Place at least two spacers along the wall that runs parallel to the long direction of your laminate flooring planks. This is the wall that runs in the same direction as your flooring. If you have enough spacers on hand, run them all along the parallel wall, allowing at least two spacers for each plank.
To avoid any issues with spacing when laying a laminate floor we recommend using wood or laminate flooring spacers. Spacers ensure the correct gap between the flooring planks and adjacent obstacles, such as walls or fixtures.
An expansion gap is essential when it comes to laminate flooring installation. The recommended expansion gap is a minimum of ¼ inch. Expert installers say that the larger the space, the larger the expansion gap should be, as the floor needs more space to expand and contract with temperature.
In most cases, you should lay your laminate flooring parallel to the longest side of the room or your home. This will create a more natural flow and will accentuate the length of the room better. This, however, is just one of the many ways to lay your laminate flooring.
Laminate flooring should be staggered by 6 inches or more. If the seams are too close together, then the floor cannot “breathe” properly, and the seams can break down. To prevent this, cut the first board in a row to a length that staggers the seams by 6 inches or more.
Laminate flooring is supported by a thin rubber underlayment, which forms a moisture barrier and adds a cushioning layer beneath the plastic-laminate planks. It also helps deaden sound. There are a few different types of underlayment available, so be sure to use the kind recommended by the flooring manufacturer.
In order for the floor planks to correctly snap together they must not move at all when pressure is applied. Therefore, before trying to snap planks together make absolutely sure that spacers completely fill the gap between the floor planks and the wall.
During installation, use spacers or carpenter shims to ensure the proper expansion gap is maintained along all walls of the room. These spacers/shims will be removed after you're finished installing your new laminate floor.
These spacers maintain a uniform expansion gap space that later will be hidden underneath the quarter-round molding when the laminate flooring planks are installed. Spacers actually are plastic wedges designed specifically for laminate-flooring installation and often come in bags of 30 or more.
How wide should the gap be between the laminate flooring and the walls? You should leave a 10mm gap between the laminate flooring and the walls on all sides.
The most common way to lay hardwood flooring is by aligning the planks parallel to the longest wall. Apart from a few exceptions like sagging joists, this is the preferred direction to lay wood floors because it aesthetically provides the best result.
1. Place at least two spacers along the wall that runs parallel to the long direction of your laminate flooring planks. This is the wall that runs in the same direction as your flooring. If you have enough spacers on hand, run them all along the parallel wall, allowing at least two spacers for each plank.
Start with the underlayment flush against the wall. Start by taping it down against the wall, then by rolling outward. You should install the underlayment in the opposite direction from how your flooring will be installed.
Place the first plank with the tongue side towards the wall, being sure to allow 1/8" for expansion. We recommend cutting off the tongue on this first row to avoid any problem with the expansion gap. Insert the second plank into the first at an angle pressing the short ends together; then press it down.
wait for the floor to cure
Before you use your new floor or move into the room, make sure the floor is completely cured. Do not walk on the floor for 24 hours after installation. If you do, it will damage the installation, resulting in an uneven floor.
If you don't stagger the flooring by more than 6 inches on every row, it will be unstable and may lead to damage later on. But on the other hand, a lot of flooring installers get a little too strict when they stagger their flooring.
Begin the first row of flooring by placing the planks with the tongue side facing the wall. Install the second plank next to the first by aligning the tongue into the groove and press the plank down to snap it in place. When you come to the end of the first row, cut the length of plank needed to complete the row.
Laminate flooring manufacturers often require their floors to be staggered anywhere between 6 to 12 inches, some manufacturers even want more.
Hallway Plank Direction
As a rule, laminate flooring looks best when it runs in the same direction as the long walls in a hallway. The sight lines of the floor and walls match, making the hallway appear longer and more spacious.
You can lay your flooring either horizontally or vertically. Vertically will elongate a room and works great if pointing towards a window, as it will follow the natural light. Laying laminate flooring horizontally will can make a small room appear larger.
No expansion gap needed with the underlay.