Before we get started

Before I guide you through the steps of how to install the first row of laminate flooring, I want to be sure that you are ready for this step. Let’s go through a few things and see where you are at. By the time you get to this step you should already have-

  • all existing flooring removed
  • all of the door jambs should be cut
  • your lay out is complete(You know how big your first piece will be)

All three of these steps are very important, but the layout process is the most important. If you don’t know how to do these things, that’s okay I will show you. Just start by clicking on the button below.

Step 1- Layout the first few rows of laminate or vinyl plank flooring

Let’s get started and I will show you how to install the first row of laminate flooring. It is really important to build a solid foundation to work off of. This foundation I’m talking about is at least 4 rows of planks.

Once at least 4 rows are together, then the floor can be moved to position, secured properly and now you will have a great foundation to build off of. The first thing that you want to do is lay out your first few rows of laminate flooring from wall to wall. You will have to make a cut or two for your beginning and end piece.

You want to somewhat have the laminate or vinyl plank close to where it is going to be so you don’t cut a plank short or long.



Step 2 – Move the floor into position

Once you do this, than we need to position these rows away from the wall to clear the vents, if there are any. The goal here is to avoid any cutting of vents or scribing to the wall at this point. This is going to really make it a lot easier to get started without dealing with a bunch of time consuming cuts.

We already have snapped a line on the floor using a chalk line, which is now going to guide us on the correct position of our floor. So grab your cheat sheet that we created ( these were also covered in the where to start video) and we will now use a number from it to move the floor to the correct position.

I first look at my cheat sheet to find a number on there that I will use to move the floor to that distance. My number that I’m going to use is 124 inches.   Your number will most likely be different this is just my example. Once I have measured I then position the floor by moving it. Because you have a solid foundation built the floor will move without coming apart, but you should still have help with this part.

Now to make it easy to do some quick measuring for the final positioning, I measure from the line to the tongue and establish a measurement. I then use that same measurement to measure along the entire floor(from the line to the tongue) to move it into exact position.



 Step 3- Securing the floor

Once we have the floor into position the next step in how to install the first row of laminate is securing the floor so it does not move. This is one of the most important steps in your entire laminate installation or vinyl plank installation.

You want a floor that is straight and doesn’t move. If it’s not straight and it moves it will be battle every plank you try to install. I use scraps of the plank or I just cut a plank or 2 to get several 6 inch pieces. I then lock these pieces into place using the locking system on the planks and then screw the scrap down to the floor.

This will hold your floor in place.  I place one of these temporary boards on each end of the floor and on every seam. Every board that I secure, I measure first to be sure the floor did not move. This will ensure the floor will stay straight the entire way.



What if your floor is a concrete slab? Great question and I will show you in this video.

You did it!!

Now you know how to install the first row of laminate or vinyl plank. Now you are ready to start installing the rest of your floor. There are several tips and methods that I can help you with for the rest of your installation. I have everything you need inside Laminate University. I will even help you on a one on one basis with all your questions. Just click on the button below to become a member today!

I hope this was some good information about how to install the first row of laminate flooring.

May God Bless You Today,

Joe Letendre

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