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How To Lay Glueless Laminate Flooring

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Glueless laminate flooring is a great way to update your floors. Glueless laminate flooring, sometimes referred to as floating floors since they aren't joined to the sub floor, uses the interlock and groove method of installation instead of glue. Here are some tips for installing glueless laminate flooring.

Prepare the Floor

Measure the room in which you want to install the flooring, and buy extra flooring so you have enough. Laminate wood isn't pure wood, but it has enough wood to make it expand and contract in changing temperatures. Buying extra will ensure that you have enough after the flooring has contracted. Take the boards out of the package and let them stand at least three days so they can adjust to the climate.

Remove carpeting and use a leveling compound to smooth valleys in the floor. Clean all dirt to help the boards lay flat, and make certain no nails remain. Trim bottoms of doorjambs with a hand-cutting tool so the boards will slide easier under doors using a floor board as a guide for how much to trim.

Install Padding

Padding is necessary for laminate floors to act as a moisture barrier between the floor and sub floor. If the flooring didn't come with padding, buy it from a laminate flooring dealer. Place the first row of padding along the wall where you plan to start laying boards and stretch it all the way across the room, cutting excess with a utility knife. Look for tape under the padding and remove it to reveal the adhesive, and push it firmly on the floor to secure it.

Lay the Boards

You may prefer to practice assembling the boards before installing them. Place small pieces of plank as spacers 1/4 inch form the wall. Install the first row 1/4 inch from the wall to allow for expansion, and begin the next row against the short-trimmed part of the last row to stagger planks in adjoining rows. 

Continue snapping boards together using a tapping tool to lock ends together. Tapping tools are available from laminate floor dealers. 

When you get to the wall opposite where you began installing, rip boards cross-wise with a hand cutting tool to fit the gap between the board in the next-to-last row and wall. Cut the boards ½ narrower than the gap for easy installing. Remove spacers and nail a baseboard to the bottom plate of the wall to hide gaps.

You don't need special skills to install glueless laminate flooring and it saves you money. If you aren't sure of your skills or need other types of flooring installed, contact a home remodel contractor.