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Laminate Floor Installation Checklist

These tips will make your laminate floor installation as smooth and easy as possible.

Getting Ready

Installing a new floor is a construction project. Some installation materials produce strong odors, and some construction activities are noisy. If you'll be living in your home while your new floor is being installed, plan accordingly to minimize disruption. Keep in mind that for a period of time, you won't be able to use the room receiving the new floor. It typically takes one to two days after the acclimation period to install a new floor, depending on subfloor conditions.

Before installation day, be sure that:

  • The installation site is completely enclosed, with outside windows, doors and thresholds in place.

  • All wet processes (like drywall or plaster) are finished well before installation.

  • Air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems are operable.

  • Electricity and water are directly available in the work area.

  • Any new, unfinished quarter-round or base molding that you're providing for installation has been painted or stained. We recommend that you complete painting or staining at least 24 hours prior to installation so the finish is completely dry before installation begins.

For areas directly affected by the installation:

  • Cover the installation area's entryways and vents to contain dust and debris.

  • Create a clear path through your home for easy access to the installation area and removal of debris.

  • Cover furniture and floors along this path and in areas adjacent to the installation.

  • Remove all items from cabinets, entertainment centers, bookcases, closets and similar containers.

  • Move all breakables, such as lamps, vases, mirrors, wall hangings, antiques or other valuables, from areas affected by installation work.

  • Disconnect and remove all electronic equipment, including televisions, stereos and computers.

  • Remove all electrical wires running under carpets or along baseboards and door casings.

  • Move furniture out of the room that will receive the new floor. If you prefer, The Home Depot can move furniture for you for an additional charge. Contact your sales associate for details.

Your installation professional will obtain all necessary permits and licenses before installation begins.

Early Delivery & Acclimation Period

Laminate flooring material needs to acclimate (adjust) to the moisture and temperature conditions of the installation environment for 24 to 72 hours (depending on the product) before it can be installed. When the flooring material you ordered arrives at The Home Depot, we will contact you to arrange a convenient delivery date, as well as an installation date three or more days later.

During Installation

On installation day, our licensed, insured installers will be on time, courteous and efficient. They'll have the equipment they need, and they'll be ready to install your new floor. You won't need to provide any special tools or materials. Just meet these simple requirements:

  • Make certain to have an adult (over age 18) with the authority to make installation decisions on hand during the installation process.

  • Keep the temperature in the installation area between 60° and 80° Fahrenheit.

  • Keep children and pets away from the installation area.

That's it! We'll take care of the rest.

Moisture Test

The moisture content of the installation site is an important consideration for laminate floors. When The Home Depot installation team initially measures and assesses your installation site, they will also conduct the first moisture detection test. On installation day, they will conduct a second moisture detection test before they begin the installation. For more information on what this means and how it may affect your installation, see the Testing for Moisture Conditions section below.

When the installation process is complete, our installation team will:

  • Clean the installation site.

  • Remove all installation-related debris.

  • Conduct a final inspection of your new floor and the installation site for your approval.

  • Provide you with warranty and care information for your new laminate floor.

Unexpected Site Conditions

In almost all cases, the final estimate you receive will accurately reflect the condition of the installation site, and it won't be necessary to adjust cost or schedule. Occasionally, however, we discover conditions (water or termite damage; electrical or plumbing problems) during installation that must be addressed before we can complete the installation. These conditions may require additional labor and materials.
In most cases, The Home Depot installation team will be able to complete the necessary work. Any additional charges, if applicable, will be added to your installation cost, and the schedule will be adjusted accordingly.
If The Home Depot cannot supply the necessary labor, you may need to hire another contractor to perform that portion of the work before we can complete your installation.

After Installation

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.

After the Floor Has Cured

Once your floor has been installed and cured, you should:

  • Change your air filters.

  • Complete any touchup painting required on walls, doors or trim.

  • Make sure all doors work properly. If your new floor is substantially thicker than your old floor, your doors may no longer swing freely. You may need to hire a carpenter to trim them or to install replacements.

  • Carefully move furniture and other items back into the room using the proper moving equipment. Following manufacturer's guidelines, put appropriate protectors on the feet of chairs, tables and other furniture to avoid damaging your new laminate floor.

  • Immediately begin proper care and maintenance. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations to maintain your warranty and keep your floor looking its best.

If you have any questions about the installation process, we're ready to help. Call your sales associate at The Home Depot store.

Testing for Moisture Conditions

The moisture content of the installation site is an important consideration for laminate floors. To ensure a successful installation of a new laminate floor, The Home Depot, in conjunction with major flooring manufacturers, has developed new standards for moisture detection and measurement and for site acclimation:

  • Laminate flooring materials must be stored in the installation environment to acclimate for 24 to 72 hours (depending on the product) prior to installation.

  • The installation site's moisture levels will be measured twice:

    • When the installation site is initially measured and inspected

    • On the day the installation team arrives to install your new floor, before they begin the installation

  • The results of these two tests may affect your installation in a variety of ways:

    • Low moisture levels indicate that the installation may proceed as planned.

    • Moderately high moisture levels may indicate that a moisture barrier should be installed, or that the flooring material should be stored for a longer period to adjust more thoroughly to the site's conditions.

    • High moisture levels may indicate that laminate floors should not be installed under any circumstances. In this case, our flooring professionals will help you understand the available options so you can select a flooring material more suitable for your environment.

In all cases, The Home Depot follows the manufacturer's guidelines for the specific flooring product.

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