How To Fit Your Own Laminate Flooring Step By Step

Installation preparations : 1.1 – Acclimatisation of the panels; Before starting the installation the flooring has to be brought into the room where it will be installed or in a room with the same climate condition. The acclimatisation will be carried out as following: in sealed unopened boxes for a time period of at least 24 hours flat laying with at least 50 cm distance to the walls at a room temperature of at least 18°C at a floor surface temperature of a minimum of 15°C at a relative humidity between 40% and 65%

How To Fit Your Own Laminate Flooring Step By Step 1.2 -
Installation direction; flooring looks its best when the flooring panels are installed parallel to the light coming in through the windows. The only required installation direction is if you install flooring over hardwood flooring boards. In this case you have to install the flooring at a 90 degree angle to the existing hardwood flooring boards or apply a hardboard or plywood sub floor.

How To Fit Your Own Laminate Flooring Step By Step 1.3
1.3 Planning the first row; After determining the best layout of the flooring and the starting wall, measure the width of the room and divide it by the width of the flooring panels to determine the number of rows and the width of the last row. If the last row is determined to be less than 60mm wide, it should be adjusted by cutting the first row lengthwise.

How To Fit Your Own Laminate Flooring Step By Step 1.4
Planning of expansion gaps; Since laminate flooring is made of organic materials, it is subject to certain movement behaviours (shrinkage/expansion) due to changes in climate conditions. It is necessary to leave gaps of 10mm for the expansion in all parts of the structure i.e. walls, doorframes, stairs, around pipes.

How To Fit Your Own Laminate Flooring Step By Step 1.5
Planning of transition mouldings; through the shrinkage and expansion behaviour of the flooring you have to install transition mouldings in the following areas: at all door throughways at all passageways single room length and/or with more than 10 m (33 ft)

The Installation Process:

Check all panels for possible damages/defects. Ensure you understand the difference between the tongue and the groove on the panel. Begin installing the first row from the left-hand corner of the room with both tongue sides of the panels pointing towards the wall. Place spacers between the edge of the flooring panels and the wall to provide the correct space for expansion.

Connect the second panel to the first by indirectly tapped using a hammer and push block, thereby joining the boards’ headers. Mark the last panel in the first row to the required length (place tongue to tongue) and cut. Start the second row with the off cut from the last panel of the first row. Always make sure the off cut is at least 500 mm long, if not then cut another piece which is greater than 500mm long. Start all subsequent rows with the off cut piece from the previous row. Connect the second row to the first by placing the interlocking end of the new panel at an angle to the previously installed panel and then lower it into a horizontal position to lock then indirectly tapped using a hammer and push block, thereby joining the boards’ headers.

Attention! A floor is considered level if the deviation height is less than 2mm over a distance of 2.5 linear metres. Deviations above this level must be levelled out before laying the underlay.

Expansion gaps and expected movement with laminate floors It’s imperative all floors must have an expansion gap of 10mm around the entire perimeter of the floor and all fixed points within the area of installation. Without this precaution the floor will move and have nowhere too go. This can cause extreme levels of pressure pushing upward and outwards, thus lifting the flooring.

by: Chriss Tyrrell

Laminate Flooring Inc,
9TH AV New YorkNY10036 USA 
 • 848-480-6156

Written by

Professional and founder of the Laminate Floor Installation Company. Laminate flooring installer experienced, Licensed and Fully insured. Member of the well known and respected NWFA National Wood Floor Association.