How to Install Laminate Flooring

Hey guys!  I’m back to share how I installed our new laminate flooring!  If you missed the previous posts about my selection process, you can check them out HERE and HERE!  You may remember the sneak peak I shared with you last week!

Laminate-FlooringYes, it’s laminate and it’s easy to install DIY style :)  We put this video together to show you guys just how easy it is!

Easy enough huh!  And just for a little more detail here are a few step-by-step pics :)

cut-underlaymentThe first step is to roll out the underlayment and cut it to size.  I just used a box cutter and it sliced through it very easy.  I didn’t measure, I just let the piece roll up against the wall and folded it where the floor meets the wall and cut there.

getting-startedTo start, I used a few scrap pieces of T-molding for a spacer between my tile and laminate.  You don’t want to lay the t-mold until after the floor is set but you need to make sure there is enough space for it to fit.  This also helped me to keep the first row of planks straight.

laminate-groovesThere are little grooves around the planks.  This helps to fold and lock the floor into place.  No glue needed, it’s floating :)

foldWork left to right making sure that the first row will have the grooves visible at the bottom and right side of each plank.  Then, just lift the edge close to you up and slide the plank over the groove

lockand lock it down into place.

use-a-block-to-tapThere will be times that you need to tap the boards into place better.  We found that a soft scrap piece of wood worked great!  You just want to be careful not to break-off any of the grooves when you are tapping with the hammer so make sure you have a block in between the hammer and the laminate plank.

cut-last-pieceThis is the fun part to me :)  When you reach a wall, a full plank won’t fit so you will need to cut the board.

how-to-cut-last-pieceIt’s really easy and a sure-fire fit to lay the next plank on top of the previous and mark.  When you do this, make sure that you flip the board backwards and upside down so that you are cutting the right end off :) In this picture you can see the the grooves on the plank that I am marking to cut are facing up instead of down.  *Save the next scrap from this cut to be the first of the next row of that size. It makes staggering your joints easy :)

patternAs I mentioned in the video, Armstrong suggests that you pattern the planks with a 5″ plank every other row.  I’ve done that in the picture above and there should be another 5″ row next.  Also, notice that our joints are staggered.  This helps make the flooring look more natural and makes it stronger.

laminate-patternHere’s another picture with more of the pattern.

finish-with-t-moldOnce you are done, you can close up your gap between floorings with a t-mold.  We just used liquid nails to secure ours into place.

weird-cuts_edited-1We did have a few weird cuts to make (around our stair well).  To do this, we measured around the post, marked the measurements on the plank, and used a jigsaw to cut. Because this was a new construction, we were able to anticipate the flooring and installed our baseboards high enough up so the laminate and underlayment could slide underneath.  We did have to use a jamb saw to cut the door jambs out. If we couldn’t raise the baseboards, I would have installed a quarter-round painted to match the baseboards – easy!

Tip: Now, this is not something suggested by Armstrong but, I’m not a huge fan of t-mold so in the living room, where the laminate touches the kitchen floor, we were able to skip the t-mold and use a sanded caulk that matched our grout.  We used tile spacers between the tile and the laminate as we were installing it. We lucked out and the laminate was the same thickness of our tile :)  It wasn’t like that in other areas so we did use t-mold in those areas.  Just a fun tip that you may be interested in!

groutI hope we have taken the intimidation out of this project.  It was a really fun and rewarding project and I would do it all over again!

Here are a few more house updates :)

Cabinet reveal HERE
Countertop reveal HERE
Flooring reveal HERE
Tile reveal HERE

Thanks so much for stopping by!

~Ashley

Comments

  1. Brooke Alder says:

    Do you have a picture of this flooring by railings? Just trying to picture what this would look like in my house! What color are your railings?

  2. Sharon says:

    We are getting ready to install this same floor… where did you get the t-mold? Was it a match to this floor from Armstrong or did you just match something generic from the store to the floor?

  3. This floor is beautiful! What was the color of the flooring you picked from the Armstrong company?

  4. Beautiful flooring design which was nicely explained in different steps. I just have to ask a question from you, did you do this all by yourself or took the help from some flooring contractor. Because, your work is just phenomenon and no novice can do this job.

    • I did it with my dad and my husband because it was a large project but it is a novice job. It wasn’t hard at all and after laying it I would NEVER pay a contractor to so this. I build furniture and furniture building is more difficult.

  5. Miss Delacroix says:

    About 20 years ago I bought Ikea laminate flooring which was so easy to lay – a lot like the flooring you have….I bought some laminate flooring from a nationwide store claiming to be the easiest thing ever! I have never had so much trouble with it, wish I had chosen Ikea again…lesson learned!

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