laying laminate flooring

How to Install Laminate Wood Flooring

Want to learn how to install laminate wood flooring? Laminate wood flooring has become a popular flooring option over the last two decades. Laminate is a multi-layered synthetic product designed to simulate wood. It can also be created to look like another flooring like brick or stone. Proper installation is fairly easy for do-it-yourself homeowners looking for a way to improve the look and feel of their home. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions guiding you in installing the perfect laminate wood floor.

Preparing Your Floor for Installation of Laminate Wood Flooring

You will need these items:

  • Tools to remove old flooring (Razors, Knives, Hammers, etc.)
  • Vacuum/Broom
  • Damp Cloth
  • Solvent
  • Packaged Laminate Product – Opened

To install any type of flooring a clean, smooth surface is best. However, with laminate, a better-prepared surface will prevent problems with the installation of the product. This is because laminate floats on top of the subfloor, but making sure the surface is clean helps ensure the pieces will snap together properly. Remove loose nails, replace rotted floorboards, and scrape away any glue from existing floors. Then vacuum and wipe with a damp cloth to ensure the surface is free from debris. Consult with a flooring expert to determine how much flooring you will need for the size of your room. Your laminate product will need to sit in the room where it is to be installed to acclimate to the climate of the room. Follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding how long the product should be left in the room prior to installation.

For Installation Over Concrete Subfloor

If you are installing a laminate floor over a concrete subfloor, you will need to test for moisture using a special meter. If the meter indicates more than 3% moisture, consult a flooring expert to determine how to proceed. You will also need to lay a poly-sheeting moisture barrier directly on top of the concrete to prevent moisture from seeping into your new laminate floor. On top of the moisture barrier, you will install an underlayment pad for more moisture protection and sound reduction. Leave ½ inch between the underlayment and the wall to allow circulation. Sections of underlay are joined together with special tape you can find at Carpet Mart. Some underlayment products have overlapping adhesive on each edge for easy installation.

Floating Snap and Lock System

You will need these items:

  • Laminate Product of Choice
  • Tape Measure
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Blade
  • Straight Edge Jig
  • Marker/pencil
  • Chalk Line
  • Laminate Install Kit (Pull Bar, Tapping Block, and Spacers)
  • Saw

Laminate flooring is a durable, flexible product for those looking for the beauty of a wood floor, but with less maintenance. Floating systems fit together in a tongue and groove system. To begin, the first row of planks must be installed with the tongue side facing the wall and the groove side facing away from the wall. Measure the width of the plank plus the width of the spacing block you are using. Mark the floor on one side of the room and the other, using these marks to pop a chalk line. Using your spacers along the wall install planks by locking them together. Use the tapping block on the edges to solidly connect the product together. Seams should be tight and match perfectly.

After the first row is installed, the following rows are snapped in place, staggering the seams for a random, wood floor look. Read installation instructions for tips on varying the sizes and lengths of planks during installation. You will need to use a special laminate pull bar, from your laminate install kit to fit the final flooring plank near the wall. If your boards are too long, you will use a measuring tape and saw to cut the plank to fit. Continue installing planks in a staggered pattern across the room until every area is covered.

Finishing Touches

You will need these items:

  • Laminate Floor Cleaner
  • Dust Mop

Laminate floors are very easy to clean. Using a cleaner specifically for laminate is best. Spray cleaner onto a dust mop until damp and run across the floor. The dust mop will remove particles quickly and easily. Make sure to clean up spills quickly. A liquid that sits on a laminate floor for an extended time could cause damage to your beautiful new floor.

Final Thoughts

Laminate wood flooring is a beautiful, durable flooring option to complement any room design. There are so many varieties, colors, and styles from which to choose. Contact the professionals at Carpet Mart to discover all of the available options. We listen to your design ideas and vision for your space to help select the perfect laminate floor to meet your needs AND we show you how to install laminate wood flooring!