October 18, 2021 2 min read

Laminate flooring is a hardy, affordable option for those who want the look of real hardwood flooring without the price tag. With a photorealistic image of wood superimposed over particleboard, laminate gives a convincing look and feel of solid hardwood flooring yet remains low-cost and economically accessible.

But just like any flooring type, laminate flooring needs to be installed correctly if you want to get the most out of it. E Hardwoods & Flooring, where you can buy hardwood flooring online, has a few pointers below.

Do: Leave Room for Humidity Fluctuations

Though laminate is a relatively stable flooring type, because it is partially made of wood, it still will expand and contract with heightening or decreasing humidity, respectively. This is due to the fact that wood naturally takes on water in the air.

What this means for installation: make sure that your laminate flooring has room to breathe—just like you would with prefinished hardwood flooring. What this looks like will vary depending on how much your climate changes, but three-eighths of an inch of space left around the wall is a rough spot to start. Manufacturer instructions will provide you with exact measurements.

Do: Allow for Acclimation

Like other wood flooring types, laminate flooring needs time to get used to your home’s “baseline” humidity before installation. If it’s not allowed to adjust itself, you may find yourself working with measurements that seem to change out of nowhere! Rest assured you’re doing your due diligence; in this case, the wood is simply taking on or releasing moisture until it acclimates.

Laminate can change significantly over the first 48 hours or so, so allow your new flooring to sit in the room it will be installed in before getting to work. Again, the manufacturer’s instructions will provide exactitudes.

Don’t: Leave Gaps Between Boards

If you’re worried about expansion, don’t be: that’s what the space left around the room’s border accounts for. Your laminate should be just as tight-fitting, sleek, and wow-worthy as a good set of engineered hardwood flooring planks. If you can’t get things to sit flush, double-check your measurements or use a flooring tool called a tapping block if you’re working with tongue-and-groove planks.

E Hardwoods & Flooring: Your One-Stop Shop for Hardwood, Vinyl Flooring, and More

No matter the material you need for your next flooring renovation, we’ve got just the perfect fit. Shop our massive selection today!