How to Install Floating Laminate Floor Part 2
Now that you have the floating laminate floor started, there is not that much left to do. Once you have the first row done, you can continue the job and use the same techniques to complete it. Here are the basics of how to finish the floating laminate flooring installation.
Step 1 - Clamp Board
After you get the first row done, you need to put a clamp on the backside of it. A clamp is a device that has a strap and a hook that attaches to one side of the laminate. You stretch it over the rows that you have laid and the other side attaches to the opposite side of the last row. You can then tighten the clamp so it keeps the rows that you have laid tight. Otherwise, the rows could potentially come apart and the locking mechanisms could be damaged. Every time that you get a row done, you should loosen the strap and then clamp it to the other side of the new row.
Step 2 - Spacers
Throughout the process, you need to remember to use spacers when you lay the flooring. When you start the next row, you need to put a spacer between the first board and the wall. This is necessary because laminate expands and contracts. If you put it directly up against the wall, it will potentially expand and start to buckle in the middle. This can break the locking mechanisms and ruin your laminate floor. Every time you get to a wall, make sure that you leave room for the spacer.
Step 3 - Stagger the Row
Now that you are ready to start the next row, you need to be sure to stagger it. All of the laminate pieces will be the same length. If you use a full piece to start the row, the end joints will match up with the previous row. By staggering the boards, you will create a more realistic look and it will appear much more professional. Take the piece that was left over after the cut from the first row and use it to start the next row. Then, you can use a full piece after the first cut piece and continue down the row. Every time you start a new row, you need to make sure that the first piece is not the same size as the piece directly next to it.
Step 4 - Fit the Final Row
When you do the final row, it will be a little bit more difficult than the other rows because you will have less room to work with. You can only leave about 1/4 inch on the outside of the board. Lay a board down in the opening and then press it into the locking mechanism of the other row. Continue laying boards like this until you are done with the last row. At that point, you should be able to put the baseboards or quarter round back on and you will be finished.