Fitting laminate flooring is a relatively straightforward DIY project that can be done with some basic tools and careful attention to detail. Here are the general steps to install laminate flooring:
- Prepare the Subfloor:
- Ensure the subfloor is clean, dry, and level. Repair any uneven spots or imperfections.
- If desired, install an underlayment on the subfloor. This helps with sound reduction and moisture control.
- In some cases, you may need a vapor barrier, especially if you’re installing laminate over a concrete subfloor. Install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Acclimate the Flooring:
- Leave the laminate planks in the room where they will Fitting Laminate be installed for at least 48 hours to acclimate to the temperature and humidity of the space.
- Prepare for the First Row:
- Start by removing any baseboards or trim from the walls.
- Use spacers to create an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room (typically about 1/4 inch). This allows the laminate to expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes.
- Install the First Row:
- Begin in a corner of the room. Lay the first plank with the tongue side facing the wall and the groove side facing into the room.
- Use a tapping block and hammer to gently tap the planks together. Be careful not to damage the edges.
- Continue installing the first row, making sure it’s straight and using spacers along the wall.
- Continue with Subsequent Rows:
- For the second row and onward, insert the tongue of each new plank into the groove of the previous row at a slight angle and then lower it into place.
- Stagger the end joints of the planks in adjacent rows for a more stable and attractive installation. Most manufacturers recommend a random stagger pattern.
- Use a pull bar and tapping block to snugly fit the planks together.
- Cutting and Fitting:
- Measure and cut the last plank in each row as needed using a saw. Be sure to leave the expansion gap against the wall.
- Use any leftover pieces from the last row to start the next row if they are long enough. This minimizes waste.
- Finishing Touches:
- Once the laminate is installed, reinstall baseboards or install new quarter-round or shoe molding to cover the expansion gap and create a finished look.
- Trim door jambs and casings as necessary to allow the laminate to slide underneath.
- Clean Up:
- Remove spacers, clean the floor, and dispose of any waste materials.
Remember to follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer of your laminate flooring, as installation methods and requirements can vary slightly between different brands and styles. Proper installation ensures a beautiful and durable laminate floor.