Drop & Lock Laminate Flooring Installation Tips and Common Problems


Drop and Lock is the second of the two main types of click together installation methods for laminate flooring. In this video, Brian shows exactly how the planks lock together, and how to avoid the two most common mistakes people make when putting in their floors.

Take a look at a drawing of the expansion gap covered by a trim piece here:

The other, even more common installation method is demonstrated in our video on Angle Angle Laminate and Vinyl Flooring Installation Tips:

More resources on Laminate Flooring:

0:28 – Two main laminate installation systems
0:43 – Getting started
0:56 – The tongue and the groove
1:37 – Common mistake #1 – Boards facing the wrong direction
2:36 – “Dropping” the end joints
3:06 – When end joints are actually locked
3:40 – Using cut pieces from the ends
3:58 – Staggering end seams
4:17 – Second row, and locking the ends
5:35 – Common mistake #2 – connecting end joints before long sides
6:51 – Third row and beyond
7:48 – Locking down the last row

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Video thrown together by W. David Lichty at https://plus.google.com/u/0/108827368707254123936


sirenvy says:

You guys are awesome. Seriously. I am new to this flooring thing, and I am just one of those guys who knows what hes doing, but watches videos to make sure. lol.


Omg. You are the boss if been trying to lay my floor four hours and this has made my laying flooring 1000 Times easier. Thank you bro

Barbara K says:

Great instruction video. Logical and a good starting point for doing one’s own floating floor.

Rich Gale says:

Right watched the vid now time to try it…wish me luck lol…thanks for the video…best one I’ve seen.

Josh Temple says:

I’ve always done angle angle, bought some drop and lock remnants for a closet and thought I was losing my mind. Good to know the difference. Great video.

Nimrod 823 says:

If only I watched this video FIRST! Lol great video thank you!

kdogtv says:

I am currently working with this flooring for a small room in my house, and I WISH it was this easy.  Its funny what NO ONE SHOWS US is how to get those end pieces in when its a real tight fit! What a PITA! I mean I have spent a lot of time trying to get my cut pieces into place when its the last piece going in against the wall, how do you “Slide” those into place?
B. I bought a spacer kit and they are spacers with a straight back but angled front and the stupid things keep falling forward over my boards, they wont even stay up against the wall for me to straighten my boards.
I’m going to post the video of how to get those tight wall pieces in place when I figure it out. Videos like this are near useless, shows us the tricky parts.

KingTJL says:

Thankyou Very helpful

Tara Freeman says:

i know this is an old video but it was very informative. i was wondering about the “bow” that was happening after my first 3 rows and now understand that i need more weight.  I was about to rip it apart and start over.

Kevin A. McDaniel says:

Wish I would’ve seen this before I started on my daughter’s bedroom.

Beverly Roxby says:

It looks to me like this guy has the tongue side and ghe groove side mixed up. It’s clear enough from the video what he means, but still…

JN 2013 says:

How would you go about when installing a drop and lock flooring transitioning as one uniform continuous flooring between multiple rooms where it is not possible to start from one wall working to the other side of the room due to walls not being square? Would you mark out a middle line and drop and lock the floor in two directions from that middle line, with one of those directions being what you in this video describe as the wrong way? 

Chris P says:

This vid was a lifesaver — I was cursing my flooring yesterday for about 3 hours and swore it was defective or I was. Thanks for posting – I’m totally sorted out today and finished 2 entire rooms in about 6 hours.

Kim Wojo says:

Thank you so much!! When I get frustrated, I watch the video . . . again. 🙂

Kayra Kaye says:

Good information. Thanks for the video!

James Williams says:

thanks for the clear instruction

Marcelo Urias says:

Thanks for this video. It saved my project. I was three rows down when I got suspicious I was going backwards….if it wasn’t for this video, I was in for a day of grief.

kulminaator says:

Thanks for the helpful video

Michelle Riley says:

Thank you so much for this video, I have literally made every mistake you mentioned in the video and was about to give up but I decided to look for helpful video’s so I am going back to rectify my mistakes and hopefully it will be easier 🙂

Tomislav Zvonimir says:

Hi, i have a problem. I bought some laminate and they are all same long size 1,5m. So i can’t mix smaller ones with the long ones. That leaves me with a 0,5m gap at the sidewall. Now i have to cut an entire box of planks in smaller pieces to fill the whole gap. The problem is i can’t lay them down as they won’t clip properly on the shorter lenght. What should i do?

Floors To Your Home (.com) says:

You pull the spacers out at the end. The gaps left between your flooring and your wall is what will be hidden under your side boards and trims. Those gaps all around your floor allow it to slip further under your trims, and then pull back away as the floor expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity.

I’ve put a link in the video description to a page showing what that can look like, a space covered by a trim.

– David

Floors To Your Home (.com) says:

Thank you!

Floors To Your Home (.com) says:

I don’t know which exact floor you’re installing, Matt. The most common type of laminate installation is another method called angle to angle, and with that one would do as your instructions indicate. We show that in our video on angle to angles at about 5 minutes in. The link is in the description. The ratio with these methods is around 1 to 4 against Drop & Lock, maybe more, so most will find themselves with an angle to angle floor.

– David

Zaren says:

Thank you!  My first try at laying a floor was an Angle Angle floor in one room.  Then a year later, ended up with a Drop & Lock for the next room.  I wanted a thicker sturdier floor in the that room.  Even though the boxed instructions seem to suggest that it was Angle Angle, the install went smoothly using the Drop & Lock method.  I didn’t have any of the problems that you mentioned after doing that.

Billy B says:

I never knew this type of locking system existed until I went to install some flooring I bought. I have been trying to figure it out for a week now. NOW I KNOW!! 🙂 ty this was very helpful.

James Demask says:

These videos are great if you live in a one room house

Kevin Zazvorka says:

How come no answer to JN2013

Brian Hamilton says:

This is very helpful. Thank you!

Kenneth Settles says:

Thank you for making and sharing this video. It’s very informative, and explains it fully without a bunch of unnecessary fluff mixed in.

Meredith Beesing says:

Thank you! We were doing all of the common mistakes.

Joey Harper says:

my closet is square on one side and has a angle on the other. how would i make that cut to get it up to the wall?

Josh G says:

excellent vid it made my floor installation a breeze thanks

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