How to Lay Laminate Flooring in a Kitchen

Updated February 21, 2017

Regular wood flooring isn’t a good idea for the kitchen, as it is absorbent, and can soak up moisture and odours from the cooking area. But a laminated wood floor is a veneer of wood on top, covered with a protective clear coat of laminate, usually with particle board underneath, which makes it better for a kitchen. Laminate floors come in glueless or "floating" systems that make installation easier, since it doesn’t attach to anything.

Take out the refrigerator, stove and any other removable items.

Remove all the existing floor trim in the kitchen, including around the base cabinets, with a hammer and flat bar, making sure not to break the trim as you remove it. Set it in another room.

Cover the whole floor in foam-plastic underlayment, laying it out in side-by-side courses and taping them together along the edges.

Snap together the first course of laminated floorboards and set them alongside your starting wall, with the grooved sides of the boards facing the wall. Stand shims between the boards and the wall to make a small space there that will allow the floorboards to expand over time. Cut the last piece in the course on your mitre saw so it fits.

Lay the next courses in the same manner, locking each new course alongside the previous course. Mix the board sizes so the ends of the boards don’t line up between courses.

Build across the floor course by course, cutting the end pieces on your mitre saw and using your jigsaw to cut the boards around cabinet bases and any other odd angles.

Length-cut the final course of boards on a table saw so they fit alongside the last wall with a small space there, about 1/4 inch.

Reinstall your floor trim using a hammer and trim nails. The trim will cover up the gaps by the walls.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Flat bar
  • Tape measure
  • Foam-plastic underlayment
  • Duct tape
  • Razor knife
  • Laminated glueless flooring kit
  • Wood shims
  • Mitre saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Table saw
  • Trim nails
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