Installing laminate flooring may look challenging, but it’s actually quite simple. Before you start, make sure you have these flooring installation tools and supplies ready:
Jig saw to cut laminate(w/ upside down, medium teeth)
Undercutting Saw to undercut door jambs (vibratory undercut saw)
Installation Kit (tapping block, pull bar, spacers)
Moldings and transition pieces
One of the simplest, but easiest ways to get a good idea of how to lay your laminate flooring is to read the instruction. Many people never open the installation instructions that come with the product.
Open the boxes and allow them to come to room temperature by letting them adjust for at least 48 hours. The room temperature should be 60 degree minimum. When the boxes are stacked, cross stack them. This will eliminate any potential warping or bending of the laminate planks.
While your floor is acclimating, you must remove all the moldings, baseboards, or heat registers on the floor that would interfere with the installation. If you decided to keep your wall base intact, right after your floor installation simply cover the expansion gap with a quarter round molding.
If the room is currently carpeted, the carpet, underlayment, tack strips, and tacks must be removed. Make sure the floor is all clear, and if any floorboards are loose- nail them in, so you don’t have to deal with squeaky floors.
Make sure the sub-floor is in good repair. If it is not intact, or smooth, make sure this is corrected before you lay the laminate foam underlayment.
When you are ready to lay your floor, determine which way you want your floor to go. Usually, the floor will look best when laid perpendicular from the windows- the light will shine on the length of the board and all the colors and patters will be noticeable.
TIP: When you remove the planks from the boxes, analyze each one. Some planks may work better as starter pieces, while others work better everywhere. Should you find several unacceptable planks, return them to your supplier and see what can be done to assist you with your situation.
Installing the underlayment:
It’s time to put down the underlayment. It must put down in stripes, butting but not overlapping. If it overlaps, your floor will end up uneven. The main reason for underlayment is to allow your floor to float; it will help with minor sub-floor imperfections and reduce noise. When the sub-floor is cement, vapor barrier is necessary- it prevents any potential humidity to come through the floor and ruin your laminate flooring.
Installing the floor:
Follow installation instructions from the label included in each box of laminate flooring.
Install floor transitions; reinstall moldings, doors, heat registers, and you’re done!