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How to Install Laminate & Engineered Hardwood Floors

Laminate flooring is an excellent choice throughout your home as it is durable, easy to clean and can be installed quickly. The installation process is similar to that of interlocking hardwood flooring, but we’ll be dealing specifically with how to install laminate flooring in this guide.

Skill Level: Beginner
  1. Step 1 Prepare the Subfloor

    A floor is freshly removed and ready to be replaced with laminate.

    Laminate flooring is best installed on even, flat and clean subfloors. An underlayment is required as the laminate is held in place both by gravity as well as the grip of the underlayment itself. If you’re installing your laminate flooring below grade or in a high-moisture or humidity environment, you’ll need to use a vapour barrier underneath.

  2. Step 2 Acclimate the Planks

    Boxes of laminate flooring are left in the home to acclimate before installation.

    Once you’ve selected your laminate flooring and brought it home, you’ll need to let it sit for at least two days before starting installation. This allows for all of the pieces to become uniformly acclimated to the temperature and humidity in your home so that everything locks together firmly.

  3. Step 3 Prepare the Door Jambs

    The door jamb is cut to allow the flooring to go underneath for a clean look.

    Cutting the base of your door jambs to allow the flooring underneath is much easier than cutting your flooring to match the jambs. This will also give you a cleaner look once finished.

  4. Step 4 Plan the Flooring Layout

    A tape measure lays on a floor in preparation of measuring the flooring layout.

    You’ll need to figure out the measurements of the room so that the boards on either end are similar in size. This will give you a better look when finished.

  5. Step 5 Cut the Planks

    A circular saw is used to cut a laminate flooring plank.

    When cutting end pieces, use a circular saw, table saw or mitre saw for the cleanest results. Remember that your moulding will cover them, so you don’t have to be perfect.

  6. Step 6 Roll out the Underlayment

    Underlayment is rolled out before the flooring is laid down.

    Some laminate flooring comes with a pre-attached underlayment. If your flooring doesn’t come with one, you’ll need to roll out your underlayment and trim it to fit. Be sure to not overlap the edges as they can cause bumps in the finished flooring.

  7. Step 7 Install the First Row

    The first row of flooring is installed slightly away from the wall to allow for expansion.

    Start your first row with the tongue side facing the wall. Be sure to cut the end piece about 3/8-inch to 5/8-inch away from the wall to allow for expansion.

  8. Step 8 Install the Remaining Rows

    The remaining flooring is installed.

    Your second row of flooring should be installed with the tongue and groove side facing the inside of the room. You can use the cut off piece from the last row to start this row as long as it’s longer than 1 foot. Stagger your seams about 12 - 16-inches for a more natural look.

  9. Step 9 Install Thresholds and Moulding

    Moulding is installed after the flooring.

    Once your flooring is installed, install the thresholds and quarter-round moulding to complete the job. This will hide the end seams and create a beautiful, finished look. That’s all there is to it!

What You Need for This Project

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