Interlocking laminate floating floors can be installed over clean and level ceramic, vinyl, concrete or plywood sub flooring. Wood Guys recommends laminate flooring acclimates inside the house for at least 72 hours before installation.
Step 1: Install underlayment. Wood Guys suggests Fiberhush Underlayment. It has a moisture barrier and pad all in one, and is readily available in our store. Fiberhush uses a self-seal lip and tape system. Cover the floor sealing the seams as you go along. Note: some laminate flooring comes with pad attached to the back of each board.
Step 2: Open the laminate flooring and read the manufacturer’s recommendations in the packaging. Place spacers around the perimeter of the floor, against the walls. Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for spacing and shim size.
Step 3: First row, place the tongued side of flooring against the start wall. Cut board to fit last space on row end. Tip: use cut ends to start next row. To prep the planks in the first row, cut the tongue off the long side of all of the pieces. Using a table saw, set the fence at the appropriate width and cut the boards. When cutting flooring, lay the board on its face (bottom up) and cut with a saw equipped with a fine-tooth blade for flooring.
Step 4: Second row and every row hereafter, lay out a couple of rows at a time. Work from right to left maintaining manufacturer’s recommended spacing between walls. Cut board to fit last space on row ends. To click the flooring into place, insert the tongue of the current row into the grooved side of the completed row. You may have to use a slight angle to set the tongue in the groove. Just press the board down until it locks in place.
Step 5: Ensure that flooring is straight every few rows and that proper spacing is maintained. Plank joints should be spaced approximately 12″ apart. Tip: for more strength and color variation, pull and mix planks from at least three boxes at a time.
Step 6: Last row, measure the width to fill the gap. Deduct the manufacturer’s recommendation for spacing, and cut the grooved edge with a table or jigsaw.
Step 7: Install the last row using a pull bar and hammer to lock it into place.
Step 8: Install base trim or quarter round. Make sure nails go into the wall studs and not into the flooring.
If you don’t feel comfortable installing your own floors, Wood Guys can help you find a local professional.