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Laminate Floor Installation for Beginners

9 Clever Tips

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by Jeff Patterson in Interior DIY Projects
Laminate Floor Installation for Beginners and 9 Clever Tips

Laminate floor installation can be easy.

But some beginners can make tragic mistakes.

So we made this tutorial that shares 9 clever tips.

Let’s dive in and by the end you’ll be way more prepared for your laminate floor project.


Tip #1: Acclimate Laminate Flooring

Many homeowners make a fatal mistake: immediately installing laminate floors after getting it.

Let laminate floors acclimate for at least 2 days to the temperature and humidity of the home.

Stack the packages with pieces of wood between them. This allows air to circulate and help the laminate get used to its surroundings.


Tip #2: Clean and Flat Subfloors

Wood subfloors should be dry, clean and flat.

Moisture levels can be checked with a moisture meter and under 14%.

In addition, subfloors should be as flat as possible. Any floor that’s out of level by more than 1/8″ will create problems for laminate flooring.

What can be done?

Either self-level the floor or use a Ardex Feather Finish to address any irregularities.

There’s nothing worse than laminate floors that flex under your foot. Address any subfloor problems before doing any type of laminate floor installation.


Tip #3: Run Laminate Perpendicular to Joists

Most directions recommend running laminate flooring perpendicular to floor joists.

This provides added strength to the floor and helps cut down on bowing in the laminate.

That said, some times it’s not possible to do this. Just make sure the subfloor is flat and the proper thickness, e.g. 5/8″.


Tip #4: Cut Tongue Off First Row

All laminate floors require an expansion joint next to walls or doors.

In order to accomplish this joint it’s often necessary to cut off the tongue of the first row.

This can be done via a circular saw or table saw. But cutting off the tongue enables the expansion gap to be maintained throughout the room.


Tip #5: Chalk-Line the Wall

Walls are NOT perfect.

Therefore we recommend running a chalk-line parallel with the first wall.

Then double checking each the chalk-line to see where the wall is not even.

This will help you plan any scribe cuts against the wall to ensure the first row is installed correctly.

Watch our video to see all 9 clever tips for a solid laminate floor installation…the last one is rarely mentioned in other tutorials and could make or break your project


If you liked these tips let us know in the comments.

Also, add your own recommendations in the comments so others can learn from your knowledge.


Jeff Patterson


  1. Ohioren Aigbokhaevbo says:

    Nice tips…Thanks for sharing these tips. Never installed a laminate floor before, but I can now with these simple steps.

    1. Thank you Ohioren, always happy to help if you have questions.

  2. Landon "" Edgington says:

    Thank you for this article that you posted. It really helps me to install my flooring since I’m a beginner at it. This post is great.

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