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Tips for Installing Lock and Fold Flooring

Lock and fold flooring installs easily and quickly over any hard surface floor and can be completed in a weekend, giving you a beautiful new floor. With flooring available in many different finishes to fit any decorating plan, the floor floats and won't buckle or separate if it's installed correctly.

Here are tips for installing lock and fold flooring:

1. Start by purchasing 10-percent overage to allow for waste and incorrect cuts. Multiply the length of the area times the width to arrive at square footage.

2. To cut the wood, use a good quality carbide-tipped cutting blade. When using a hand saw, cut the decorative side of the board facing up. When using power saws, the direction of the blade must cut into the decorative side of the board to minimize chipping.

3. The flooring is installed over existing hard surface flooring, so remove the baseboards and undercut door moldings to allow the new flooring to slide underneath the molding. Lay a scrap of the flooring on the floor and trim the molding with a handsaw. Sweep the area to remove dust and debris.

4. Unroll the first row of cushioned underlayment, allowing the ends to roll up the walls a few inches. This is trimmed off when the flooring installation is complete and before the baseboards are re-installed.

5. Next, lay the first row of flooring with the tongue side to the outside wall. Work left to right as you install the flooring. The first row of flooring may require trimming the width to avoid ending up with a small sliver of flooring on the finish wall. Leave a space of inch at the walls to allow the floor to move.

6. Trim the last piece on the first row to length, which is the starting piece for the next row. Slide the first piece of the second row tongue side into the groove of the first row. Hold the flooring at an angle to the floor and slide into place. Install the balance of the row and return to the starting end to snap the boards down into place. Keep the butt ends tight.

7. Continue this procedure until all flooring is installed. Reinstall the baseboard and install transition strips where the new flooring meets other types of flooring.

8. To install under a door jam or toe kick requires the lip of the groove to be reduced in size. Use a small plane or utility knife to shave off 75 percent of the ledge of the groove. After the groove ledge has been trimmed, place the board in position laterally and lightly pull the board in place using the pull bar.

9. To finish the installation, remove spacers and install molding pieces. Always pre-drill transitions or moldings prior to nailing. To allow the floating floor to move freely, do not fasten the trim to the laminate flooring.

10. Never wax the new flooring. Clean the floor with manufacture recommended cleaners. Use felt pads on the legs of furniture to avoid scratching the new floor.