How To Put Down Laminate Flooring? (Explained)

Laminate flooring is a great option for those who want to improve their home without breaking the bank. It’s durable, easy to install, and comes in a variety of styles that give you lots of options. 

The most important thing about laminate flooring is getting it down right—any mistakes will show up immediately on your new floors. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have a beautiful new floor in no time

How to install laminate flooring tutorial
Laying laminate flooring is a cost-effective way to upgrade home decor.
Proper planning and preparation are crucial for a successful installation.
Choosing the right type of laminate flooring is just as important as the installation process.
Laminate flooring can be installed on nearly any type of subfloor with the proper underlayment.
It’s essential to follow manufacturer instructions and use appropriate tools for a professional-looking finish.
Additional resources, such as guides and how-to videos, can be beneficial for both novices and experienced installers.

Assemble The Proper Tools

You will need a hammer, a tape measure, a screwdriver, and a pry bar.

A utility knife is necessary for cutting the laminate flooring to size.

Sandpaper will be helpful if you want to smooth out rough edges after installation.

You may also need to install underlayment to ensure that the new laminate flooring is level with your existing floors and can withstand moisture from water damage or spilled drinks (see “Tools” below).

Laminate flooring on walls adds an innovative touch to home decor. If you’re looking to try it out, be sure to check this comprehensive guide on installing flooring on walls to ensure a sleek and professional installation.

Make Sure Your New Flooring Is Acclimated

Before you move on to the next step in your flooring installation, make sure that your new laminate is acclimated. Acclimation is a process that allows the flooring to adjust to the temperature and humidity of its new environment. 

This can be done by leaving it in its packaging for 24 hours or placing it in an area with ample air circulation such as a garage or basement. 

If this isn’t possible because you don’t have another place available, simply leave some doors open in rooms where you will install the flooring so there is constant airflow.

After 24 hours has passed, remove all boxes from their packaging and open them up onto a work surface covered with drop cloths (these will catch any adhesive residue).

Flooring Acclimation Guide

Factors to considerTimeline
Type of flooring
Different types of flooring have different acclimation periods. For example, solid hardwood typically takes longer to acclimate than engineered hardwood or laminate.
Varies by type and manufacturer, typically 2-7 days.
Environmental conditions
The temperature and humidity of your home can affect how long it takes for your flooring to acclimate.
Typically at least 2-3 days, but can take longer in extreme conditions.
Flooring installation location
The location where the flooring will be installed can impact the acclimation period. Installing in an area with lots of natural light or near a heating source may require additional acclimation time.
Varies depending on the location and conditions.
Length and width of flooring
The length and width of your flooring planks can also affect how long it takes to acclimate. Longer and wider planks may require additional time.
Typically 5-7 days, but can take longer for wider planks.

Make sure your new flooring is acclimated properly before installation by factoring in these considerations. To ensure the best possible outcome, follow manufacturer instructions and best practices for acclimation.

Lay It All Out

This is the point where you’re going to have to put down your coffee and go at it. Lay out all of the boards, leaving plenty of space for expansion (about an inch or so) and check that they are square and level. 

If they aren’t, this is a good time to adjust them before any glue has been applied, otherwise you’ll be stuck with small gaps or uneven flooring. You can do this by using a straightedge (a long ruler) as a guide along each board’s edge. 

You may need someone else (who knows how?) in order to hold the straightedge while you mark off any adjustments needed on each board.

If there’s no one around who knows how to use a straightedge properly and who isn’t currently asleep you can also just eyeball it until everything looks right; but beware: if everything looks wrong when you stand back up from crouching over your workbench with your head cocked to one side like an owl perched atop his favorite tree branch…

Leaky pipes and clogged drains are not only frustrating but can lead to costly damage. Our expert guide on plumbing repairs is an excellent resource for both novices and seasoned homeowners.

Install The Underlayment

Now that the subfloor has been prepared and the cement board is securely in place, it’s time to install your laminate flooring. 

The first step is installing an underlayment (also known as a moisture barrier), which can be found at most home improvement stores in rolls or sheets. It’s a thin, flexible piece of material that goes directly over your subfloor before you lay down your laminate planks.

The key function of this layer is to prevent moisture from seeping up through the subflooring into your new flooring by acting as a barrier between them. 

