Laminate flooring is a popular choice for homeowners who want to give their floors a new look without breaking the bank. It’s easy to install and comes in a variety of styles and colors. Plus, it’s durable and easy to clean. If you’re thinking about installing laminate flooring in your home, there are a few things you should know. In this article, we’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to install laminate flooring like a pro.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Before you start installing laminate flooring, you’ll need to gather all the necessary materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
- Laminate flooring
- Tape measure
- Saw (circular or miter saw)
- Pry bar
- Tapping block
- Pull bar
- Knee pads
- Safety glasses
Step 2: Prepare the Subfloor
Before you can install laminate flooring, you need to make sure the subfloor is clean, level, and dry. If there are any dips or bumps in the subfloor, you’ll need to fill them in with a leveling compound. If the subfloor is made of concrete, you’ll need to install a moisture barrier to prevent moisture from seeping through the concrete and damaging your laminate flooring.
Step 3: Lay the Underlayment
Once the subfloor is ready, it’s time to lay the underlayment. The underlayment is a thin layer of foam that helps absorb sound and provides a smooth surface for your laminate flooring. Roll out the underlayment and trim it to fit the room. Make sure the seams are overlapped by at least 8 inches and taped together.
Step 4: Measure the Room
Measure the length and width of the room and multiply the two numbers to get the square footage. When you purchase your laminate flooring, make sure to buy enough to cover the entire square footage, plus an extra 10% for waste.
Step 5: Install the First Row
Starting in a corner of the room, lay the first row of laminate flooring with the tongue side facing the wall. Use spacers to create a 1/4-inch gap between the flooring and the wall. This gap will allow the flooring to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity.
Step 6: Cut the Last Piece of the First Row
Measure the distance between the last piece of the first row and the wall. Cut the last piece of the first row to fit using a saw. Remember to leave a 1/4-inch gap between the last piece and the wall.
Step 7: Install the Second Row
Start the second row with the piece you cut from the first row. This will create a staggered pattern, which will make your flooring look more natural. Insert the tongue of the second row into the groove of the first row and use a tapping block and hammer to lock the pieces together. Continue installing the second row, using spacers to maintain the 1/4-inch gap.
Step 8: Cut the Last Piece of the Second Row
Measure the distance between the last piece of the second row and the wall. Cut the last piece of the second row to fit using a saw. Remember to leave a 1/4-inch gap between the last piece and the wall.
Step 9: Continue Installing Rows
Continue installing rows of laminate flooring, using the same technique as before. Remember to use spacers to maintain the 1/4-inch gap between the flooring and the wall.