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How to Install Pergo Laminate Flooring

Are you thinking of buying Pergo flooring, but don’t know where to start with the install? Don’t worry, we share our tips and tricks for beginners in this post.

So, even if you’ve never installed flooring in your life, it is possible if you read through our helpful guide on how to install Pergo laminate flooring.

Why We Chose Pergo Laminate Flooring

Pergo floors are very durable snap and click laminate flooring that will last. This flooring option is great for a beginner diyer as long as you avoid common mistakes.

Most Pergo laminate flooring has built in padding, so you can put these right on top of your subfloor.

It’s also much cheaper than real wood, bamboo, or other types of flooring.

How to Install Pergo Laminate Flooring
Our Java Scraped Oak Pergo Flooring

This snap and click flooring is so durable because it is scratch and water resistant up to 24 hours.

All of this is great when you have pups running around or, in my case, a destructive toddler.

I did a ton of research on how to install Pergo Outlast, so I am sharing all of my tips and tricks to save you time.

Pergo floors are also easy to clean if you follow our tips below.

We went with the color Java Scraped Oak for our Pergo Floors and we love it!

If you do go with this color, we recommend using the stain color Kona by Varathane for any staining projects. This color stain is a perfect match for Java Scraped Oak.

Pergo Floors Are Kid Friendly

We installed Pergo floors throughout the entire first floor of our home about 4 years ago.

This is a high traffic area in our home, and the Pergo laminate flooring still looks brand new!

We have 2 small boys running around smashing toys on the floor, and we haven’t noticed any scratches on the floor.

how to install pergo laminate flooring
We installed Pergo Java Scraped Oak.

How to Clean Pergo Floors

Cleaning Pergo flooring is easy, but you do want to avoid soaking the floor.

To clean my Pergo floors, I first use my Shark vacuum or I sweep the floor if there are only a few crumbs.

I have 2 toddlers, so I typically have to vacuum a crumb trail of goldfish and cheerios around the room before moping.

After I vacuum, I get out my wet mop and go over all areas of the floor.

The Swiffer is works well because it isn’t very wet, so it is safe to use on floors.

If my floors are really dirty, I have occasionally used my Shark steam mop.

Can I use a Steam Mop on Pergo Floors?

The Pergo floor manufacture recommends says to avoid using a steam mop on the floors.

However, the Shark steam mop manufacture claims that you can use the steam mop on laminate flooring.

So, I decided to test it out in a small space before I used the steam mop on the entire floor.

Be aware before you try this that Pergo claims that you shouldn’t use the mop, so you are taking a chance using it on your floors.

My Pergo floors looked great after using the steam mop, and I didn’t notice any damage.

Cleaning Pergo Floor Tips

When I use the Shark steam mop I make sure to keep moving the mop around the room.

You never want to keep the steam mop in one place on the floor for more than a few seconds as this may ruin your floor.

Also, when you finish using the steam mop make sure to remove it from your Pergo completely.

The steam mop is still very hot even when it is unplugged, so you do not want to risk burning your floor.

I typically rest the steam mop on my kitchen tile to cool off or move it to the garage and hang it up.

Items Required to Install Pergo Flooring:

  • Pergo Flooring
  • Miter Saw
  • Laminate Flooring Cutter
  • Install Kit

Removing Existing Flooring

Before you install Pergo laminate flooring, you need to remove the existing flooring and thoroughly clean the space.

If you still need to rip up old carpet, check out my other post on ripping up carpet.

When I removed the carpet from my home, there was urine stains in my sub-floor.

The previous owners had pets that destroyed the carpet, so the carpet and even the sub-floor smell awful.

If your sub-floor has bad odors like mine, try my tips and tricks to remove sub-floor odors.

Now that your old flooring has been removed and subfloor is clean, its time to start installing Pergo flooring.

Tips Remove Baseboards

At this point, it’s up to you if you want to pry off the existing baseboard and lay new ones.

My baseboard was fine, even though the boards didn’t fit underneath it.

I knew I could cover the gaps in this space with quarter round.

Quarter round is an additional piece that is installed below the baseboard to cover gaps.

If you remove the baseboards, you will have to go along the edges to separate the caulk.

Work on prying the baseboard away from the wall with a pry bar.

pergo laminate flooring

Sometimes you need to tap it with a hammer to get the pry bar behind the baseboard.

Once the pry bar is behind it, carefully pry it away from the wall.

Then remove any nails that remain afterwards.

If you rip off some paint, you can always go over it later with spackle.

Tricks on How to Install Pergo Laminate Flooring to Prevent Gaps

Whether you’re dealing with real wood, bamboo, or Pergo floors, this is where a lot of people go wrong.

If you don’t leave a gap in between the wall and your boards, they will expand.

This expansion can cause the floor to lift in some spots, creating waves and gapping in your floor.

To prevent gapping, floors should be installed with a minimum of 1/4 expansion gap.

This means the the space between the wall and newly installed floor should be at least 1/4 inch.

I can tell you now after laying this floor down 4 years ago, there have been zero gaps, buckling, or lifting in my floor, all 700 plus square feet of it.

This is after numerous hot, humid summers, and ice cold winters, when the boards typically expand and contract.

