How to Install Laminate Flooring

how to install laminate flooringLaminate flooring is one of the best flooring options available today for both the do-it-yourselfer and professional flooring installers.  Laminate flooring is such an attractive flooring option because it is durable, beautiful and easy to install.  Laminate flooring can achieve all these great characteristics because it is literally engineered and designed this way.

Unlike natural floor coverings like hardwood or stone, laminate flooring is designed and manufactured to meet certain levels of durability and to look certain ways.  Laminate flooring is made up of different layers of materials bonded and pressed together, then treated to give it extra durability and strength.  The layers can be made up of resin, wood fiber or paper.  The top layer of the laminate flooring is actually an image designed and created in high resolution to give your laminate flooring the look and feel you want.  When most of us think of laminate flooring we think of laminate designed to look like standard hard woods, but laminate flooring is available in a huge variety of natural hard wood designs as well as other wood designs and even slate or stone designs.  All these features make laminate flooring a great option for your new floor.

If you’re wondering how to install laminate flooring, let’s just say it’s a snap.  Unlike many floor coverings, laminate floors actually are never secured to the floor.  Laminate flooring is installed as a floating floor meaning that all the pieces are attached to each other but not to the subfloor underneath.  This is one of the features that makes laminate flooring so easy to install.  There is no need for fancy nail guns, tedious hammering or sticky glue where it can be hard to work with.

Before you start, simply make sure your subfloor is clean and flat.  Also, make sure you have 10%-15% extra material than your actual square footage.  Bring the flooring into the room it will be installed in about 48 hours ahead of time to allow the laminate flooring to adjust to the room’s temperature and humidity levels.

Next, remove all of the base trim in the room so you can install the new flooring close to the walls.  Also take a small piece of flooring around to any door jambs and trim the jambs to allow the board to slide under them.  This will allow for a uniform look without removing your door jambs or trim.  If needed, lay down your vapor barrier over the subfloor as the manufacturer suggests.  For more information, you can read this article about vapor barriers.  Now you’re ready to install your floor!

Start by choosing the direction the planks will lay by looking at the room from different doorways or seating area.  It often looks best to lay the planks parallel with the longest wall in the room.  Start your first board with the grooved side facing the wall and put spacers in to keep the 1st board about ½” from the wall.  This gap will allow space for your new floor to expand and contract with temperature differences and will be covered by the trim piece you removed earlier.

How to Install Laminate FlooringOnce you have your first plank in place the rest of the floor is as easy as snapping the next plank in place and making sure your board ends are staggered by about 8 to 10 inches.  Your last board will need to be cut along the far wall.  Make sure to measure the distance every foot or so to account for walls that are not quite parallel.  Don’t forget to leave ½” gap all the way around the perimeter of the room to allow for expansion.  With your floating laminate floor in place you can install threshold strips at doorways or transitions to a different floor covering and reinstall your base board trim.

Laminate flooring is easy to install since it can be done without the use of glue or nails.  If you still have more questions about how to install laminate flooring then contact the professionals at Carolina Flooring Services.  Whether you are looking to simply purchase your flooring from us or want to take advantage of our installation services which include free on sight measurements, removal of your old flooring and professional installation including moving and replacing your furniture and trim pieces, Carolina Flooring Services is the Charleston area’s best source for laminate flooring.  Call us today at 843-225-0700 or visit our website to learn more about how to install laminate flooring.

Pictures courtesy of:
Laminate Flooring – By Kate Brooke Licensed by Createive Commons Share Alike 3.0 Original Link
How to Install Laminate Flooring – “Laminate” by Enoch Lai Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – Original Link



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