In addition, underlayment will also help keep sound from traveling through floors and walls as well if you have neighbors on either side who may disturb you with loud music or loud footsteps during late night parties (this happens).

Try To Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is an important aspect of any DIY project, but it’s especially critical in this case. You need to know the size of your room and how much flooring you’ll need to cover it. 

If you’re planning on installing laminate flooring on an entire second story (or even a whole house), make sure that there is enough room in the boxes for all the pieces that will be delivered.

If you’re doing this project yourself, not only will having all these measurements ready help with installation; they’ll also give your local store a better idea of what kind of tools and materials they should stock before they run out of stock because no one knows how long it will take someone else to get theirs done!

Renovating your home on a budget? Check out our list of top places to buy cheap home improvement supplies without compromising on quality.

Use Spacers Instead Of A Tape Measure For Better Accuracy

When you’re laying laminate flooring, it’s important to ensure that each plank is aligned with the one next to it. This can be difficult if you don’t have a tape measure handy, but luckily there’s a trick that will make your job a whole lot easier:

Use spacers instead of a tape measure for better accuracy. Spacers are also useful for laying laminate flooring in a straight line and keeping planks from overlapping when they’re placed too close together. 

When using spacers, simply place them on top of each other as you go they’ll fit perfectly together without any extra work on your part! 

Just make sure not to use them where two pieces meet; this could result in unsightly gaps between boards if not done correctly (and is also considered bad practice).

Using Spacers for Accurate Floor Installation

Advantages of spacersTips for using spacers
Consistent spacing
Spacers help ensure that your flooring planks are spaced evenly, providing a more professional-looking finish.
You’ll need to purchase or rent spacers that are the appropriate size for your install.
Simplifies the process
Using spacers is an easy and straightforward way to ensure accuracy and consistency throughout your installation.
Place spacers at the edges of each plank, rather than in the middle, for best results.
Minimizes the risk of damage
When installing with a tape measure, the risk of damaging the planks during installation is higher. Spacers eliminate this risk.
Be sure to remove the spacers before applying the baseboards or moldings.
Improves ventilation
Using spacers will allow space for air to circulate, which can prevent moisture buildup and prolong the life of your flooring.
Ensure that the spacers are fitted snugly and hold the planks firmly in place.

Using spacers during floor installation can make the process more accurate and straightforward. To achieve the best results, choose spacers that are appropriate for your install and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on application.

Position Your First Board Properly

Now that you are done with the first board, it’s time to position your next one. You may feel like you have built a lot of strength and endurance by getting through the first board, but don’t let this fool you into thinking that things will be easier from here on out! This is just as much work as positioning a single board!

First, make sure that this board is level. Use a level and adjust it until the bubble in the middle reads level (if there are two lines inside of it). 

If your floor has warped slightly or if there is some kind of bump or hump in it, then use some shims under one side so that this new piece can sit straight on top of them. 

Remember: even though most laminate flooring comes pre-scored so that pieces can easily snap together, doing so requires all four corners to be exactly aligned—and even then they might not fit perfectly together without some tweaking by hand.

Are you in the process of choosing the perfect flooring for your home? Our comprehensive guide on the different types of flooring will provide you with all the information needed to make an informed decision.

Cut Your Boards As Needed

Once you’ve matched up the boards, it’s time to cut them down to size. Depending on how your room is laid out and what kind of flooring you’re installing, this step may not apply to you. If so, skip ahead to Step 9!

If you need to cut your laminate flooring into smaller pieces, use a straightedge (like a yardstick) and utility knife. 

You also can use a miter saw or circular saw equipped with a sharp blade if needed. For best results when cutting laminate flooring at an angle like this, make sure both sides are even before putting them together; otherwise the end result won’t be as smooth as it should be.

To make it easier for your boards to fit together during installation later on in this process, try using 45-degree cuts instead of 90-degree ones whenever possible—it’ll save time!

Don’t Shy Away From Glue

Glue is the key to a successful installation. You do not have to use glue, but it is recommended that you do so if you are installing more than one row of boards. 

Glue will also come in handy if your floor planks are warped or cupped. If you decide against using glue, we recommend using a nylon underlayment instead.

Proper planning can make or break a home renovation project. Be sure to check out our guide on planning a home renovation project to ensure that your project runs smoothly from start to finish.