Mistakes When Installing Pergo Flooring

Mistake 1

Not acclimating the floors for 48 hours!

It is so important to acclimate the Pergo Outlast before installation.

The Pergo should be left in the packaging and store in a room between 59-68 degrees with a max humidity of 70%.

Mistake 2

Not checking the levelness of subfloor!

The subfloor must be checked carefully in several spots to make sure it is level before laying the Pergo flooring down.

Mistake 3

Not using spacers against the wall!

Spacers help keep the flooring in place during installation.

The spacers are so important to prevent the floor from being too close to the wall.

If the floor is too close to the wall then you will not have enough room for expansion, which may cause gaps in your flooring.

Floors should be installed with an expansion gap of at least 1/4 of an inch from the wall.

How to Install Pergo Laminate Flooring

Installing Pergo is not hard, but you will want to read the instructions carefully to prevent gaps in your new flooring.

When putting the tongue in the groove, I slid it in at 45 degree angle then pushed the board to ground, while maintaining pressure against the board.

Then I used a tapping block and a rubber mallet to make sure the boards were tight on both the long end and short end.

How to Install Pergo Laminate Flooring
Hold boards at a 45 degree angle

I made sure there were absolutely no gaps in any of my boards and I tapped every single one, even if I knew it was tight.

It is critical that these boards are tight when they’re installed, and have the proper gapping where they meet the wall.

If done right, it will look good, and last a very long time.

How to Install Pergo Laminate Flooring
Tap the Pergo lightly with a mallet on top then use a tapping block against the side to tap the side in place.

Best Direction to Install Snap and Click Flooring

When installing your first row, keep in mind which way you want the boards to lay.

Installing flooring in a horizontal direction will make your room feel much smaller.

To make your room feel larger you could lay the flooring down in a vertical or a 45 degree angle.

I recommend installing the boards long-ways or vertical with the sun that comes in your windows.

Installing Pergo flooring in a vertical or diagonal direction will make your room feel larger.

Pergo Installation Kit

For this job, you’ll need spacers, a tapping block, and rubber mallet.

I found entire install kit that had all of these tools to install Pergo laminate flooring.

You will also need a Miter Saw or some type of laminate floor cutter to cut the boards to size.

how to install pergo laminate flooring
Installing Pergo Flooring

I used a Miter Saw because I didn’t even know laminate floor cutters existed at the time.

Using laminate floor cutters would have been easier and prevented a big mess.

The Pergo floors that I purchase came with padding on the bad, so I was able to lay it down with out adding the padding.

If the Pergo flooring that you purchase does not come with a padding, check the recommendations on the back of the box before laying the floor down.

How to Lay Down Pergo Floor

To install snap and click Pergo floor, start laying the boards against one wall of your choosing, with the “tongue” part facing the wall.

Now for any row, including this one, that “touches” a wall, will need the tongue or groove cut off because you want it to be flat.

To start, you need to cut off the tongue and that should be facing the wall so that the groove will still be in tact and looking out to the rest of the open room.

The reason for this is because you want to be able to put another tongue into that groove.

Then use the spacers with the appropriate specs to make sure the boards don’t touch the wall.

When you get down to the end of the wall and need to cut the first piece, make sure you cut to the length you need it BEFORE you cut off the tongue.

The remainder of that piece will start the next row, so you need the tongue in-tact.

That same concept is how you’ll continue to lay these rows as you go.

When you cut the last board to fit size at the end of each row, the remaining piece will begin the next row, so on and so on.

Stagger Pergo Flooring

Make sure to stagger the seams of the Pergo Outlast as you lay it down.

Staggering the snap and click flooring makes the floor look much more natural and prevents weak spots from forming.

There are many ways different patterns to install laminate flooring, but I prefer to stagger the flooring as this is the easiest.

Pergo Floors
After installing Pergo flooring

Transition Strips for Pergo Laminate Flooring

It’s pretty much that easy to install these snap-and-click boards but you’ll also need to install transition strips when you’re done.

You will need transition strips in areas that bump up against tile, carpet, or other wood floor.

I only have experience transitioning to tile, which is probably much harder than transitioning to carpet.

There are different transition strips for different types of floor transitions (Pergo to carpet, Pergo to tile, Pergo to whatever else) so make sure you get the right one.

My flooring came in contact with tile in numerous places, and the tile was much higher than the Pergo floor, so I needed to improvise a bit.

pergo floors
Transitioning to tile

In a perfect scenario, you pretty much screw a metal track into the subfloor.

Then just snap the transition strip “tongue”, on the underside of the transition strip, into the metal track using a rubber mallet, and you’re done.

The problem I ran into was that the tile was too high so the transition strip tongue would never reach the metal track.

To fix this, I just installed a piece of wood underneath the metal track first, to “boost” it up. After that, it fit great.

Another issue you might run into is uneven subfloor.

If there is a high spot in your subfloor, you might have to sand down any bumps to get it as level as possible.

If there is a dip in your subfloor, you could use shims underneath the Pergo or other snap and click flooring to level it out.


Please let me know if you have any questions while installing your Pergo floors. I am really happy with how my floors came out, and I highly recommend Pergo laminate flooring.