Laminate Installation - How to connect, length or width?

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Old 08-05-04, 12:37 PM
davel
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Question Laminate Installation - How to connect, length or width?

I am about to undertake installing a uniclik type laminate floor and by the second course I will have to connect a plank to the existing floor. What is the best way to attach it to the existing planks, and how can I click it into place both lengthwise and widthwise without damaging one of the tongues?
Any advice would be most appreciated!
 
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Old 08-05-04, 08:11 PM
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they make...or you can make a "beating block" that fits into the grooves/tongues of the lam. floor.

use a scrap piece that has the proper side(to match what you want to beat on) and nail/screw it onto a 2x4 block...snap it into place as if it were a good piece of flooring..hammer it till its tight.....take it back out.

oh BTW...the longer the better...as in thats less chance of you breaking or otherwise damaging that expensive flooring.
 
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Old 08-06-04, 07:45 AM
bey
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I sprang for the $11 installation kit and am SO happy I did. It included spacers, a plastic beating block, and a crowbar-ish shaped tool for getting leverage on that last row of planks next to a wall.

Best $11 I spent on my floor, believe me.
 
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Old 08-06-04, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bey
I sprang for the $11 installation kit and am SO happy I did. It included spacers, a plastic beating block, and a crowbar-ish shaped tool for getting leverage on that last row of planks next to a wall.

Best $11 I spent on my floor, believe me.
.
Ditto here. It was more in CAD$$, but still well worth the investment...plus it assures any warrenty issues (should they occur), by using the mfgr's supplies....(if this one should make a difference)...
 
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Old 08-06-04, 09:37 AM
davel
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Thanks to all who responded. I have the installation kit containing the spacers, block, pull bar and underlayment. Didn't want to void that warranty! :-)
However, if you think about it, the tongue can only go into 1 groove at a time, either the length or width. I read on the Quick Step site, which, BTW has very good instructions and a video, that the best way to do it is to connect the new plank to the existing one by the width and then snap the length into the prior row. The problem is, you need to lift the plank in order to "click" it in. Doesn't that mean you need to raise the whole new row in order to click it into the prior row. How do you do that? You can't easily twist the plank into the prior row if it's already connected to the adjacent plank. HELP!
 
  #6  
Old 08-06-04, 09:56 AM
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to tell u the truth, when i did mine, i didn't do as i suggested above.

I layed out a whole row(but for me that was only 2 or 3 pieces), snapped the ends together, then slid it up and raised the whole thing and locked it into the long groove.

If I was going to use the "snap one way and beat the other" method, I'd probably put the long groove together and knock the short one in (less resistance since there's less area to snap in)...and if mine would have been any longer at all, I would've had to do it that way.

Hope this helps, post back as needed
 
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Old 08-06-04, 10:16 AM
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Thumbs up

jproffer: that's how we did it, too! i couldn't figure out how to do it like the instructions said, so we did a whole row first, end to end (but for us, that was about 22 feet long!) and then we tilted the whole thing up and snapped it into the previous row. it worked out just fine. i even managed to do several rows all by myself, so it "can" be done with just one person - easier with two, though.
 
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Old 08-06-04, 12:20 PM
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I ended up going the "snap one way and beat the other" method, but I generally putting the short groove together and knock the long one in, along the length. Generally, I used a combination of 'short in - beat the long ..or visa versa.
Either way worked out...
I tried Annette's way, but found it a bit more difficult to do 'solo'.
 
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Old 08-06-04, 01:41 PM
bey
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Ditto! I connected the short end by laying the new plank tongue into the groove, wiggling it up and down until I got the join made and then used my tapping block to connect the long join. I caught on pretty quick that trying to join the long end without the tapping block was a no-go for me.
 
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Old 08-06-04, 01:45 PM
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I just assumed that a long length of Annette's method(and my own) wouldn't work out so well but if it does...go for it.

One problem I did have a couple times was...if you don't get the short sides lined up EXACTLY there will be a space somewhere on that row, but if you're careful, it can be done in short lengths, and, as Annette found out, in long lengths also.

Good Luck
 
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Old 08-06-04, 06:46 PM
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Unfortunately,...(or fortunately).. those sites (or that site), shows you 'How to do it', which is 'relative'...in a perfect world/set up/scenerio....
I watched that vid a number of times, and 'he' made it look so simple and easy.
In reality, IMO, its a different story. Maybe he did it 15times to get it done as 'easy' as it appears... then they edited the vid for the site's sake...and the DIY'ers.
..As 'jproffer' mentioned, about lining up the short sides, ..as Ive encountered, you'll have to do some 'TAPING' on the short sides and the long sides, either way and/or both, to get the damn board to fit.
Again, (imo) its not an exact science, ...just a case of 'persist and prevail'....
I found that tapping the long run of the plank worked ok for me... but whatever works for you, to get the pieces 'locked' in is all that matters....
Isnt it just FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
...Yea - right~!!!!!
Dont you just love it-----------
 
  #12  
Old 08-07-04, 07:46 PM
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OK, here is the skinny on the installation of the "hold your mouth just right" laminate installation.


jproffer, has the idea. That is if you can control a whole row. With lots of hands it makes installation easier. With only 2 hands it makes it more then a challenge!


