Laminate Flooring Installation Tips: Best Way To Start, and Handling Problems

For Quick2000:

Adam (who does not really dance in the video) goes over some issues a customer asked about, showing us great details on how to start the first rows, handling previous planks unlocking as you proceed, leaving your active row not fully engaged, and more. As good to see before you start as it is after you’re frustrated.

Not every locking system is the same. Each has its own specifics, so look at this video for tips but check your own instructions to see if all of them apply to your particular floor.

Using a Tapping Block:
(go to about 2:25 to see how to use a piece of your floor instead of the tapping block)

More resources on Laminate Flooring:

The one we used here – Vanilla Maple from Timeless Elegance, is out of stock. These are close matches:
Timber Ridge Sand Dune
Grand Illusions Canadian Maple

0:31 – Locking the first row
1:32 – Move first rows out (and why!)
2:15 – Current row staying “up” a bit…
3:00 – Connecting longways after the ends are already together
3:22 – Keeping planks from unlocking as you go
5:28 – Pushing back to the wall
5:56 – Board and installation directions

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Video thrown together by W. David Lichty at


woodworker1953 says:

Where are your knee Pads? I have been  been doing flooring going on 45 years now.  If I haven’t been using them, I’d probably wouldn’t be walking by now.   You need to know you are not bullet proof. Knees, hands and your back,  you need to take care of if you are going to survive in this industry  Good video also!

Bacbuk says:

Never use you hand as a hammer but good vid

Floors To Your Home (.com) says:

@Eric Sloan (sorry, Eric, YouTube is not letting us ‘reply’ to your comment?!)  
It’s tough to know exactly what you are facing.  With two rows in you certainly aren’t confused by a bevel.  The best guess we have is found in this video:  Installation and Locking Mechanism Tips – A Specific Laminate Flooring Problem  where the flooring tongue has to go in at a certain angle – we show it pop in.  Hopefully this helps!  Again, sorry about the delay and I hope you find this.  Not sure what YouTube is up to lately.

– David

dontwantto sharemyname says:

Great instructional. I appreciate the details. Thank you!

Barry Boyd says:

How come you didn’t use tools to bang the boards together as you have gaps in each board. Or is this type of flooring you are using not meant to be butted right together.

Jon Krieger says:

A tapping block and a hammer will save your hands, I think. 🙂

Jonathan Yardley says:

What kind of Vapor barrier would you use on a cement floor? I have a felt barrier it says can it help. But do you think it would be smart to put down a true plastic barrier? 


Go Colts

Rodb Alfonso says:

Thank you for showing us how

Cathie Strickland says:

we have a large kitchen living area and then a long hallway that leads to bathe and bedrooms, where does one start in the hallway????

lenhard2007 says:

its McLoving

Stenny Thomas says:

So useful. Finally got it. Thanks for sharing!

Gyula Bognar says:

Where is your laminate made?
And is it formeldahide  free?

Rambling Man says:

thanks a million lads 🙂

Bradley Krause says:

How do you measure it to make sure you don’t end up with a very small width piece at the end of the room. Should you rip down the starting row width to try and match it up with your last row’s width? And how can you measure for this to work out?

Steve Duval says:

Good job, but when you’re 60 your hands are going to be hurting! I’m old now and wish I didn’t use my hands As a hammer or mallet when I was younger.

Sue Rockwell says:

Thank you so much for this instructional. Wish me luck, I am going to try to re-install our floor as we had a bit of a flood and I took it all up, mapped it and now need to lay it back down. I’ll come back to let you know how I do.

David Termini says:

What about cutting the tongue  off the first row against the wall? Is that necessary? Thanks for the info and video.

Rotcod says:

A major Home supply place’s video said to align the boards perpendicular to the wall with windows.  But I want to continue the boards into the hall and down the hall, which is parallel to the wall in question.  Do people ever change the orientation of the boards when switching rooms?

ryan lewis says:

Thank you! This video saved our marriage! 🙂

carlosedwin1 says:

Thanks so much for this video. I was in a bind with my boards coming apart as I put the rows together. The manufacturer videos did not have the tricks you showed. I was about to give up. When I came to youtube to look for instruction videos and yours came up. After I saw your video I immediately went to try again and saw how the boards “lock” into place. I will now continue the project and complete it.

Rick Jenkins says:

Good clear instructions. I appreciate you creating this!

Joan Ferreira says:


Johnny's Cousin Steve says:

Nice job, guys! Thanks!

Miles Thomas says:

Wow this guy is thanks so much for this video. people are telling me to start in the middle of the room? Do you recommend starting at the end?

Kari Olar says:

what manufacturer of flooring is this? This looks like it locks very well! Im installing a swiftlock laminate floor from lowes and it is driving me nuts. Thanks for the tips. Im going to start over tomorrow with these tips.

Jozef 159753 says:

thanks guys nice and easy to understand

cingleplayer says:

The guy doing the floor is cool 😀

Noor Elahi says:

Damn, this kid has over 850k views

sassyviper tyler says:


Quick2000 says:

can you start every other row with a half piece for stagger or will this not look right?

Romana Merlene says:

Love your project. I made similar with Woodprix instructions.

Leah at Ventures in Design says:

You. Just. Solved. ALL of my installation issues.  My husband and I are doing our floors ourselves and we thought maybe we didn’t let it acclimate long enough, the wall isnt straight so we couldnt get the floor to properly connect to the first row… holy cow.  Its been 5 days and I don’t even have the first row down, yet.  Im so excited to go downstairs and try this!

Trevor M says:

Great vid. thanks guys. Camera guy does great job of slowing it down and explaining. thanks

KarenM says:

In two weeks, I am attempting to install laminate in my bedroom. I have a question, which may be rather dumb, because maybe the answer should be obvious 🙂 If the room isn’t square or even, how do you prepare for that in advance so that when you get to the finish there is not an uneven gap? I have this fear that I’ll get to the end and the gap on one side will be inches versus fractions of inches on the other side..

mrvideosrus says:

You are going to damage your hands by banging like that. Use a tool!

timmyp34 says:

Thank you re the “not pushing all the way down and fully engaging” concept. Helps me out

Peypey plays says:

Awesome video, the levitation is what I was missing in my install!!

Daniel Andrade says:

As a flooring installer for 20yrs, I can honestly say this is a great video on how to install laminate. You addressed most of the problems that come about when installing. Good job!!

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