Laminate Flooring Installation Checklist
If you’re planning to do a DIY installation, keep this checklist handy! Although a laminate flooring installation is DIY friendly, there are some important factors to keep in mind. Go over our checklist first before you begin your project.
Read all of the manufacturer instructions before you begin your installation. This will outline specific tools, specifications and installation instructions needed for your particular laminate floor.
Laminate floors need an acclimatizing period to adjust to the temperature of your home or office. Floors should acclimate for 24 – 48 hours depending on the manufacturer specifications. Floors should be stacked, unopened in the room(s) in which it will be installed.
Acclimating allows planks to adjust to the temperature and become unified. This helps all planks to expand or contract as needed for a perfect fit within the locking system.
PREPARE YOUR SUBFLOOR
Although you don’t see it, preparing your subfloor is a key factor when it comes to installing laminate. Your subfloor should be sturdy and free from damage. Read more about preparing your subfloor here:
A constant temperature between acclimatization and installation is very important. Since laminate flooring is a wood product, damage can occur if the flooring absorbs humidity or dries. The temperature should be between 64 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level between 25 and 70%.
GATHER YOUR TOOLS
For a smooth installation, we recommend gathering all of the tools you will need before you begin your flooring project. Keep tools close by for easy access. Be sure to have any power tools, such as a saw, in another area to limit exposure to dust. Getting any debris in your locking system could cause gaps and an insecure lock.
After your subfloor is prepared and your tools are gathered, it’s time to install you underlayment. If you purchased a floor with attached underlayment, you can skip to the next step, unless you are laying a vapor barrier over a concrete subfloor. Click on our underlayment guide for detailed underlayment installation steps.
BEGIN FIRST ROW
It’s time to start your first row! First, open a few boxes to work out of for pattern differentiation. Lay out the first row and mark your cutting measurement for the last plank.
Start in a corner with the groove side towards the wall. You will want to lock your second row into the tongue part. Add spacers around the plank for the expansion gap. Connect the end of the first plank to the edge of the second plank and continue your row until the wall. This is where you will use your cut plank. Start the second row with the other part of the cut plank.
Get details installation guides here:
MOLDINGS AND TRIM
Did you order trim and transition pieces with your flooring? To complete your flooring project, you’ll want to cover the expansion gaps with a quarter round or wall base molding. If you have doorways and other obstacles, you may need some transition pieces. Check out our molding guide to figure out what moldings you’ll need and how to install them.