DIY - LAMINATE
DIY - LAMINATE
Looking to install yourself? We're here to help!
Below is a general overview of how to install laminate but as an authorized dealer for the thousands of products we carry, we have access to more in depth instructions, specific to the product you are purchasing. Just ask a friendly associate and we will be happy to send it to you.
DO IT YOURSELF - Laminate
Tip #1: Preparation is your starting point so before anything is installed, remove baseboards and moldings all around the room and remove any doors in the room as this will be a real problem for fitting the boards as you get further along.
Tip #2: Fasten down any loose or squeaking floorboards and use leveling compound to get rid of any dips in the floor. Check the specifications provided by the Manufacturer of the laminate you selected for subfloor tolerances to ensure full warranty. If you have taken up carpet, make sure you remove ALL nails or staples that might be left.
Tip #3: You will need to select and install a LAMINATE underlay - it usually comes in 36" or 42" wide rolls - and can be installed by rolling it out in rows butted against each other (not overlapping). Tape the seams with tuct tape or packing tape. If you are putting the laminate directly on top of a concrete floor, first put down a plastic sheet to act as a vapor barrier (if the underlay you selected does not have one already implemented).
Tip #4: Check the height of the new laminate flooring as it may require your door frames to be modified. Check by laying a piece of the flooring on top of the underlay and see if it fits below the jamb. If not, mark the jamb and undercut it so the flooring can slide underneath. This is KEY if you want a professional finish!
Tip #7: Join the boards together by inserting the tongue into the groove at a high angle and then gently pushing down. The boards will click together when properly aligned. Tapping gently with a hammer and tapping block will help ensure the boards lock together in a tight fit.
Tip #8: When you are working close to the wall, the pull bar is specially designed to work with laminate flooring helping to pull the boards into place end to end (see photo). Never use the hammer directly on the pieces of laminate - you could damage the edge of a piece so badly nothing will be able to fit with it.
Tip #9: Cut laminate flooring with a circular saw using a fine tooth blade or a jig saw. It's recommended you cut your laminate good side down, to reduce tear out on the cuts.
Tip #10: Once your floor is down, reinstall your baseboards and moldings, making sure you nail them to the wall and NOT the laminate flooring. This will cover that 1/4-inch gap you left around the perimeter of the room allowing space for the floor to expand and retract. Always check the recommended tolerances provided by the Manufacturer of the laminate you purchased.
Tip #5: Lay the first boards against your starting wall, groove side towards the wall. If you do need to rip the first row of boards to width, cut off the groove side. Use spacers (or a piece of flooring on edge) to ensure you leave a 1/4" gap between the flooring and the wall. You need to leave this 1/4" gap between the flooring and the wall all around the room to allow for minor seasonal variations in the boards themselves.
Tip #6: Lay out the first three rows as follows: The first board in the first row needs to be a full board. The first board in the second row should be either 1/3 or 2/3 of a board and the first board in the third row should be the opposite. Basically you want to maintain a natural staggered look. Fill in the rows with full boards and boards cut to fit the remaining space. Repeat the pattern as you move across the room, ensuring that joints are ideally at least 6" from each other.
NOTE: The tips listed here are for general guidance only. You should always check with the Manfacturer regarding any specific installation requirements, techniques or materials required for your exact product.