When it comes to renovating your home, we have entered an age where ‘doing it yourself’ is much more common than hiring someone.
That being said, not every project is as easy as others. If you are thinking of putting down laminate in a room in your home, you will be happy to hear that learning how to lay a laminate floor is much easier than some other projects.
I have put together a step by step process for installing laminate flooring in whatever room you choose. Not only is it an easy installation option, it is a frugal choice for anyone on a budget and it only takes about a day to finish it.
Step By Step Process For Laying Laminate Hardwood
Step 1: Remove the Baseboards
Once you have prepped the room by removing whatever old flooring there was, you should remove the baseboards from the room in order to begin laying the laminate.
Step 2: Level the Floor and Clean It
With the baseboards removed, you can then make sure that your floor is level. Leveling your floor will ensure that the flooring will install correctly. When the floor is adequately level, you need to make sure it is clean.
Step 3: Allow the Floor to Acclimate
Floors adjust in different temperatures. Because of this you should allow your flooring to sit in the room for a few days before doing anything with it. This ensures that it will be properly acclimated.
Step 4: Do the Math and Prep the Door Frame
You need to do the math to determine how many boards you will need to fill the room. This will also help you determine how wide your last row will need to be cut in order to fit right.
To prepare your door frames, you merely need to cut under the frames anywhere that you won’t be able to use show molding.
Step 5: Install the Underlayment
The underlayment has be placed down before you can begin laying the laminate. To do this, you simply have to follow the instructions that come with the underlayment.
Step 6: Lay Your First Piece
Often times floating floors can expand or contract, thus it is best to take a piece of spare flooring and place it against the wall vertically in order to help create a gap.
Step 7: Make the First Cut
The first cut should be made on the underside of the last board. Use a square and your other full piece in order to make them even. Use a small saw in order to cut the line.
Step 8: Snap the Pieces Together
Once you have every piece for the first row ready, you need to assemble them. This should be rather simple, as you only need to push the grooves together. Make sure your pressure is even when you are putting them together. The less evenness you have when connecting them, the weaker the joint will be.
Step 9: Transition the Doorway
Getting to doorways can be a little tricky, but you just need to measure the board so that it will fit underneath the trim of the doorway. Notch the board to the correct measurement using a jigsaw or table saw then just slide it underneath the door.
Step 10: Join and Attach the Boards
When you go to join your next piece of laminate you should make sure that your long edge isn’t too loose, it should be decently tight, and your short edge shouldn’t be overlapping.
To ensure that your boards are adequately attached you should rock the board into position by hitting a spare piece with a hammer or mallet. Depending on your board’s thickness you might need to continue this down the board’s length.
Step 11: Stagger the Flooring
As you are installing, be sure that it is in a pyramid pattern so that you are sure the floor will be straight when it is complete.
Step 12: Close the Gaps
When you get close to the wall you should use a pull bar to help you close up the small gap. If you are installing your floor against a baseboard that is already there, make sure your gap is a bit smaller, somewhere around 1/2” so that you are sure the shoe mold will cover it.
Step 13: Fitting the Floor Under Doorways
It can be a bit tricky to work with a doorway’s leading edge. Most choose to simply install the flooring for a closet and your actual floor separately to make it easier. Make your cuts to fit the space then work the necessary pieces underneath the trim of the door.
Step 14: Re-Install the Baseboards and Shoe Molding
Once you have completed all of the above steps, your last step would be to re-install your baseboards and show molding.
Don’t be intimidated by the amount of steps. Anyone can complete this project with the proper tools. With the proper preparation, you will soon know how to lay a laminate floor. In the end you’ll have an incredible laminate floor that will cost you a fraction of what most floors cost.
If you’re looking for the next home project, this is certainly one to consider.