Floating Laminate Flooring Installation
Laminate flooring has become one of America’s favorite floor choices. Many people love these flooring products because of the substantial benefits it can provide to a modern home. It is easy to clean, very affordable, and easy to install yourself. So in this blog we will discuss everything that you will need and what to do for installing your very own floating laminate floor.
First and foremost here is a list of tools and items that you will undoubtedly need for floating laminate flooring installation:
- Rubber Mallet
- Laminate Floor Pull Bar
- Measuring Tape
- Coping Saw
- Exacto Knife
- The Flooring Itself
- Underlayment Pad
Floating Laminate Flooring Installation Guide
Step 1 Prepare the Area
Pull up all of the old carpet, flooring, and the associated padding. If you have carpet you will need to remove any of the tacking strips located on the edges of the room. Depending on the condition of the floor you may need to scrape it to remove any excess materials that have been stuck to the floor. Once this is done you will need to sweep or vacuum the area so that you can find any dips or dents in the subfloor.
If you are working with concrete or thin set, you will need to use a self-leveling compound.
If you need to repair plywood subflooring, either replace the area with new plywood or try using a wood filler and sand it level.
After your subfloor is level and repaired, remove any baseboards, but do this as carefully as possible because you will need them later. Damaged baseboards will not look to great next to your brand new laminate flooring. Take the coping saw and cut the bottoms of the door jams off and all other case openings and such. This will range anywhere from ¼ of an inch to 3/8 of an inch. Lay a piece of laminate on top of the padding and measure the total thickness. Just make sure that you cut the amount of the total off of the bottom of the door jams and stuff.
Step 2 The Installation of your Laminate Flooring
Now we are at the fun part, actually laying the laminate floor. First off, roll out the padding, and adhere the pieces of the padding together using a clear but wide plastic tape. Once the entire area is covered (you may need to make special cuts), it is time to lay the laminate. All brands of laminate usually have a patented locking mechanism of their own creation. However, they are very simple and easy to snap together, just remember to stagger the joints.
Because laminate is considered to be a “floating floor,” the floor will only connect to itself, not your home. I would suggest that you leave a clearance at each wall of about ¼ of a inch. On your first wall where you will start the flooring, use spacers, you only need to remember to pull them out before reinstalling the baseboards, but this is an accurate way to measure the clearance without having to constantly measure.
As you are laying the floor you will need to utilize your mallet and pull bar to make sure that the joints are tightly locked, but be gentle on the pounding, it doesn’t need more than a few light taps.
When you approach the doorways things can get a little confusing, but I feel that the best solution to this is to use the razor knife to trim the snapping connections on the adjoining planks allowing them to slide together easily. Then just use a few drops of wood glue to keep them firmly set in place.
Step 3 Your Almost There!
After all of the laminate flooring has been install you can begin the process of reattaching the baseboards to the walls. Don’t forget to miter and caulk all of the joints, and remember not to nail anything into the planks. If anywhere along the wall you find a gap that the baseboard does not cover, don’t break anything! There is an easy solution. Just fill in the gap by installing quarter round at the floor line.
I hope this helped you in you journey to installing a beautiful new laminate floor, and I can’t wait to read any comments or questions that you may have. Until next time, Happy Flooring!