Top 10 Laminate Installation Tips

1) Ensure you take accurate measurements.

    • Use a tape measure to determine the room’s length and width. Multiply the length by the width to get the room’s square footage.
    • Add an additional 5% to the square footage to accommodate for cuts and waste.

 

2) Ensure you acclimate your laminate in a climate controlled room for a minimum of 48 hours

    • NEVER install your laminate floor as soon as the boxes arrive at your house.
    • Laminate needs to sit in your home for a minimum of 48 hours prior to installation in order for the product to become accustomed to the new climate (humidity, temperature)
    • Ideally laminate should be acclimated in the room in which it will be installed. This allows the planks to become unified in the temperature and humidity of the room in which it will be installed.
    • Place cartons in the middle of the floor and ensure boxes are kept flat.

 

3) Ensure subfloor is level

    • Laminate floors are “floating” floors and are therefore, not attached to the subfloor. A subfloor that is not level could cause the planks to squeak or separate.
    • To check your level, you want a peak or valley that is not more than 1/8” within 40” of grade. Any low spot of 3/16” or more must be filled in with levelling compound.
    • If you find low and high spots, you’ll need to even out these areas. A Portland-based leveler or leveling compound is recommended to fill in and smooth down the valleys and peaks.

 

4) Ensure you read the installation guide thoroughly and take special notice of the recommended direction in which to install the flooring.

    • The installation guide contains pertinant information that can help you succeed in your installation.
    • Not all click installation systems are the same. Some must be installed in a left to right direction and others must be installed right to left. This information is noted on the top of the Golden Select installation guide.

 

5) Ensure you have the proper tools and accessories.

    • Hand or power saw (fine-toothed blade)
    • Chalk line/string
    • Spacers
    • Set square
    • Vapor barrier minimum 0.15 mm (for installation on concrete and radiant heat floors)
    • Tape measure
    • Tapping block and pull bar
    • Rubber mallet
    • Utility knife

 

6) Use a tapping block

    • Tongue and groove planks fit together very tightly so a tapping block to help close the joints. You can make your own tapping block from a scrap piece of laminate but you will get the best results from a tapping block specifically made for flooring. Connecting the short ends of the planks together must be done using a tapping block and mallet.

 

7) Undercut the casing

    • To ensure the laminate floor fits around doorways it is necessary to trim, or undercut the door casings so the flooring can slip underneath. Use a scrap piece of laminate and place it in front of the door casing. This will show you how high to cut. Mark with a pencil and then use a reciprocating or hand saw to cut through the casing.

 

8) Cut planks in the proper direction

    • If you use a circular saw you should always cut the laminate planks from the bottom of the laminate (foam backer side up). This will ensure a clean cut on the decorative side of the laminate that will be visible once installed. If using a jigsaw it is best to cut in the opposite manner with the decorative side of the plank face up.

 

9) Ensure you leave the proper expansion gap

Laminate flooring is a floating floor and requires an expansion gap at all outer walls and around any vertical permanent objects. This expansion gap allows the laminate planks to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. Without expansion gaps you risk performance issues like buckling and squeaking of your laminate floor.


For laminate flooring please follows the following guidelines

    • For rooms 7.6m (25ft ) long/wide or less, leave 10 mm (3/8”)
    • For rooms greater than 7.6m (25ft), leave 15 mm (5/8”)

 

10) Have patience!

    • While click installation is designed to be a simple installation system it still requires some prep work and some practice. Ensure you carefully read the installation guids and iniate the install in the correct direction (left to right or right to left as noted on the install guide). Often times the first several rows can be a little trying to install as you are getting familiar with the click system. Once the first 2 -3 rows are installed the rest of the floor goes together quite easily.