How to Install Laminate Under Baseboard Heaters

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Installing laminate flooring gives you a wood look-alike surface.
Installing laminate flooring gives you a wood look-alike surface. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

While you can install laminate flooring in virtually any area with a flat subfloor -- on top of concrete or plywood -- sometimes you have to cut the material around things such as vents in the floor, doorways or even underneath baseboard heaters. Sometimes you can slide the laminate material underneath the heater using the same measurement for the rest of the cuts that die into the wall. Other times you need to notch the piece around the heater. In either case, installating laminate requires only basic carpentry knowledge.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Carpenter's square
  • Miter saw
  • Drill
  • Wood glue
  • Rubber mallet

Check the height of the baseboard heater to see if you can slide the pieces of laminate underneath the casing, or if you need to notch the laminate material around the baseboard heater. Use a scrap piece of material from one of your cutoffs and slide it under the baseboard to check if for sufficient clearance to cut the board along the wall. If not, you'll need to cut the pieces to fit.

Work your way across the laminate floor, snapping the pieces in place, gluing them and working down row by row until you reach the point where you need to cut around the baseboard heater. Measure from the edge of the closest full piece of laminate flooring to the wall for pieces that will slide under the baseboard heater. Otherwise, measure the notched area where the cut will have an L-notch in the piece to fit around the heater. Mark the piece with a pencil and the square.

Cut the piece of laminate with the miter saw. For straight pieces, hold the piece against the tray and pull the trigger of the saw while you pull the blade down into the laminate. For the L-cut, simply cut one side of the notch while the laminate is on the tray, then move the piece of laminate around so you can cut the other side of the notch, leaving behind an L-shaped piece.

Slide the cut piece of laminate into place. Use the manufacturer’s recommended type of glue and slot the pieces together. Tap the cut piece against the preceding row with the rubber mallet as well as against the adjacent piece in the row you cut down to fit. Cut any remaining pieces as necessary until you're finished with the baseboard heater.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear safety gear when working with power tools.

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