Install Laminate Flooring

Learn how to install durable and inexpensive laminate flooring — it's a snap.
Brown laminate flooring in a living room.

Fabulous Floors

HGTV gives step by step instructions on how to install laminate flooring. It's a snap.

Materials and Tools:

protective eyewear
measuring tape
level
rubber mallet
circular saw
tapping block
underlay pad
laminate flooring
quarter-round shoe molding

Steps:

Woman laying laminate boards over barrier

Step 1: Lay Protective Barrier

Lay a protective barrier under the laminate boards.

Lay a protective barrier under the laminate boards.

1. Remove any baseboards in the room and take measurements of the area where you wish to install new flooring.

Tip: When buying flooring, make sure to get approximately 10 percent extra, better to have it on-hand should you need it rather than have to run out mid-job.

2. Put on protective eyewear.

3. Install the underlayment. This will level the floor, give a cushiony step and protect against mold and mildew growth.

Three People Laying Floor Boards

Step 4: Laying the Floor Boards

Start laying boards on the longest wall.

Start laying boards on the longest wall.

4. Begin laying the laminate flooring along the room's longest wall. Leave a 1/4-inch gap between the laminate boards and the walls on all sides, this allows for expansion and contraction due to seasonal humidity and temperature changes. If necessary, use 1/4-inch spacers.

5. Lay laminate flooring away from the wall, staggering the boards so the seams don't match up.

Man Using Mallet on Flooring

Step 6: Tap With Mallet

Use a mallet to tap each board into place.

Use a mallet to tap each board into place.

6. For a tight fit, use a mallet and tapping block to secure the boards together. Once the entire floor is in place, reinstall baseboards.

7. To cover expansion gaps along the walls, install quarter-round shoe molding. Attach the molding to the baseboard using a nail gun, do not nail the shoe molding into the new laminate flooring.

Next Up

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Learn how to care for hardwood floors by using these natural cleaners and following these simple tips.

Your Guide to the Different Types of Hardwood Flooring

The enduring good looks of hardwood flooring come in many types and styles to fit different needs and budgets.

How to Remove Candle Wax From Hardwood Floors

Use heat or ice to effectively remove those accidental wax drippings from your wood floors.

How to Refinish Hardwood Floors

It takes some elbow grease to refinish hardwood floors, but it's worth it. Hardwood floors add value to your home and provide a classic look that goes with any style.

Do-It-Yourself Butcher-Block Kitchen Countertop

Transform your kitchen on a budget with our step-by-step guide to creating a butcher-block countertop.

How to Clean Wood Furniture

Say goodbye to water stains, ink marks and polish buildup on your wood furniture by following these simple cleaning tips and tricks.

How to Clean Vinyl Floors

Remove dirt, scuffs and stains from vinyl floors with these easy cleaning and maintenance tips.

Difference Between Laminate and Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl and laminate flooring options offer affordability and durability for homeowners, but each of these popular options comes with certain strengths and weaknesses. Consider the pros and cons and feel confident in your product choice.

How to Clean Wood Cabinets

Grime and grease don't stand a chance with these tips for cleaning wood cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom.

How to Install a Kitchen Tile Backsplash

Learn how easy it is to install a kitchen tile backsplash with these step-by-step instructions.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.