How to Lay Laminate Floor: Step by Step Instructions


Laminate floors come in several installation systems, but by far the easiest to install for the homeowner is a ``floating’’ floor. The wood-veneer laminated boards are manufactured so the ends and sides will snap tightly together and hold there, so you don’t need to nail or glue the boards. They sit on a plastic underlayment, with the edges of the floor pinned down by the floor trim. They can go over any subfloor material except carpet.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Plastic foam underlayment
  • Plastic tape
  • Utility knife
  • Laminate no-glue floorboards
  • Shims
  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Trim nail gun
  • Cover the whole floor with plastic foam underlayment, rolling it out in courses and cutting it at the ends with a utility knife. Tape the pieces together at the sides with the plastic tape that came with the underlayment.

  • Lay the starting course of floorboards alongside the wall where you want to start, connecting them together end to end and positioning the grooved sides so they face the wall. Stand shims between the boards and the wall, to make an expansion-gap there that will allow the floor to move. Use a miter saw to trim the last board in the course.

  • Set the next courses one by one, connecting each course to the previous one by snapping them together at the long sides. Stagger the ends of the boards, using differently sized ones as needed to prevent them from lining up between rows. Build across the whole floor.

  • Use a table saw to cut the last course of boards along their lengths, so they fit by the wall while leaving a 1/4 inch gap there.

  • Cut and install floor trim to cover the gaps by the walls, using your miter saw and nail gun.

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  • Photo Credit Floor image by Einar Bog from
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