Where can I install laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring can be installed in almost any type of room whether it is below, above, or on grade. Floating laminate floors be installed over wood flooring, concrete, linoleum, tile, or almost any hard, flat surface, but not on carpet and not over another floating surface. Laminate flooring is not recommended for wet areas such as bathrooms, saunas, and so on.
Can I install laminate flooring on stairs?
Laminate flooring can be installed on stairs but it is recommended that you glue it to the steps with strong flooring adhesive. Allow the glue to dry completely before walking on the steps. Any moldings or transitions should be nailed to the steps.
Can I install laminate flooring on a porch or patio?
No, these areas often experience extreme climate variations. Laminate flooring must be installed in an area that is climate-controlled.
Is it possible to install laminate flooring over carpet?
No, laminate flooring must be installed on a hard surface. Any carpet and padding should be removed before installation.
Is laminate flooring recommended for a self-installer?
Yes. Many laminate floors offer glue-less, click or snap edges that Do-It-Yourself types can easily install.
How are laminate floors installed?
Generally, most laminate flooring panels will snap "click" together without the use of glue. Some can be easily done by hand and others may require the use of a mallet and a tapping block to tap into place. With a glue installation method, the installer will need to apply glue to the tongue and groove of each plank. Pre-glued laminate flooring planks come with glue that is applied by the manufacturer and which must be moistened by the installer before the planks are clicked together.
What should I do before beginning laminate flooring installation?
• Inspect your laminate flooring panels carefully for any defects.
• Allow your laminate flooring to acclimate to the room where it will be installed for at least 48 hours.
• Ensure that the temperate of the room is at least 65°F (15°C) and that the floor surface temperature is at least 59°F before installation, while you install, and for at least three days after installation.
• Make sure your subfloor is even and dry.
• Stagger planks according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
• Consider where the main source of light enters your room and install the flooring parallel to the light.
• When installing laminate over a floor with radiant heating, review both manufacturers’ instructions for the laminate flooring and radiant heating system before beginning.
• You must leave an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room and around other obstacles within it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
• Always read the manufacturer’s installation instructions completely before beginning laminate flooring installation and make sure you understand them. If something doesn't make sense, contact the laminate flooring manufacturer to clarify.
How much laminate flooring do I need?
1. Divide the floor into rectangles.
2. Measure the length and width of each individual rectangle.
3. Multiply the length by the width of each individual rectangle.
4. Add your total for each rectangle together to get the total square footage.
5. Add an additional 5-10% (depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations) of the total square footage to the order to cover the waste factor.
Are there any special tools needed to install laminate flooring?
Each installation method will require different tools. Below is a list of common tools needed for laminate flooring installation:
• Tapping block (one that fits the product's tongue)
• Tape measure
• Utility Knife or Scissors
• Table, miter (chop) or Circular saw
• Pull bar
Should I use an underlayment when installing my laminate floor?
Underlayments are highly recommended to reduce sound transmission as laminate flooring can be louder than some other floors.
Why is it necessary to leave an expansion gap when installing laminate flooring, and how big should this gap be?
An expansion gap of 1/2"– 9/16" (12-15mm) must be left around the perimeter of the room where the floor meets the wall. It is also necessary to leave this gap around all heating pipes and other obstacles. This gap will be covered by a baseboard and quarter round molding. If you are covering a large room that is over 800 square ft. the flooring should be separated by a gap that will be covered by a T-Molding. This will allow your floor to expand and contract when there are fluctuations in temperature or humidity. Always check the manufacturers instructions for the exact measurement of the expansion gap that they recommend.
Why is it crucial to use a moisture barrier when installing laminate flooring over concrete?
Concrete subfloors can hold a lot of water. Installing laminate floors below grade can cause moisture to bleed through the concrete to the laminate flooring. In addition, wooden sub-floors such as plywood can retain moisture and create a wicking effect that could damage your laminate flooring.
Does it make a difference what direction I choose to install laminate flooring and where I begin?
It's recommended that you begin your laminate flooring installation on a wall that is as long and straight as possible. You should also consider where the main source of light enters your room. It is recommended that you lay the laminate floor planks so that they run parallel with light coming in from windows and glass doors. This gives a room a nice visual flow.
How should I stagger the planks when installing laminate floors?
The first row you lay should start with a full plank. The next row should start with a 2/3 plank. The third row should start with a 1/3 plank. For the rest of the installations, the distance between joints from one row to the next should be 8" or greater.
Should I continue to install my laminate flooring if I can’t seem to get my first row straight?
It is recommended that you do not continue. If your first row is not straight, the entire floor will be compromised. Even a slight imperfection in the first row will generally magnify as the installation continues. If you need help contact your manufacturer or a professional installer.
How are moldings installed for my laminate floor and where?
Moldings can generally be glued or nailed down. For a complete list of laminate floor moldings and trims as well as their applications, see our Laminate Flooring Installation Guide.
Can I walk on my laminate floor immediately after installation?
After installing glueless laminate flooring, you can immediately walk across or move furniture back onto your new laminate floors. If you are using a glue installation, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on how long to wait.