If you’re looking for reliable information on laminate flooring installation,
you’ve come to the smart place.
Understanding the basics of installation will increase your knowledge of the process,
and enhance your confidence in the installers or your self if you are doing the
So let’s cover these basics.
Laminate floors use what is known as a “floating floor” installation;
the planks lay on top of the floor without being adhered to the subfloor and are
only adhered to each other on the edges.
Side seams are either glued or joined using a “glueless” installation
where the planks tightly interlock together. Both installations are floating floors.
The first step is to inspect the subfloor for imperfections.
The floor is then cleaned.
Next, an underlayment is put down directly over the subfloor.
This underlayment allows the floor to expand and contract with changes in temperature
and also acts as a sound and moisture barrier.
Now the planks can be laid. Installation will begin in the left corner of the area
and leave a minimum ¼" space between the flooring and perimeter walls
for expansion and contraction of the laminate.
Along the wall, spacers will be used as work progresses to ensure the accuracy of
this perimeter space.
Once the floor is installed the spacers are removed and the perimeter gap is covered
with quarter round trim or a wall base.
As the planks are laid out in the desired pattern, they are measured and precisely
cut to the fit.
As mentioned earlier, many laminates don’t require glue for the installation.
For this type of installation, the underlayment is put down and the laminate planks
interlock to each.
For floors that require glue on the sides of the planks, the first two planks in
the first row will be glued together.
Then clamps or straps are used to hold the pieces together.
Custom finished moldings and trim give the laminate flooring a beautiful, finished
Now, what you should do before installation day, during and after.
Remove furniture and other objects from the area of installation.
Consider how your old floor covering will be taken up and disposed of.
We will be happy to discuss with you the options and associated costs.
If you prefer to remove your present floor covering yourself, do it at least one
day prior to installation, to allow for cleanup and floor preparation.
If removing old carpet, please remove the tack strips and pull the staples out of
the floor from the original pad.
Moldings and baseboards may need to be removed prior to installation.
This can be done for you but at an additional charge, and the installer will not
be responsible for damage to dry or brittle wood.
Baseboards, woodwork and paint may also need retouching after installation. This
is your responsibility.
Your subfloor may need to be prepared to receive the laminate, or a new subfloor
may be required.
If subfloor work is necessary, it should be done by professionals.
When laminate is installed, doors may not clear the new floor.
Some installers will remove doors, and re-hang them if possible.
They probably won’t shave down doors to insure clearance.
Check with us or your installer as to the policy and cost.
You may need to arrange for a carpenter to provide this service.
Be sure you’re clear about the clean up, if there are added costs, and ask
about the plan for remnants.
On installation day, be at home. Because it’s difficult to estimate the length
of each job, you may not be given an exact time of arrival.
Please keep children and pets out of the work area on installation day for everyone’s
Prior to completion of work, walk thru the job with the installers, so you’re
clear on final details.
After the installers leave, establish good ventilation for up to 72 hours.
When it comes to laminate installation, we want you to be smart and well prepared.
It will make installation day easier on you and your family, and provide your home
with beautiful, professionally installed laminate flooring for years to come.