Introduction: How to Install Laminate Flooring

About: I've had a lifelong interest in reducing my impact on the environment, (reducing my footprint so to speak). In my early 20's a few friends and I started a curbstop recycling project called Envirobox. This proj…

Do you have some ugly carpeting or dated linoleum flooring? Now's the time to update and the effort will really pay off. You will likely need an entire weekend to do this........................the project goes a lot faster if you have some help............. The tools and supplies you will need for this are of course the flooring (try to but the middle price range flooring as it is easier to install), a box-cutter knife, hammer and block of wood, a drill with screw bits (of course some screws 2" work well) , some underlay material, and the most important item I swear I would never do another floor without is a laminate cutter, we rented ours for $30 from Windsor Plywood and it saved a bunch of time and did not create dust. Also a jigsaw is helpful if you have curved cuts to be made and some wood glue. Total cost was approximately $500...

Step 1: First Step..............remove the Carpeting

I do not have a picture of the carpet being removed, but I have a few shots of the pink carpeting that was there before...............Not a pretty sight. I found it easier to cut the carpet into pieces and roll them up before disposal, the garbage-men had no trouble taking care of that for me. Another thing I might remind you of is to screw the floor in where there were some squeaks, I had the neighbour-kid walk around with a felt marker and put happy faces on the squeaky spots. Just be sure to hit the joists unlike my first attempt...Also don't forget to take off the baseboards and label them and put aside for later.

Step 2: Lay Out the Foam Underlay

Cut and lay out foam underlay, usually found where the laminate flooring is purchased. Thisstuff is cheap like 10 cents a foot and really helps to smooth out the floor. An exacto-knife works well for this...

Step 3: Starting at One End of the Room Begin Laying the Laminate

We glued the first row (to each other at the long edges) and placed the full boxes of laminate on them to keep them secure. Subsequent rows were staggered so that the result looked nice. To ensure a snug (but not too snug) allow a bit of room for expansion, we used a hammer and a block of wood to firm up the rows so that they were a tight fit. Again if you bought the cheap flooring you will have a bugger of a time as you have to assemble an entire row and then angle the entire row into the previous entire row. Spend a few bucks more and you can install this flooring piece by piece. I've done it both ways trust me the latter is a lot easier.

Step 4: Laminate Cutter

As a told you earlier this tool is worth the rental cost. Not only can it speed up the cutting of the laminate, but it is very exact you can nip off a quarter of an inch easily to get the perfect fit. The other benefit is that the cutter does not kick up dust like a conventional saw would. Unless you have curved edges (like I did around the fireplace) this tool will do it all, otherwise you will need a jigsaw to cut curves.

Step 5: Important Note-Stagger the Cuts

Unless you want the planks to start and stop at the same place on each row (which is not as aesthetically pleasing) you should stagger the cuts so that each alternate row has a seam at roughly the same place.

Step 6: Once Finished Nail in the Baseboards and Enjoy Your Handiwork

Here my two helpers are taking a well-deserved break...