DIY Tips for Installing Laminate Flooring

installing laminate flooring

Installing laminate flooring is an excellent way to enhance the aesthetics of your home while adding durability and ease of maintenance. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner, with the right tools and knowledge, you can successfully install laminate flooring on your own. In this blog post, we will provide you with some valuable tips to ensure a smooth and hassle-free installation process. From preparing the subfloor to laying down the laminate planks, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and learn some essential DIY tips for installing laminate flooring.

Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before you begin the installation process, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • Laminate flooring planks: Measure your room to determine the amount of flooring you’ll require. Remember to account for wastage and purchase a little extra.
  • Underlayment: A foam or cork underlayment provides cushioning, sound absorption, and moisture protection. Ensure the underlayment is compatible with your laminate flooring.
  • Measuring tape and pencil: These will help you accurately measure and mark the dimensions of your room.
  • Safety gear: Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself during the installation process.
  • Saw: A circular saw or a jigsaw with a laminate blade will be necessary for cutting the planks to size.
  • Spacers: Use spacers to maintain a consistent expansion gap between the laminate and the walls.
  • Tapping block and pull bar: These tools will help you secure the planks together and overcome tight spots during installation.
  • Hammer and pry bar: These tools are useful for removing baseboards and trimming door casings.
  • Utility knife: A utility knife will come in handy for trimming the underlayment and making precise cuts.
  • Level and tape measure: These tools will ensure that the subfloor is even and the laminate planks are installed straight.

Make sure you have all the tools and materials readily available before you start the installation process to avoid unnecessary delays.

Prepare the Subfloor 

The key to a successful laminate flooring installation lies in preparing the subfloor properly. Follow these steps to ensure a solid foundation for your laminate:

  • Clear the room: Remove all furniture, rugs, and obstacles from the room where you plan to install the laminate flooring.
  • Inspect and clean the subfloor: Thoroughly inspect the subfloor for any damage or irregularities. Repair or replace damaged areas and ensure the subfloor is clean and free of debris.
  • Level the subfloor: Use a level to check for any unevenness. If you notice any low spots, use a self-leveling compound to even out the surface.
  • Install the underlayment: Roll out the underlayment across the entire floor, ensuring it’s tightly butted against the walls. Trim any excess underlayment using a utility knife.
  • Check for moisture: If you’re installing laminate flooring in areas prone to moisture, such as basements or bathrooms, consider using a moisture barrier or a vapor retarder to prevent damage to the laminate planks.

Taking the time to properly prepare the subfloor will result in a more stable and long-lasting laminate flooring installation.

Plan the Layout

Before you start installing the laminate flooring, it’s essential to plan the layout. Consider the following points:

  • Decide on the direction: Laminate flooring is typically installed parallel to the longest wall in the room. This visually elongates the space.
  • Account for expansion gaps: Laminate flooring requires an expansion gap to allow for natural expansion and contraction. Use spacers along the walls to maintain a consistent gap.
  • Stagger the joints: Avoid having adjacent rows with the same length of planks. Stagger the joints at least 12 inches apart to create a more natural and visually appealing pattern.
  • Mix planks from different boxes: Laminate flooring can have slight color variations between boxes. Mixing planks from different boxes during installation helps to distribute any color variations more evenly.

By planning the layout in advance, you can achieve a visually appealing and professional-looking installation.

Install the Laminate Flooring

Now that you have prepared the subfloor and planned the layout, it’s time to install the laminate flooring. Follow these steps:

  • Start with an underlayment: Lay down the first row of underlayment along the wall where you’ll begin the installation. Trim the excess underlayment.
  • Begin with the first row: Place the first laminate plank in the corner of the room, maintaining the expansion gap using spacers. Use a tapping block and hammer to ensure a tight fit between planks.
  • Continue with subsequent rows: Install the second row by connecting the short end of the plank to the previous row’s long end at an angle. Gently press down to lock the planks together. Repeat this process for subsequent rows, using a pull bar and tapping block as needed.
  • Cut planks to fit: Measure and mark the planks that need to be trimmed to fit the edges of the room. Use a circular saw or jigsaw to make precise cuts, ensuring the finished edges face away from the walls.
  • Install around obstacles: For obstacles like doorways or heating vents, carefully measure and cut the planks to fit around them. Use transition pieces to create a clean and seamless transition between different rooms or flooring types.
  • Complete the installation: Continue installing the planks row by row until you reach the opposite wall. Remember to maintain the expansion gap throughout the process.
  • Replace baseboards: Once the laminate flooring is installed, reinstall or replace the baseboards. Attach them to the wall, not the flooring, to allow for expansion.


Installing laminate flooring can be a rewarding DIY project that adds beauty and value to your home. By following these tips, you can achieve a successful installation and enjoy the benefits of laminate flooring for years to come. Remember to gather all the necessary tools and materials, properly prepare the subfloor, plan the layout, and install the laminate planks with care. With patience and attention to detail, you’ll be able to create a stunning and durable floor that enhances the ambiance of your living space. Happy DIY flooring!