How to Install a Laminate Floor

How to Install a Laminate Floor


Step 1: Trim Door Casings and Jams

lam1 To install a laminate floor, first make room for the new flooring at doorways by cutting back casings and jams.  Use a scrap of new flooring to gauge the cut and a handsaw to cut the casing.  Then wrap around and cut the jam.

Step 2: Clean Up

lam2 Next, clean the room so there's no dust or debris to interfere with the new floor.

 Step 3: Install Underlayment

lam3Roll out underlayment and cover the entire sub floor. Underlayment is cut to length, placed into position, and trimmed with a utility knife at edges where needed.  At heating units, it's trimmed and tucked underneath. 


Step 4: Tape Underlayment Seams

lam4 Where pieces meet, the seams are sealed with seam tape to make it a continuous layer.  On this product, the tape is integral.

Step 5: Installing Flooring From Left to Right

lam5 To install the flooring, begin on the longest wall and work left to right. The first row will require a rip cut to remove the lip and leave a clean edge.

Step 6: Mark and Cut Around Obstructions 

lam6 Here, a heating pipe obstructs the first piece and will require a special cut.  


Mark with a pencil, and use a coping saw to make the circular cut. Then, fit the piece and position it around the pipe. 

Step 7: Connect End Joints

lam8Laminate floors lock together on all sides each with it's own proprietary system.  Here, the end piece slips in as you fit and lock the pieces together. 

Step 8: Snap Edges Together


Edges fit together by lifting the top edge and connecting the interlocking joint.

Step 9: Stagger Joints


Once the first row is in, subsequent rows just lock in place as you fan out and fill in the field. Stagger the rows for a random look.

Step 10: Shave the Lip off and Glue


At door jams, temporarily install the adjacent piece to easily see the shape of the next one.  Then take measurements and cut the piece. For tricky areas like this, where new flooring will extend under the casing and jam, shave the lip off the tongue with a sharp chisel and add glue to secure the joint.  



Use the manufacturer supplied beater block and a dead-blow hammer to nudge it into position. Then, continue with installation until the final row. It's necessary to shave the lip and add glue for strength.

Step 11: Nudge the Row


To fit the last piece, use the beater block and dead-blow hammer to nudge the entire row down to make room.  Then, shave the lip off the end piece and the lip lengthwise and add glue to all joints before setting the piece and knocking the row back into position.

Step 12: Set the Molding


The final transition is between the laminate floor and tile floor.  Here we install a heavy bead of construction adhesive and sink a piece of T-molding into the gap to bridge the two floor surfaces.  



Painter's tape holds it in position as the adhesive sets up.

Step 13: Install Shoe Molding


Finally, we install shoe molding around the baseboard, and at doorways, and the installation is complete. 



STANLEY Pro Project Guides

To reduce the risk of personal injury and property damage, read and follow all related product manufacturers instruction manuals and information before performing any of the applications shown. Some construction-related applications shown may not be allowed in your local area. Consult your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) before starting work for information on permits, applicable codes, and other regulations. STANLEY disclaims any responsibility for any damage to property or injury to persons as a result of misuse of the information provided.