How to Install Floating Laminate Floor Part 1

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  • 8-24 hours
  • Advanced
  • 300-3,000
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Rubber mallet
Tapping block
Pry bar
Utility knife
Moisture barrier

Installing a floating laminate floor can provide you with a beautiful flooring surface that is also extremely durable. This type of flooring can go throughout the house and it should perform very well. The process of installing it is not complicated but it will take a little bit of work on your part. Here are the basics of how to start installing a floating laminate floor.

Prepare the Floor

In order to begin installing the floating laminate flooring, you need to first prepare the floor. If you have carpet installed, you need to take it and the carpet pad up. If you have any hard surface flooring like tile, wood, or vinyl, you should be able to install it over the top. You will also need to remove the baseboards or quarter round around the outside of the room with a pry bar.


When you install a floating laminate floor, you have to put underlayment down first. If you are installing on top of a concrete subfloor, you will also have to put a moisture barrier down. If this is the case, start out by putting the moisture barrier on the ground. Use tape to tape the seams of the moisture barrier together. Use a utility knife to cut the moisture barrier. Leave it going up the wall about two inches. Then unroll the underlayment and put it on top of the moisture barrier or directly on the floor if you have a wood subfloor. You will need to tape the seams together as well. Cut the underlayment with a utility knife and leave a gap around the outside of the room.

Start Installing

When you begin installing the laminate, you need to understand that you cannot put it directly up against the wall. You need to leave an expansion gap of approximately 1/4 inch. In order to get this gap, you need to use small wedges to fit between the boards and the wall. Start in the corner of the room by laying the first board down. Then take another board and place it vertically in a row in line with the first board. You will then need to press the two boards together so that they fit together at the locking mechanism. Once you have the second board attached, continue laying boards in this direction towards the opposite wall.

Cutting the Board

When you get to the end of the first row, you will need to make a cut on the last board so that it will fit. Take your tape measure and use it to get the dimension of the piece that you need. Once you have that dimension, put a piece of laminate on your saw and make the appropriate cut. Then put the cut piece into the opening on the floor.