Beginner's Guide to Laminate Flooring Installation

Beginner's Guide to Laminate Flooring Installation

Are you a homeowner looking to upgrade your floor? Then you might want to consider a laminate flooring installation. You can change the appearance of your floor with laminate flooring installation. It’s not just affordable, it’s also durable, and versatile, and it’s a great alternative to hardwood flooring.

Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or you’re simply looking to save some money on installation costs, then installing laminate flooring is a project that you can tackle on your own. All you need is a simple beginner’s guide to help you do this task effectively and we’ve got you covered.

Join us as we show you some step-by-step guidelines to help you transform the look of your space with a beautiful laminate floor.

Let’s get started!

Key Highlights

  • If you want to change your old floors to a durable, moisture-resistant, and cost-effective one, then a laminate flooring installation is the right choice for you.
  • Using DIY methods when installing your laminate floors can be a fun project. However, if you don’t have the right tools or time, it’s wise to call an expert floor installer to help you.

Understanding Laminate Flooring

Before we start, let’s show you the basics to help you understand laminate flooring. It’s a type of synthetic flooring that looks like your regular hardwood floors. However, it has several layers, which include a decorative layer that looks like wood and a protective layer that makes it durable. That’s not all. Its core layer is made of a high-density fiberboard (HDF) or medium-density fiberboard (MDF).

Here’s something you should know: laminate floors come in different types and you could choose to install laminate planks which have individual pieces you can snap together during installation. You can also go for Pergo floors, which use a tongue-and-groove locking system.

However, whichever type, style, and finishes of laminate flooring installation you decide to choose, it’s wise to consider some factors, such as the thickness of the planks, the durability of the protective layer, and the warranty offered by the manufacturer. This will help you make an informed decision and also guide you when choosing a laminate floor that is suitable for a specific room or area in your home, such as wood flooring for a more classic and elegant look with a smooth surface.

Benefits of Choosing Laminate Flooring

You stand to gain a lot if you decide to choose a laminate flooring installation for your home floors. Let’s give you a tip of the iceberg to show you some of the benefits of laminate flooring installation.

  • Durability: If you’re looking to upgrade your floors to a more durable option, then laminate flooring is the right choice for you. They’re not just strong, they’re also resistant to scratches, stains, and dents. This means you don’t need to worry about heavy foot traffic, as they can withstand the pressure in those busy areas in your home.
  • Affordability: When compared to hardwood floors, you don’t have to break the bank to install a laminate floor. They’re more affordable, which means you can transform your floors into a better option without spending a lot of money.
  • Easy maintenance: You don’t need to stress yourself when you want to clean or maintain your laminate floors. All you need is some regular sweeping or vacuuming, along with occasional mopping, to keep it looking great for a long time.
  • Moisture resistance: You can’t avoid water spills on your floors, especially in areas such as your kitchen, bathrooms, and basement, which may also have high humidity levels. These water spills can seep into your floors and damage them with time. However, if you opt for a laminate flooring installation, then you don’t need to worry about water spills on your floors as they’re built to resist moisture.

Preparing for Your Laminate Flooring Installation

Before you start your DIY installation process for your laminate flooring, it's important to prepare your space and gather all the necessary tools and materials to get the project done. Here's what you'll need:

  • Circular saw: You’ll need this to cut the laminate flooring to fit your space.
  • Utility knife: When you want to make a precise cut or trim edges, this knife will come in handy.
  • Hammer: You’ll need a hammer to secure your laminate flooring and underlayment.
  • Laminate flooring: Ensure you choose a style and design that suits your preferences and complements your room.
  • Flooring underlayment: When installing your laminate floor, you’ll need a proper flooring underlayment to provide cushioning, sound absorption, and moisture resistance.
  • Floor spacers: This will help you maintain a consistent expansion gap along your walls during the installation process.
  • Floor molding & trim: With this, you can add a finished look to the edges of your laminate flooring.
  • Silicone sealant: This will come in handy when you want to fill expansion gaps and ensure a watertight seal.
  • Backer rod: Your backer rod helps you to create a smooth transition between your laminate flooring and your wall.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Laminate Flooring

Your laminate flooring installation is not a daunting task. With a few simple steps, you can install your new flooring with ease in no time. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you through the installation process:

Step 1: Preparing the subfloor

You’ll ruin your laminate floor installation if you don’t prepare your subfloor first. So, make sure you remove your old flooring and ensure that your subfloor is clean, dry, and level. If you have a vapor barrier or moisture barrier, use it to protect your laminate flooring from moisture.

Step 2: Installing the underlayment

After preparing your floor, you need to install your underlayment to absorb sound, provide cushioning, and prevent moisture from seeping into your flooring. So, roll out your underlayment and make sure you overlap the edges and tape them together. Then, trim any excess underlayment along your walls.

Step 3: Planning your floor layout

When you want to start your laminate flooring, you’ll need to plan your floor layout by finding the starting point and the direction you want the planks to run. You might want to consider starting from a corner of your room and working your way out, following the longest wall.

Step 4: Cutting laminate flooring to fit

Now, get your circular saw or a laminate cutter to cut your laminate flooring to fit your space. Make sure you measure and mark the planks properly before making the cuts. As a general rule, you should leave an expansion gap along your walls to create room for the natural expansion and contraction of your flooring. For precise and clean cuts, use a fine-tooth saw blade with the appropriate width to minimize chipping of the laminate surface and to seamlessly transition into another floor surface with the help of trim and molding.

Step 5: Installing the first row of planks

You have to be careful during your laminate flooring installation to avoid making mistakes or worse case, damaging your new floor during the process. So, for best results, install the first row of your planks before moving to the second row. Ensure you leave an expansion gap along your walls. Don’t forget to use your spacers to maintain a consistent gap. Then fit the tongue side of your planks into the groove of the previous plank, and press it down to lock them in place. Remember to cut off the tongue on the long side of each plank and the short side of the first plank to ensure a proper fit.

Step 6: Completing the installation

If you installed the first row of flooring properly, you can continue installing your laminate flooring row by row, using your spacers to maintain the proper gap. You can also stagger your planks if you want a more natural look. When you reach the last plank of the last row, you may need to cut the last piece of plank to fit. Use your pull bar and hammer to lock your planks together and tap them into place, adding the finishing touches to your laminate floor installation.

When to Call the professionals

Your laminate flooring installation can be a fun project when using DIY methods. However, if you don’t have the right tools or time to embark on this project, or if you want to ensure that the direction of the installation follows the incidence of light, you might want to consider calling a professional for a laminate installation, especially for larger areas like a living room. Additionally, if you are unsure about the proper cleaning methods for laminate flooring, it is best to call a professional for guidance. Also, if you notice some mistakes after your installation process and don’t know how to correct them, it’s wise to call a professional to help you correct these mistakes and properly glue down any laminate flooring that may need it, to avoid damaging your floors.

Are you looking for a laminate floor installation expert nearby? Then, Master of Floors is the right floor installer for you. For more than 18 years, we’ve maintained our quality standard of installing different flooring types for the citizens of Arizona. We are fast, and efficient, and can help you install your laminate floors at an affordable price. Reach out to us now!

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