Laminate hardwood: frustrated and running out of time.

Old 10-26-17, 06:40 PM
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Laminate hardwood: frustrated and running out of time.

My wife and I are putting laminate hardwood in our basement to replace carpet that was there.

We removed the carpet, filled the cracks and pits in the cement floor, picked put our Traffic Master floor, and out down the underlayment.

The first attempt went poorly, with badly drawn instructions causing us to install the first row backwards.

After fixing that issue and putting in a couple of rows, now NONE of them are locking in properly. I'm getting constant gaping, planks not in contact with the floor, planks not aligning like they are curved (imagine trying to put two parenthesis together) even though they appear straight, and more. I can even slide planks apart just by pulling towards me with my hands.

I've tried different planks from different boxes, recutting plans, changing the order, and still, I can't get past the 4th row. They always, always, gap and then the next row will fall away.

I've watched hours of DIY videos, read the instructions dozens of times, tried and restarted a number of times. It's infuriating. I follow every step carefully, and still can't get the results I see in every photo and video.

What am I doing wrong? We want to get a renter in as soon as possible, and this halt in progress is causing make problems.

Last edited by PJmax; 10-26-17 at 09:49 PM. Reason: reformatted
Old 10-26-17, 07:33 PM
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First you need to verify that the slab is flat and level. Without that, you will have the issues you talk about. If the substrate is not correct, there is little you can do to make the floor install work.
Old 10-27-17, 03:00 AM
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Flat and level and square are key, If the floor is off beyond the flooring limits it simply compounds to the point they will not go together.

Have done one floor with the click feature, never again, bring back the tongue and groove glue together floor, much easier and forgiving!
Old 10-27-17, 11:56 AM
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Are you using a wedge?? I ask because I don't know what instructions you are following.

A wedge allows you to gently raise the previously locked planks while tilting (for lack of better word) and locking in the next piece.
Old 10-30-17, 01:54 PM
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Laminate hardwood. Contradiction in terms. You're installing laminate. It is a poor choice in wet conditions, have you verified your basement has no moisture issues?
Old 10-30-17, 03:05 PM
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Traffic Master has an average review, 2 to 3 stars. Most people are not giving high marks on the brand. Lets assume you did check the level and flatness (a basement should slop to a pit or drain, but still be flat), then I would return the product and go with another brand.

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