Installing laminate floors is a great do-it-yourself project to revitalize a room. Laminate floors are extremely durable, and don’t dent, scratch or fade easily. They never require polish or wax, and caring for them is relatively easy. To install laminate flooring, you’ll need to set aside some time depending on the size of the room, and be willing to use a little elbow grease.
Buy about 10% more flooring than estimated. It’s better to have it on hand than to have to run out mid job and you will waste a little when you cut. Remove the plastic and stack the flooring to let it acclimate to the humidity for 48 hours.
Clean and Prep
To ensure a good grip, clean the subfloor of dirt and dust. Make sure concrete floors are fully cured. Remove the base molding if needed to fit the new floor under.
Install the Underlayment
A vapor barrier underlayment will cushion the floor and protect against mildew and mold. Start along the longest wall, one row at a time. Leave a 1/2-1/4 inch gap between the walls and board to allow for seasonal expansion and contractions. This will later be covered up by the molding
Lay the Laminate Flooring
Lay down the first row and match the tongue and groove with each subsequent piece. Use a mallet to tap each piece into place, with no spaces along the lengths of each plank. One the next row, stagger the joints so you don’t have consecutive seams. Try to offset each row six to eight inches. The last plank, or last row, will need to be trimmed to fit. Place the last plank over the plank before it and draw a line where the seam matches up, and then cut to fit.
Reinstall the base moldings you took out and set aside. Take out any spacers you may have laid down along the walls. Make sure to nail the molding to the wall and not the laminate flooring.