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How to Install Laminate Flooring in a Small Space

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By Donovan Carrington

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for homeowners looking to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of their small spaces. With its durability, affordability, and easy installation process, laminate flooring offers a practical solution for enhancing the visual appeal of any room.

This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to install laminate flooring in a small space. Beginning with the crucial process of measuring and preparing the area, readers will learn how to choose the right laminate flooring and properly prepare the subfloor.

The article then delves into the installation process, including laying the underlayment and installing the laminate flooring. Finally, readers will gain knowledge on how to finish and care for their new laminate floor, ensuring its longevity and maintaining its pristine appearance.

By following these detailed instructions, individuals can confidently embark on their laminate flooring installation journey, transforming their small space into a stylish and functional environment.

Key Takeaways

  • Laminate flooring is a durable, affordable, and easy-to-install option for small spaces.
  • Proper preparation of the space, subfloor, and underlayment is crucial for a successful installation.
  • Staggering the seams of the laminate planks is important for both visual appeal and structural integrity.
  • Regular maintenance and care, including proper cleaning techniques and using protective measures, are necessary for the longevity and aesthetic appeal of the laminate floor.

Measuring and Preparing the Space

The initial step in the installation process involves accurately measuring the dimensions of the designated area and ensuring its suitability for the installation of laminate flooring.

To begin, precise measuring techniques must be employed to determine the length and width of the space. This can be achieved using a tape measure and ensuring that all measurements are taken from the same reference point to avoid discrepancies.

Additionally, it is crucial to consider the floor layout, including any obstacles such as doorways or irregularities in the shape of the room. This will help determine the amount of laminate flooring required and allow for proper planning during the installation process.

By carefully measuring and assessing the space, one can ensure a successful and efficient installation of laminate flooring.

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Choosing the Right Laminate Flooring

When selecting the appropriate laminate material for installation, it is crucial to consider factors such as durability, thickness, and design aesthetic.

Laminate flooring offers numerous benefits, making it a popular choice for small spaces. Its durability ensures that it can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it suitable for areas with high usage. Additionally, laminate flooring is resistant to scratches, stains, and fading, making it a low-maintenance option that retains its original appearance over time.

The thickness of the laminate flooring should be chosen based on the subfloor condition and the level of insulation required. Thicker laminates provide better sound insulation and can help to reduce noise in small spaces.

Furthermore, the design aesthetic of laminate flooring allows for a wide range of options, including various colors, patterns, and textures, making it easy to find a style that suits the desired aesthetic of the small space.

Preparing the Subfloor

To prepare the subfloor for laminate installation, it is essential to ensure a level and clean surface. Before proceeding with the installation, a thorough subfloor inspection must be conducted to identify any unevenness or damage.

This can be done by visually inspecting the subfloor for any visible issues such as cracks, dips, or loose boards. Additionally, it is crucial to check for moisture in the subfloor, as excess moisture can cause damage to the laminate flooring over time.

Installing a moisture barrier is recommended to protect the laminate flooring from moisture-related issues. This involves laying down a layer of moisture-resistant material, such as a plastic sheet or specialized underlayment, to prevent moisture from seeping into the subfloor and damaging the laminate flooring.

Properly preparing the subfloor ensures a stable base for the laminate flooring, leading to a successful and long-lasting installation.

Installing the Underlayment

Installing the underlayment involves carefully placing a layer of material that will provide a cushioning effect and absorb sound, creating a smooth and quiet surface for the laminate flooring.

There are several underlayment options and considerations to keep in mind.

One common option is foam underlayment, which is lightweight and easy to install.

Another option is cork underlayment, which provides excellent sound insulation and is environmentally friendly.

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It is important to choose an underlayment that is suitable for the specific type of laminate flooring being installed.

When installing underlayment, there are common mistakes that should be avoided.

One mistake is not properly aligning the edges of the underlayment, which can lead to uneven flooring.