What you need is "The Wedge"!!!!!


With this style of lock, tapping the ends together, damages the lock. End separation will eventually occur. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will happen.


Cut a wedge from a 2x4. Slide it under the joining end of the first installed plank in the second row. Install the end joint of the second plank, into the end that is raised by "The Wedge" as close to the longer length joint, as possible. Now with a block of wood(2x4 works great) tap lightly, the long end in. Slowly now! as it starts to engage. slowly pull "The Wedge" out from the first plank in the row. As it goes in, move "The Wedge" down to the next plank and repeat across your floor.
 
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Old 08-16-04, 07:00 AM
davel
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Thanks to all who responded. I'm glad I wasn't the only one with this challenge. What I ended up doing was working the long side of 1 plank at an angle into the groove until it snapped (or almost snapped), then tapped in the short side with the "official" block, like you originally suggested, JProffer. Since there was less surface area to deal with on the short side, that seemed to be more logical. Anyway, it worked like a charm, my daugheter and I just finished the last of the rows last night and it looks great!!
Just a piece of advice, that IMHO would help. If you're going to spring for a miter saw for this job, get a 12", 'cause with the 10" you can't cut the whole plank in 1 shot. You can probably do it with a 12".

One more question... what the best way to end the plank where it meets carpeting? Is there an finish molding for that? Or just a normal wood saddle would do?
 
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Old 08-16-04, 07:12 AM
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the manufacturer of our flooring also makes all the trim pieces & mouldings you could possibly need, and they're all finished in the same colors as the flooring - for a perfect match. i'm sure your does, too.

i don't know what it was called (T molding, or reducer, or transitioner....??) but we used a piece of trim moding made just for going from the wood to carpet. it came in 2 pieces. the bottom piece got nailed to the subfloor and then the top piece just clicked into a groove in the bottom piece. it rested partly on top of the wood floor and then just had a nice finished vertical side that our carpet installers just butted our new carpet right up against. it looks great.
 
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Old 08-16-04, 12:50 PM
davel
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Thanks Annette! For better or worse, the laminate was the Harmonics brand from Costco and they don't carry the moulding or other accesories in their strores. On another forum it was mentioned that these seem to be a private brand for Quick Step so I'm going to see if a local dealer has a matching moulding. I also called Harmoinics 800 number, and I'll let you know how that service is. So far I'm not impressed.... and I know you get what you pay for , but we'll see.
 
  #16  
Old 08-16-04, 12:56 PM
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i'm sure you could use another brand's moulding - so long as you're happy with the color. for that matter, you could get it unstained & stain it, if you wanted.

we bought the matching transition molding piece made by the flooring company, but when it came to the quarter-round, the price of the matching stuff was exhorbitant (IMO) so we found a pre-stained one just in the regular moulding section of the store (not with the floating floor supplies & accessories) for MUCH less cost. it matched just fine - maybe better - than the actual one made by the flooring company. maybe you could look around your local hardware store & find one that'll work just fine, too.
 
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Old 08-16-04, 01:07 PM
davel
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I intend to do just that, Annette. For the quarter round, I'll go to the local big box store, but for the transition to the carpet, I wanted, if I could, to get the moulding that will give sufficent expansion space for the flooring. A shame 'cause I only need a small piece, about 30" for the entrance door, since it also would be seen first. Thanks for the advice.
 
  #18  
Old 08-16-04, 05:53 PM
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What you need is called an "end cap" or "baby threshold"


www.iFloor.com has trims and moldings.
 
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Old 08-16-04, 07:01 PM
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Im sure you'll find what you need....either way.
In my situation, the retailer didnt carry the Torlys end cap...but had to order it in.. 6' lengths...and I only needed 16" for my final fitting around the harth.. So I used a piece of 'T' molding (transition piece to mat to laminates at a doorway, etc) and fiddled with that to get it to work.
They carried wood trim that wouldve worked but required staining etc to match our 'honey oak'. - So I didnt want to spend $40.bux for 16"...and used what I had.....Worked out...and looks 'acceptable'.
Good luck with your finishing.....
 
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Old 08-17-04, 06:17 AM
davel
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Thanks Folks! I found a cool item in Home Depot. It's an all-in-one cap, consisting of a T moulding which you can attach by snapping in a hard surface, soft surface or stair piece which completes the T and turns it into the type of cap you want. It was in the light birch color I needed, which the other complanies didn't have. It was about $14, all hardware included.
 
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