How to Install Laminate Tile Flooring

Lead Image for How to Install Laminate Tile Flooring
  • 8-48 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-5,000
What You'll Need
Laminate planks
Laminate glue
Straight edges
Pull bar
Safety goggles
Tape measure
Carpenter's square

Laminate tile flooring can add a nice touch to your kitchen or other floors. Before you install the tile, ensure you have enough time in hand as the process is not a short one.

Prepare the Sub-floor Surface

First, you have to make sure that the floor is even and level and float it if it isn't, but that is a very simple process any do it yourself veteran or beginner can handle with ease. The way to ensure your floor is flat and even is by using two straight edges, one should be about 12 feet long and the other about 6 feet long. If after doing an inspection with the straight edges, you discover any difference of about 1/8 inch or more then you will have to level off the floor using either self-leveling cement to float it, if the floor underneath is concrete. Otherwise, use appropriate material that matches the floor. If you used self-leveling cement, you must let the floor dry before moving to the next step.

Measure Doorways and Frames

Once the floor is dry and prepared, measure the doors and doorways to see if you need to trim them so the new laminate tile flooring will fit under them. If you need to trim your door, you must take it off to do this or rent a special tool used for this purpose.

Put In Underlay

The type of underlay you put in depends on the type of laminate tile flooring that is going to go on top of it. Be sure to ask when making your purchase, which ones go together. The underlay is installed differently depending on whether it is going on over concrete or another type of surface. If you are putting it in over a concrete slab then you need to make sure the underlay goes at least two inches up the wall and runs the exact same way that your laminate flooring will be put down.

Putting Underlay Over Concrete or Wood

You should first tape up the seams with packing tape to protect them. You should only put in as much underlay as needed to let you install a small portion of laminate flooring tiles at a time so the underlay doesn’t get damaged.

The only real thing different when you are putting in the underlay on wood instead of concrete is that you don’t have to tape up the seams and you don’t have to put the underlay past the end of the sub-floor.

Put Down Tiles

Measure the width of your floor and divide that by the width of your planks of tiles to figure out how many planks you need. Divide the fraction left after that by 2 and you will know how long to make the first and last floor planks.

Don’t Forget Expansion Gaps

When you put down laminate tile flooring, you have to remember that there is a ¼-inch expansion gap, so you have to leave this amount of room around the walls, pipes, cabinets, or other items the flooring will butt up against. So, when you lay down the very first laminate tile plank, use a 1/4 inch spacer to make sure to leave that all-important expansion gap.

Putting Down Tiles

Laminate tiles normally snap together and so it’s pretty easy to get them to line up properly. Put in the planks or tiles by placing each one up to the next one at a slight angle and then once the top of it is touching the next tile, turn it slowly and push down until it snaps into place.

The tiles should be laid down in a staggered pattern, with the first tile always being a full-size plank. Keep installing the planks in the above fashion until you are done. The final plank of the laminate tile flooring will require the use of the puller tool to ensure it fits snugly in place.

Finishing Up

In order to complete the floor, you should use a wood quadrant to cover up the 1/4 inch expansion gap space. The wood quadrant can be nailed down or glued. Now you can sit back and enjoy your new laminate tile flooring.