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How to Install Laminate Flooring Under or Up to Cabinets

Jay Kurz

Laminate flooring is one of the most popular floor applications today. This is because of the durability and also the fact that it comes to look like wood, ceramic tile, or vinyl. Laminate flooring is also easy to install because each section snaps together with out using staples or glue.

  1. Prepare the floor by checking for flatness. It does not have to be level, but it has to be flat to avoid creaking in the finished floor. If there are spots that are sunk down, you will have to use a self-leveling compound which you can find at your local hardware store. Let dry.

  2. Undercut any door frames that the laminate won't fit under. This is done by laying a piece of laminate up against the door frame and making a mark across the top of the laminate. This will show you where to cut in order for the laminate to slip under the frame. Cut the frame about 1/2 inch deep using a hand saw. This is done because laminate is a floating floor, which means it is not connected to the subfloor and needs room to expand and shift.

  3. Making sure to use 1/4 inch spacers for the perimeter of the floor, lay your floor in place. For the cupboards you will also leave a 1/4 inch gap between the edge of the flooring and the cupboard to leave room for expansion.

  4. Silicone caulk the 1/4 inch gap between the laminate and the wall around areas that will see moisture. This will assure a water seal and prevent any damage to the laminate in the long run. Let dry.

  5. Replace the quarter round moulding which will cover the 1/4 inch expansion gap around the perimeter of the floor. Use small finishing nails to secure the molding. Nail the moulding into the wall, not the laminate.