Fill In Spaces Around The Edges With Quarter-Round Trim

When you’re installing laminate flooring, it’s important to cover up the spaces around your walls and baseboards. 

This is done with quarter-round trim, which is a type of molding that can be cut to fit any space. Quarter-round trim comes in styles ranging from traditional wood to stylish metal and everything in between, so you should be able to find one that matches your room’s style nicely.

Once you’ve chosen your style, simply trace around the perimeter of each wall or baseboard with a pencil; this will show where you need to cut out for the quarter-round trim. 

Then use a saw or jigsaw (depending on what type of material yours is made out of) and make these cuts horizontally if necessary before attaching them into place using nails or glue gun adhesive just make sure not to get too close when hammering because this could cause damage!

Get Help For More Complicated Areas (If Needed)

If you don’t feel like you have the proper skills to lay down the flooring yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is an easy step that can save time and money in the long run and make sure your floor is installed properly.

  • Get a friend or family member to help if possible

If someone else has already done this before, they might be able to lend you some tips on how they did it! You could also hire a professional if their services are cheaper than the cost of renting equipment. 

If it’s a big job, though—or if there isn’t anyone nearby who knows what they’re doing—you may want to consider calling in an expert installer instead of trying alone (especially if this is your first time).

Remove Excess Glue Right Away Before It Sets

After the glue is down, use a putty knife or paint scraper to scrape away any excess. If you’ve laid the flooring over hardwood, you can do it right away; if it’s over another type of subfloor, wait at least 24 hours before removing excess glue.

To remove it more quickly, use a plastic card to push out any remaining bubbles and wrinkles in the laminate and then clean up any smudges with a razor blade scraper.

Enjoy Your New Flooring! Yay!

Once your flooring is down, it’s time to put the finishing touches on.

  • Sweep up any excess dust from the floor.
  • Vacuum your new laminate floor to help remove loose particles (but don’t overdo it!).
  • Wipe down any trim that was exposed during installation.
  • Clean up any area around the room where you were working so you can enjoy your new flooring!


Good job! You just put down your laminate flooring, and now you can enjoy it for years to come. If you want to make sure that the job goes smoothly, we recommend using some of these tips: make sure your new floors are acclimated before installing them

Try to plan ahead so that you don’t run into any problems while laying out all those boards or installing them with glue, use spacers instead of tape measures for better accuracy when cutting boards down to size (don’t forget about filling in spaces around your edges!), get help if needed with any complicated areas (like corners!). 

Don’t forget about removing excess glue right away before it sets because otherwise you’ll have an ugly mess on your hands!

Further Reading

For more information on laminate flooring installation, check out the following resources:

The Spruce: How to Lay Laminate Flooring: A detailed guide on the various steps involved in laminate flooring installation.

wikiHow: Lay Laminate Flooring: A comprehensive guide with accompanying images that walks you through the installation process from start to finish.

Bob Vila: How to Install Laminate Flooring: A detailed guide that covers everything from choosing the right laminate flooring to installing it like a pro.


Can laminate flooring be installed on any type of subfloor?

Laminate flooring can be installed on any type of subfloor, including concrete, plywood, and even existing vinyl flooring. However, it’s important to ensure that the subfloor is level and free of any cracks or bumps.

How do I choose the right underlayment for my laminate flooring?

The type of underlayment you choose will depend on the type of subfloor you have and the laminate flooring you’re installing. For example, foam underlayment is a popular choice for concrete subfloors, while cork underlayment is ideal for reducing noise in multi-level homes.

What tools are needed for laminate flooring installation?

To install laminate flooring, you’ll need a variety of tools, including a circular saw, a jigsaw, a measuring tape, a level, and a tapping block. You may also need a rubber mallet, a pull bar, and a utility knife.

How long does it take to install laminate flooring?

The time it takes to install laminate flooring will depend on the size of the space, the type of laminate, and the level of experience of the installer. Generally, installations can be completed in a day or two for small rooms, while larger rooms may take a few days or more.

Can laminate flooring be installed in a bathroom or kitchen?

While laminate flooring is water-resistant, it’s not waterproof and can be damaged by standing water or high levels of humidity. As such, it’s generally not recommended for use in bathrooms or kitchens unless it’s specifically rated for those areas.