Laminate flooring, with a v-grooved bevel edge, is easily installed with a few tools. It can be laid without fear of one plank being higher than the others because the groove will accommodate slight irregularities in the subfloor surface. As the price of solid wood floor is often prohibitive, laminate floor coverings with imitation wood grain can supply the cosy quality of real wood without the cost.
Lay a 2-by-4 across the room to check if the floor is uneven; lay a level on top of this board and check the bubble for levelness. A self levelling compound can be used to correct any deficiencies.
Vacuum the subfloor; make certain there are no extraneous particles on this surface.
Measure the size of the room and divide by the width of your flooring to ascertain how many floor planks you will need for the job.
Allow your new flooring material to remain in its new environment for two days to adapt to any new temperature.
Lay a 2.5 by 2.5 cm (1 by 1 inch) furring strip next to the wall surface so that you have a solid surface when you tap the first rows.
Wipe the tongue of the boards with a damp cloth to remove any dust; this will facilitate a tight fit when you tap the boards together. Place the tongue side toward you as you install the floor; this is the side you will tap on, never the groove side. Always tap gently so you do not damage the flooring.
Make the seams overlap by 40 by 45 cm (16 to 18 inches). Staggered joints will add to the integrity of the whole floor. A piece of 2.5 by 2.5 cm (1 by 1 inch) wood will aid you in tapping the flooring lengthwise to ensure a tight fit; place it next to the end of a laminate board to absorb the force of the hammer taps. This will keep you from marring the edges.
Continue across the floor area. Use any length left from the last cut of a row to start the next row. Do not use any piece that is less than 30 cm (12 inches) in this placement.
Rip the last piece necessary to finish the floor with a power saw.
Slide the last board in place. Pull it snug into place next to the previous plank. There is a special laminate flooring pull bar tool made for this procedure.
Finish with wood trim.
Padding may be placed under the laminate flooring. This is used for noise reduction and as a moisture barrier. Use a coping saw to make any small cuts for registers or outlets.