Place the boxes of flooring in the room where the laminate planks will be installed and allow to acclimate for a minimum of 48 hours. Remove the base molding before beginning the installation. Use a stiff putty knife to pry it away from the wall and a utility knife to cut the seal if it was caulked to the wall along the top.
Open the boxes and remove the flooring. Always work out of three boxes at a time when installing any flooring product. Read the instructions for any specific details regarding your flooring.
Lay the underlayment. The foam underlayment cushions the laminate floor and makes it softer to walk on. The edges of the underlayment should meet closely, but not overlap; that is, abut the edges.
Cut the tongue from the end of the first plank. Lay the plank in the left corner and place a space between the end of the plank and the wall. Place two spacers on either end of the plank along the long edge between the plank and the wall.
Lay the second plank's tongue end against the first plank's groove end. Place two spacers between the plank and the wall. With the tapping block against the groove end, tap the block lightly until the tongue seats itself into the groove. Be sure the long edges align.
Install the entire row until a plank has to be cut to fit between the end of the row and the wall. Lay the last plank alongside the row with the tongue end against the wall and a spacer. Use a square to mark across the plank at the end of the first row. Cut across the line with a saw and install this last plank in the row. Save the cut-off piece to begin the next row. Use the pull bar and hammer to pull the tongue and groove together.
Lay the cut-off piece from the previous step against the first plank in the first row. Place a spacer between it and the wall. Lift the plank about 20 degrees and fit the tongue into the groove of the first plank. Add a full plank next to it in the same fashion, lifting to fit the tongue and groove together. Use the tapping block to join the tongue and groove ends.
Continue laying entire rows at a time. If the final row needs to be cut to fit, measure with a tape measure, make marks and use a piece of laminate flooring as a straight-edge to draw a line, end to end. Cut down the line and if necessary remove the tongue end to fit against the wall. Lift to fit into the groove. Finish the row, using the tapping block or pull bar to fit the end tongues and grooves together.
Remove all the spacers and the floor is finished and ready for molding. You'll need a miter saw to cut base molding when you're done. If you have one on hand for cutting the flooring as you install it, the job will go faster. Then you can go right from flooring to installing the trim.
Things You Will Need
- Installation kit including spacers, pull bar and tapping block.
- Tundra laminate flooring
- Underlayment (optional)
- Circular saw, table saw or jigsaw
- Safety glasses
- Tape measure
- Use a jamb saw to undercut doorjambs just enough to fit the flooring underneath them. A piece of scrap flooring will make a perfect spacer to lay the saw against.
- A jigsaw will be useful for cutting out odd shapes in the floor or when you come to outside corners.
- Undercutting doorjambs or working around pipes means leaving a gap. Don't forget these important gaps.