpet to ensure my laminate does not move. Do I glue a transition piece to the floor between the carpet and laminate.

Rachel Vahcic August 16, 2022 - 1:40 pm

Thanks for your question, Bev! We would recommend using a reducer molding or a t-molding depending on the height different between the carpet and the laminate. You can certainly add this piece in the middle of the room and still have a smooth and nice looking transition!

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