A lot of people are keen to lay laminate flooring themselves because it can be expensive to get somebody else to do this. However, before you take on any DIY project, you need to know how difficult it’s going to be, how successful you are likely to be, and how long it will take – otherwise you can end up committing to far too much work.
If you don’t take some time to assess the full project, including taking up old flooring, preparing the space, and laying the new flooring, you may end up in a mess. Laminate flooring is fairly straightforward to install, but it does still take time, like any DIY project, so you need to be prepared for that.
How long does it take to install laminate flooring? The amount of time it takes to lay laminate flooring will depend heavily on how large the room is, but it will often be at least 3-4 hours. People tend to get quicker when they have some experience, but if you’re doing this for the first time, you will need longer to get the hang of the technique.
How Long Does Installing Laminate Flooring Usually Take?
It will probably take at least 3 hours to lay laminate planks, even in a fairly small room. Lining up, cutting the planks, and getting them into place is generally fairly quick, but it isn’t something you can do in a few minutes. Remember that you will also need to allow time for preparing the floor and cutting the planks, especially if there are cabinets to work around.
Of course, the actual installation time of laying the planks doesn’t reflect how long the overall installation of a laminate floor is likely to be. There are a lot of “hidden” time costs involved, so let’s run through the full process.
The first thing you have to do is give your laminate time to acclimatize to the new space. Usually, you should let it stand for 2 or 3 full days after unpacking it. If you don’t do this, there’s a risk that the particle boards will expand after being laid due to moisture in the air.
You will need to empty the room of furniture and make sure you don’t need to use it for several days. If you’re laying the flooring in high use area, this can be tricky. Kitchens and bathrooms may also be challenging, so get other arrangements in place.
You can use this time to strip out the old floor and start making the surface even. Take out the baseboards, clean the subfloor, and lay a vapor barrier to stop moisture from ruining your laminate. When all this is done, you can start laying.
You should expect the overall project to take a minimum of 3 or 4 days, since laying the laminate is not the most significant part of the job. The preparation and the finishing will usually take significantly more time than actually putting the boards in place.
What Average Area of Laminate Can You Lay in an Hour?
You can lay around 10 or even 20 square feet in an hour once you are experienced and you know what you’re doing. That means you can do a reasonably large bedroom or living room in less than 4 hours in most cases. Bear in mind that if you have never laid laminate before, it may take some time to get the hang of the technique.
You can use this average to scale up and determine how long it should take to lay a whole room, or even large areas of your house. Remember to overestimate the amount of time needed so you don’t end up running out of time with a half-completed project on your hands.
What Else Affects the Speed with Which You Can Install Laminate Flooring?
There are a few other things that will affect how quickly you can install a laminate floor. One of the most significant ones is the size of the boards you are laying. Wide, large boards will cover a space far more quickly than narrow boards do. If you purchase narrow boards, make sure you allow more time to fit them.
It is also important to note that if you need to cut the laminate boards to fit them around cabinets, fireplaces, irregularities, etc., you will need to commit a lot more time and energy to the process. It takes significantly longer, because you will need to accurately shape the boards and then cut each one to fit it in place.
Even for professionals, this can be time consuming and may require extra tools and extra work. Take this into account when sizing up a project.
Similarly, if you need to cut a lot of your laminate planks down to fit (for example, if you’re working in a small space), you will need to allow more time for this process.
How Much Preparation is Needed to Install Laminate Flooring Fast?
The preparation side of the process can also be extensive. Your old floor will need to be removed and then the subfloor will need to be sanded and leveled. You should remove as many imperfections as possible, which can take several hours. Next, you’ll have to install a vapor barrier.
If your laminate boards don’t come with underlayment attached, this will also need to be put in place, so bear this in mind. The underlayment will provide moisture protection and help to smooth out imperfections in the floor, so it’s necessary, but measuring, cutting, and laying it will add a few more hours to the project.
If your subfloor is in very bad shape, you’ll need to allow more time for underlayment than if it is already smooth and level.
It shouldn’t take more than about 3 or 4 days to install a laminate floor, unless you are doing a particularly large area or there are a lot of fiddly corners. Remember that the laminate planks will need at least 2 days to acclimatize to your building before you put them in place.