There are some things you need to know before you start a laminate flooring installation. The most important step is reviewing the installation guide and the manufacturer’s guide. Laminate flooring will be a permanent fixture in your home for years, so installing it correctly is key!
Use our laminate flooring installation tips to avoid potential problems with your floor, before and after your installation. Print our Installation Dos and Don’ts list for your reference!
Read through this list of laminate flooring installation “DOs” before you get started:
– Read the instructions provided by the flooring manufacturer
– Determine the flooring direction and pattern before starting
– Let the floor to acclimate to room temperature for at least 48 hours before installing
– Make sure your subfloor is: prepared, level, clean and structurally sound
– Gather all of the tools you will need to install your laminate flooring
– Use and install the proper laminate underlayment (if it is not attached to your floor)
– Tape together the seams of your underlayment as you are laying it
– Inspect planks to see any visible damage. It is recommended to look at three random boxes
– Use a laminate installation kit to help with installation
– Use small pieces of scrap laminate as spacers to save and keep the same size of the expansion gap.
– Leave at least .25″ expansion gap around the perimeter. Leave .5″ for large areas.
– Stagger rows one plank width from each other
– Joints should be 12″ – 18″ apart for structural support
– Don’t install laminate on any flooring with a drain
– Don’t install laminate on an uneven subfloor
– Don’t install laminate flooring in an area where it will be exposed to constant dampness or extremely high or low humidity
– Don’t install laminate flooring in an outdoor environment
– Don’t install laminate over residential carpet
– Don’t install a double layer of laminate underlayment—too much cushion can compromise the locking system and integrity of the joints
– Don’t run your laminate floor lengthwise over 30 linear feet without a transition strip
– Don’t continue installation through openings that are less than 48″ wide—you must use a transition molding
– Don’t cut laminate in the same area where you’re installing in—keep your installation area clean from dust and debris (flooring, subfloor, underlayment)
– Don’t cut into the back of the laminate, as this will cause chipping in the decorative top layer. Always be sure to cut into the decorative layer when making a cut.
– Don’t nail wall base molding or quarter round to the floor—always fix it to the wall with room underneath for the floor to expand and contract
Tip: When you purchase your laminate flooring, make sure you also purchase any thresholds, quarter round and base molding at the same time. This will save you time and money. Remember, laminate flooring comes in an array of colors and will meet your decorating needs. The durability and strength that laminate flooring offers is something you will appreciate for years to come.