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Tom Silva shows you how to install laminate flooring over an OSB subfloor.

Floating floors aren’t glued down so you’ll tap them into place. Laminate flooring is one of the most common types of floating floors. In this video, This Old House general contractor, Tom Silva, helps a homeowner lay down their floating floor in the basement.

Can You Install Laminate Yourself?

It’s possible to install laminate flooring yourself in about 6-8 hours a room. The process is easy but it can be tiring and requires some know how. In the video, Tom Silva shares his tips and techniques for putting down laminate floors the right way by factoring in room for heat expansion.

We’ve also broken down the steps below so you can follow along to install laminate flooring over a subfloor.

How To Install Laminate Flooring in 12 Steps:

  1. Cover the subfloor with a foam pad; staple the pad in place with a hammer tacker.
  2. Set first plank in place with the tongue edge facing the wall or baseboard molding.
  3. Tap together the planks in the first row, end to end. Be sure to use a tapping block to prevent damaging the flooring.
  4. Install the planks in the second row, making sure you stagger the end joints from the previous row.
  5. Hold the planks at a slight angle and tap them into the first-row planks with a dead-blow hammer.
  6. Insert spacer blocks between the flooring and wall or baseboard to create an expansion space.
  7. Use a jamb saw to trim door casing so the flooring will slip underneath.
  8. Set plank in front of doorway and use scribing tool to transfer cut lines from the doorway to the plank.
  9. Cut the plank to size with a jigsaw.
  10. Tap the plank into the doorway, making sure it slips under the casings.
  11. Continue installing planks across the room. When necessary, use a pull bar to tap the joints tight between the planks.
  12. Once all the flooring is installed, remove the spacer blocks and nail shoe molding around the room perimeter. Be sure to nail the shoe to the baseboard, not the floor.

Tools You’ll Need