Laminate floor boards tend to be wider than real wood floor boards, which reduces installation time even further for laminate flooring. Laminate floor can be placed above almost any kind of sub floor and thanks to its glue less system, there is no excess glue to clean up, and the floor can be used immediately after installation.
Before You Install a Floating Laminate Floor
• You will need to purchase laminate floorboard and foam underlayment. These substances act as cushions for the laminate, giving the floor a dampening sound and more resilience.
• To determine the amount of laminate flooring and foam underlayment you will need to buy, multiply the length of the room by it's width. The result of this multiplication is the square footage of your installation room.
• Each box of laminate flooring is labeled with the amount of square feet it will cover. Buy 10% more than what is needed, so if your room is 400 square feet, buy 440 square feet. The extra flooring will be used to cover any miscalculations or mistakes that may occur during the installation process.
What You'll Need to Install Laminate Flooring
Our Laminate Hardwood Flooring
• Foam Underlayment (sold in rolls, usually 36 to 42 inches wide)
• Six-Mill Plastic Sheeting ( Used for Concrete Slabs) (rool- 10 feet wide)
• Duct Tape
• Installation Kit : Pull Bar, Tapping Block, Spacers
• Handsaw or a Carbide-Tipped Blade (installed on a power saw)
• Flush-Cut Saw for Undercutting Doorjambs
• Waterproof Glue (for areas of moisture and humidity)
• Knee Pads (for comfort)
Step 1: Prepare the Floor
• Remove any type of previous flooring within your installation room. Pull out your old carpet and padding. Remove all of the tack strips around the room's perimeter.
• You may need to scrape the floor to get rid of excess padding that is stuck to the sub floor. Vacuum the sub floor to make sure there is no residue padding or dust. If there are any noticeable dips within the sub floor, level them out. If your sub floor is a concrete slab, then thinset may be skimmed on it. You can also repair plywood hardwood flooring, unless the conditions are too severe.
• Remove the baseboards from the sub floor. You may be able to save these if you are careful. Now use the coping saw to cut off the bottom parts of the door jambs, case openings, etc. This will probably be 1/4” to 3/8” depending on the combined thickness of the laminate floor and the underlayment pad.
• It's recommended to buy the thicker pad, since it's well worth the expense. In order to know the amount of laminate flooring and underlayment pad you will need to buy, you must first figure out the square footage of the installation room.
• In order to find this number, you must simply multiply the length and width of the room. Those figures multiplied together are your square footage. Add 5% to that figure for scraps (maybe even more).
Step 2: Install the Laminate Floor
• First thing you want to do is roll out the underlayment pad. Connect the pieces together with wide, clear plastic tape. The connection between your laminate planks depends on the brand of laminate flooring you choose to purchase. Most brands are easily assembled, usually with the use of the tongue and groove method.
• Remember to stagger the joints. Laminate flooring is a type of “floating floor”, meaning that it is all connected to itself, and not to the house. Keeping this in mind, leave 1/4” clearance from each wall.
• On the wall you start from, use spacers that you can pull out before installing the baseboards. As you continue the installation, you will need to use your mallet and pull bar to snug things up. A few gentle taps will do the job.
• Things will get tricky as you go through doorways; the manufacturer's instructions will most likely not tell you about these issues, since it is not meant to be sold to DIY'ers.
• In some circumstances, the best solution is to use a utility knife to trim the snapping connections on the adjoining planks, this way they can easily slide together. If this is done, it's appropriate to use a few drops of wood glue to keep the planks together.
Step 3: Install the Laminate Baseboards
Once you're done installing the planks of laminate floor, you can start installing your baseboards. If you were careful when removing the baseboards, then you can reuse them. Otherwise, cut and install new baseboards. Miter and caulk all the joints.
Remember : do not nail into the planks – this is a floating floor. If you find you have cut some planks too short and the baseboard doesn't cover properly, don't be alarmed; just install quarter-round at the floor line.
Laminate Installation Tips
1. To trim the laminate pieces, use handsaw or carbide-tipped blade, and cut into the good side of the laminate planks. This way there will be no visible tear outs or splinters in your laminate floor.
2. If the room is subject to any water or dampness (bathroom, entryway or kitchen), run a light bed of waterproof wood adhesive along each plank's tongue before mating them to the groove.
3. The easiest way to make detailed cuts around pipes and other obstructions is with a handheld rotary tool, such as a Dremel (with a cutting bit installed).
4. Pull boards from several boxes at once to mix and hide any color variations.
5. Keep the leftovers in case you need to make a repair.