Laminate flooring is a fantastic way to make your home look great while looking to save money compared to hardwood floors. You still get that wooden look without spending a fortune. Though the installation process is different to some other common floorings like carpet and hardwood. Do you need to use glue on laminate floors?
No, you must not glue laminate flooring because it is considered a floating floor, which means it does not need to be glued or nailed to the sub-floor. The only time you can use glue on your laminate flooring is when a gap needs to be closed.
Some self-adhesive flooring types look like laminate. That might be why people connect laminate with glue – but most real laminate is installed with a so-called click-clack system. You don’t need nails, screws, or glue for that.
Do You Need to Glue Laminate Flooring to the Subfloor?
No, there is no need to glue laminate flooring to the subfloor as it is a floating floor.
It is a rather bad idea because laminate is a type of flooring that needs to be able to move. It tends to expand depending on the room temperature and conditions.
Glueing the laminate to the subfloor will restrict the laminate’s ability to move and cause issues like warping and buckling laminate. You will also void any guarantees and warranties on your laminate.
What is Floating Flooring?
Like we already mention, laminate is a floating floor. But what exactly does that mean?
The name gives it away: floating floors “float” on top of the subfloor. Obviously, they don’t float in the air like a magic carpet. So don’t get strange ideas in your head.
What it means is that the flooring can move around on top of the subfloor. This is important for different types of flooring that naturally expand and contract – like laminate!
Floating flooring is not attached to the subfloor with glue, nails, or screws.
So, this answers the question “Do you need to glue laminate flooring?” with “No!”
What Happens if You Glue Down a Laminate Floor?
If you glue down a laminate floor, you will lose your warranty, and there might be damage to the laminate over time.
Laminate flooring naturally contracts and expands. It adjusts to the room’s temperature. If you glue it down, you remove the freedom to move naturally.
What to Do If You Accidentally Used Glue on Laminate Floors?
You might have a problem if you have already glued down all your laminate flooring. It will be difficult to remove the laminate again. You might break planks in the process – so you might have to live with it or buy expensive, specialized glue removers and spend a lot of time carefully working along the planks to remove them. Not a good idea though.
If you have only spilt some glue on your laminate, that’s a different story and quickly solved.
If the glue is still wet, wipe it off with some cloth or sponge. If it is already dry, you can use a plastic tool to scrape it off (carefully). Or you could buy a glue remover and remove the glue with that.
Is there Ever a Time Where You Will Use Glue During Laminate Flooring Installation?
No, you will never use glue when installing laminate flooring.
The only time it’s ever okay to use glue on laminate flooring is after it has been installed. It will most likely be a few weeks or months until the problem that can be solved with glue appears. You can use glue to deal with gaps in the laminate flooring.
How to Glue Laminate Flooring Gaps?
Fixing laminate flooring gaps is relatively simple.
Get good quality wood glue, put some on the tongue and groove where the gap occurs, and then slide the planks together with your hands. An easy way to apply the glue is by using a toothpick.
What Causes Laminate Flooring Gaps?
There are a few common causes of laminate flooring gaps.
One is that one or more of the planks has shrunk and slid out of the other, leaving a small gap.
Another reason is that one of the planks somehow slid under one of the clearing gaps you left (for a reason) when you installed the laminate flooring. This would then cause all the other planks in a row to move and leave a gap somewhere along the line.
Foot traffic can also be why planks move, and a gap appears.
Regular yellow or white wood glue is suitable for filling gaps in laminate flooring.
There are also specialized gap fillers for laminate flooring on the market; one example is Cal-Floor’s glue, which is designed for floating floors.
How to Properly Install Laminate Flooring?
1. Ensure you have all the tools and materials you need for the job. You want to get 10% more laminate than you need as you will most likely need to cut some.
2. Also, please read the instructions that come with your laminate flooring, as different brands may have a slightly different approach to installing their laminate flooring.
