How to Install A Wood Laminate Floor
Measure the room.
Measure the length and width of the room and multiply the two numbers together. This is the square footage of the room and it will help you determine how much laminate flooring you need to purchase for the job.
Purchase wood laminate flooring materials.
Purchase laminate wood floor materials (flooring, padding, rubber mallet, etc) and be sure to buy 10-15% extra for mistakes and future repairs. Consult the sales staff at the flooring store to make sure you purchase enough laminated wood flooring for your renovation project. The amount of flooring you need will vary depending on your flooring choice.
Remove the old flooring.
Remove the old flooring, baseboards, shoe molding, doors and metal strips.
Cut door trim, door jambs, and doors to allow clearance for the new flooring.
Cut the door trim, door jambs and doors to allow enough clearance for the new laminate flooring (subfloor, padding and new flooring). Successful laminate floor installation includes allowing enough space for the floor to expand and contract with varying humidity levels.
Remove debris from the floor.
Remove any remaining debris and clean the floor thoroughly.
Make sure the subfloor is flat and smooth.
If there is a plywood subfloor, great! Make sure it's flat and smooth before you install the laminate floor. If not, keep in mind you can install wood laminate flooring over concrete, stone, vinyl, or tile - you just need to make sure the subfloor is completely FLAT and SMOOTH (that means sanding high spots and/or filling grooves with leveling compound as necessary). An interlocking wood laminate floor should not be attached to the subfloor since the planks will need room to expand and contract with humidity.
Roll out the underlayment and tape it together.
Roll out the underlayment padding over the subfloor and connect the pieces with plastic tape. If you are installing wood laminate flooring over concrete, be sure to put plastic sheeting below the padding - it serves as a vapor barrier.
Start in a corner and lay the wood laminate planks in staggered positions.
Start in a corner and install the wood laminate flooring planks in staggered positions parallel to the longest wall or perpendicular to any natural light coming from windows in the room. Lock the planks together carefully and use spacers to leave at least a ¼" gap where the flooring meets the wall. This will give you room to reinstall the baseboards after the laminate flooring is in place. Use the rubber mallet to make sure each plank fits snugly into place. Use a utility knife or electric saw to cut planks as needed near doorways, cabinets and other obstacles.
Install baseboards, molding, thresholds and door jambs.
Remove the spacers and install old or new baseboards, quarter round molding, thresholds and door jambs as necessary. Don't nail baseboards into the wood laminate floor - it needs to expand and contract with humidity levels.
Clean the floor with a wood laminate cleaner.
Clean the floor with wood laminate floor cleaner and move your furniture in!