Friday, January 9, 2015

How to Install Click-Lock Flooring

If you're a homeowner wondering how to install click-lock flooring, here's a quick overview of the process:

Tools You Will Need:
  • Table saw
  • Compound miter saw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Flat pry bar 
  • Pneumatic nailer for installing trim at the end of the job (Optional. If you don't have one, you'll need a nail set.)
Materials You Will Need:
  • Click-lock flooring
  • Underlayment
  • Trim (baseboards or quarter-round, see below)
  • Transitions for the doorways
  • Finish nails for the trim, and screws and/or glue for the transitions
You will also need a small piece of wood to cushion the flooring pieces when you tap them into place with the hammer. You can use a scrap of your flooring material for this.

How to Do the Prep Work:
  1. Decide whether you want to remove any old baseboards and then put them back after installing the floor, or whether you want to leave the baseboards in place and add quarter-round trim.
  2. Measure the room and compute the square feet, then order the flooring and underlayment. Measure the perimeter of the room and order the trim and transitions.
  3. Prepare the surface by removing any loose or uneven parts of the old flooring. Check the joists and subfloor and make any necessary repairs.
  4. Set up your workspace, including both saws. Make sure you have enough space to stay organized and make accurate cuts.
How to Install Click-Lock Flooring:
  1. Decide which direction you want your flooring to go. Don't forget to take any closets, entryways and other unusual shapes into consideration.
  2. Put down the first piece of underlayment. It does matter which side is up, so read and follow the labeling.
  3. Lay the first piece of flooring near the wall at the edge of the room. Make sure there's a small gap (about a 1/4 inch or half a centimeter) between the floor and the wall to allow for expansion. You will cover this gap later with trim.
  4. Lay the second piece end-to-end next to the first piece. Hold the first piece down with your foot and tap the second one into place with the hammer. But don't let the hammer touch the flooring: put your block of wood in between to protect it from dents. Once you've done a few, you'll get used to the sound and feel of how they click into place. When installed correctly, the pieces are so close that the real seams look just like the printed ones. Sometimes you will need to use the pry bar to maintain the gap next to the wall.
  5.  Measure, cut and install each row before going on to the next one. Remember that the two sides of the flooring pieces are not the same, so if one of them gets turned around, it will not lock into place. Don't forget the underlayment.
  6. Paint or stain your trim pieces as necessary to match the decor of your room. Then measure, cut and install the trim and the transitions.
If you have the tools, the time and some finish carpentry experience, it shouldn't be hard to learn how to install click-lock flooring.

New Hampshire Construction

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