Here are some tips for installing laminate flooring that the manufacturers dont mention: how to
select the best laminate underlayment and use quarter round.
One of the wonderful things about laminate flooring is that unlike traditional hardwood floors,
its simple to install. Traditional
hardwood floor installation requires dealing with slightly warped
lumber, nailing, gluing, sanding, and floor finishing.
Laminate floors go down quick and are prefinished. And,
laminate floor maintenance
However, like any other DIY project, there are a few things the manufacturers instructions simply
tell you. This article will arm the reader with various laminate floor installation tips.
Use the Best Laminate Flooring Underlayment
Flooring distributors will generally present the buyer with at least two grades of laminate underlayment;
standard and premium underlayment.
Whats the difference? Just thickness. Both grades are made of a
felt-like material with a moisture barrier.
Go ahead and spend the extra cash to get the premium grade
The purpose of laminate flooring underlayment is two-fold. First it provides a bit of give
the foot or furniture and the subfloor. This not only protects the laminate but makes up for the inevitable
low and high spots on the subfloor.
The other duty of underlayment is sound control. This seems illogical since its underneath the slick
surface of the laminate planks, but it does work because its between the subfloor and the planks. Be sure
to use wide clear plastic tape to connect runs of underlayment.
Doorways and Laminate Floor Installation
When it comes to floating laminate floor installation, most of the fun occurs at the doorways.
First, pull the hinge pins and remove the doors. Theyre probably hollow core doors, and so weigh
almost nothing. If left hung, theyll just get in the way.
Next, carefully remove the door trim and set it aside to reinstall later.
Undercut the door jambs. For a professional looking finish, the laminate planks have to slide under
the door trim. Draw a horizontal pencil line the thickness of the laminate and the underlayment and
use a coping saw to undercut it.
Installing straight runs of laminate in the middle of the room is straightforward enough, but things
get tricky at the doorways. There will be times when its absolutely impossible to both snap the laminate
flooring planks together and simultaneously get the laminate under the door jamb.
When this happens, use a sharp utility knife to shave off the locking part of the laminate edges
while leaving the flat part of the connector intact. This will allow sliding the two planks together to
Be sure to add a small bead of wood glue to ensure that the planks will remained mated. Titebond
woodworking glue is the best choice. Dont use Gorilla Grip glue; itll foam out of the joint as
Baseboard and Quarter Round
Laminate flooring is a floating flooring system. It won't move around a lot, but its
only connected to itself. At no time will it be attached to the subfloor or wall.
This is why there should be a 1/4 inch gap (or whatever your manufacturer recommends) around the entire
perimeter of the floor. This gap also
allows the installer to use the laminate flooring pull bar to snug things up.