3. Prepare your subfloor – it needs to be clean and even.
4. Decide on how you want to lay the laminate (pattern and which direction the flooring will face).
5. For some laminate, you must install underflooring (check the manufacturer’s instructions!).
6. Install spacers at the wall to provide an expansion gap. The size of the spacer will also be specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.
7. Forty-eight hours before installation, you need to move the laminate into the room you want to install it in, so it can “acclimate ” to the room temperature.
Installing the laminate flooring:
1. Lay down the first row with the tongue side facing the wall you want to start at.
2. Cut the tongue on the long side of the pieces (the side facing the wall).
3. Cut the tongue on the short side of the first piece. It needs to fit into the corner against the spacers.
4. Now lay down a second row with the tongue side facing the wall. Offset the boards at least six inches. You do not want the joints of the first and second rows to be in the same place. Cut the laminate as necessary for the pattern.
5. Now you can start installing the planks, two rows at a time – using the pattern of the first two rows.
6. Click-clack systems, used for most laminate flooring, make the next steps easy. Just insert the tongue of a plank into the groove of the adjoining plank. Then use a tapping tool/pull bar and hammer to ensure the pieces are properly joined together.
7. If there are any obstructions like a pipe, use a jigsaw to cut the planks so they will fit around – but don’t forget to include some space for expanding.
8. The last row is a little tricky, and you will likely have to cut the planks to fit into the remaining gap.
9. Remove all spacers.
1. Fill the compression gaps with a waterproof, compressible PE backer rod (the size depends on the gaps you left according to the manufacturer’s requirements).
11. Cover the backer rod with a silicone seal (it needs to fill the gap between the wall’s edge and the floor’s edge).
12. Wipe away any excess as you only need a thin coat.
Can You Nail Down Laminate Flooring?
Theoretically, you can, but you should not. You will lose any warranty on your laminate planks; you will damage them and shorten their lifespan as you restrict their freedom to expand and constrict naturally.
Why Is My Laminate Flooring Moving When I Walk on It?
If your laminate flooring moves when you walk on it, it might not have been installed correctly. This is an issue you need to fix.
One cause for this might be that the subfloor is not even enough, which will cause the laminate to move around. Unfortunately, you would have to remove the laminate to fix the problem.
Inspect your laminate flooring carefully because the reason could also be as simple as a gap in one of the rows. This is easily fixed (see above).
Gorilla Glue is not a bad solution to deal with gaps in laminate flooring. It is suitable for use on wood and will do an excellent job holding two planks of laminate flooring together.
How to Fix a Lifting Laminate Floor?
First, you need to figure out why your laminate floor is lifting. There is not just a straightforward fix, as there are different reasons for this.
Just like moving laminate flooring, lifting laminate could result from an uneven subfloor installation.
Or maybe you did not give the laminate 48 hours in the room before you installed it.
There could also be a moisture problem which causes your laminate to expand and lift.
Another reason is that the person who installed the laminate flooring did not leave any expansion gaps around the walls. The laminate then cannot expand properly and has no option but to lift itself.
Once you identify the problem, you can take the necessary steps to fix it (e.g., installing an underlay to take care of moisture issues, reinstalling the laminate after levelling the subfloor, etc.)
This might all look a little overwhelming, but the fact is: if you install laminate flooring properly, you will unlikely run into any problems.
Just keep these things in mind when installing laminate flooring:
- Do not use glue.
- Do not nail it down.
- Do not use screws.
- Ensure there are expansion gaps.
- Install an underlay if the manufacturer recommends it.
- With a little care, you can enjoy your new laminate flooring for a long time!
Read Our Related Laminate Flooring Articles:
- The 5 Best Laminate Floor Repair Kits
- 6 Easy Ways to Get Paint off Laminate Flooring
- How to Clean Dog Pee off Laminate Floors (Like A Pro)
- Can You Use a Swiffer WetJet on Laminate Floors?
- Can You Use Fabuloso on Laminate Floors?
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.