Another mistake is not adequately securing the underlayment, which can result in shifting and noise.

Additionally, it is important to avoid overlapping the underlayment, as this can create unevenness and an unstable surface.

By carefully considering the underlayment options and avoiding common mistakes, a smooth and quiet surface can be achieved for the laminate flooring in a small space.

Installing the Laminate Flooring

One crucial step in the process of installing laminate flooring is the precise alignment and secure attachment of the chosen material onto the prepared surface. This step requires careful attention to detail and a thorough understanding of the installation process.

To begin, it is important to lay out the first row of laminate planks, ensuring they are parallel to the longest wall in the room. It is recommended to leave a small gap, typically around 1/4 inch, between the planks and the wall to allow for expansion.

As the installation continues, each plank should be securely clicked into place, using a tapping block and mallet if necessary. It is important to stagger the seams of the planks to create a more visually appealing and structurally sound finished floor.

Additionally, it is essential to acclimate the laminate flooring to the room’s temperature and humidity before installation, as this will prevent warping or buckling in the future.

Following these laminate flooring installation tips will result in a professional-looking and durable floor.

Finishing and Caring for Your New Floor

The final step in the process involves properly maintaining and preserving the newly installed laminate floor to ensure its longevity and aesthetic appeal.

To maintain the cleanliness of the floor, it is important to regularly clean it using appropriate techniques. Sweep or vacuum the floor to remove loose dirt and debris, and then use a damp mop with a mild detergent solution to remove any stubborn stains or spills. Avoid using excess water or harsh cleaning products, as these can damage the laminate surface.

Additionally, it is crucial to prevent scratches on the floor by placing protective pads under furniture legs and using floor mats in high-traffic areas. Regularly trim pets’ nails to prevent them from scratching the floor.

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By following these cleaning techniques and taking preventative measures, the laminate floor will retain its beauty and durability for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can laminate flooring be installed over existing carpet?

Laminate flooring can be installed over existing carpet, but it is generally not recommended. It is preferable to remove the carpet and install the laminate directly on a clean and level surface. Laminate flooring offers benefits such as durability, easy maintenance, and a wide range of design options.

Can laminate flooring be installed in a bathroom or other areas with high moisture?

Laminate flooring can be installed in bathrooms or other areas with high moisture, but precautions must be taken. It is important to choose laminate flooring with a moisture-resistant core and properly seal the edges to prevent water damage.

Is it necessary to remove baseboards before installing laminate flooring?

When installing laminate flooring, it is not necessary to remove baseboards, but it is recommended to leave an expansion gap. Tools and materials required for baseboards installation include a miter saw, coping saw, pry bar, and finish nails.

Can laminate flooring be installed over radiant heating systems?

Laminate flooring can be installed over radiant heating systems on concrete, offering numerous benefits over other flooring types. The installation process requires careful consideration of the heating system’s specifications to ensure proper functioning and longevity of the laminate flooring.

How long does it typically take to install laminate flooring in a small space?

The installation time for laminate flooring in a small space can vary depending on factors such as the size of the area, the skill level of the installer, and any unforeseen challenges. However, with proper preparation and following tips and tricks, the process can typically be completed within a few hours to a day.


In conclusion, installing laminate flooring in a small space requires careful planning and preparation.

It is essential to accurately measure and prepare the area before choosing the right laminate flooring and preparing the subfloor.

Installing the underlayment and laminate flooring should be done with precision and attention to detail.

Finally, finishing and caring for the new floor will ensure its longevity and enhance the overall aesthetics of the space.

By following these steps, one can successfully install laminate flooring in a small area.

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Donovan Carrington


Donovan Carrington, a flooring expert with extensive experience of over 25 years, is the driving force behind Flooring Explorer. Initially working as a flooring installer, Donovan gained hands-on experience with different flooring materials such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and tile. His profound knowledge and expertise in flooring technologies and installation techniques have established him as a respected authority in the industry.