4.) Laying the Boards
Attaching laminate boards will be an odd task at first, but you should be able to get used to it quite quickly. The boards each have a tongue and groove side and they slide together.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It’s a little bit more complex than it seems at first but after laying down a couple of rows you should be able to get a handle on the process quite quickly. If you don’t have the tools around at all, you can actually purchase kits with everything you need but a mallet for a low price.
How easily it installs will depend on the specific boards you went with. Some brands will snap together with an amazing amount of ease, while others might require specialized tools and a mallet to put together.
In any case, a quality pull bar is going to be wanted when you get to the edges. It’ll allow you the leverage you need in order to get the boards snapped into place properly because your hands are going to have trouble fitting.
If you followed our instructions on cutting, or the advice of anyone who knows what they’re doing, then you’ll still have the short pieces needed, you should set these aside with the “long” piece from the end of each row.
You’ll use them to start the next row, in order to make sure that the boards have a pleasing, staggered look rather than running like a grid.
Begin by using a couple of small pieces or spacers from a kit in order to make sure that you have the desired spacing around the walls. Your baseboards should be thicker than any of the laminate floorboard, so this way you’ll know the gap will be hidden when you’re finished.
Lay down the first piece, placing it parallel to the longest wall is generally better looking at the end of the process. Place the entire row, ensuring that it’s tight against the spacers and running completely parallel to the wall.
Take the short end and attach it to the beginning of the first board in the row. If the flooring you’ve got is obstinate, you’ll need to use your mallet and either a scrap piece of wood or a tapping block. Truthfully, you should use the block either way in order to ensure a snug fit.
Repeat this process over and over in order to get the whole floor covered. Remember to start with the small piece from the end of the row each time. There is one caveat to that, if the small piece is shorter than six inches or so you may want to cut some different sized pieces from some of the excess you ordered.
Once you’re on the last row or two, you’re going to find out that your tapping block is pretty much useless. At this point, you’ll need the pull bar.
Place the short end against the side of the plank facing the wall, and use the mallet to hit the larger side. Move down a couple of inches and repeat the process until you hit the end of the board and then move on and repeat.
It’ll take a few hours, at least, but someone with a little bit of skill should be able to manage laying this floor down in a few hours once they get going. Enlist a friend for help and you can get it done even faster.