How to Install Interlocking Flooring

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Interlocking flooring is a form of glueless "floating" flooring that is among the easier types of floor to lay. The floor is made of planks that lock together at the ends and sides via special fittings. They lock tightly enough to form a solid surface. They aren't glued or nailed to the subfloor, but merely sit on top of it. Floor trim holds down the edges. Start with a firm, solid and clean subfloor of any flooring material other than carpeting.

Things You'll Need

  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Moisture barrier
  • Razor knife
  • Interlocking glueless floor planks
  • Wall shims
  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Trim nail gun
  • Use your pry bar and hammer to remove the floor trim from the perimeter of the floor. Keep the trim intact as you remove it.

  • Roll out a course of moisture barrier alongside the side of the floor where you want to start. Cut it to size at the end with a razor knife.

  • Set your first course of interlocking planks alongside the starting wall, connecting them together at the end. With most systems, you'll connect them by setting one board flat on the floor, pressing the second board to the end of the first board at a downward angle until it clicks into place and then laying the second board flat. Put shims between the edges of the boards and the wall to create a space that will allow expansion of the flooring with changes in temperature and humidity.

  • Cut the last board in the course on your miter saw to fit against the side wall.

  • Set the next courses in place alongside the first, locking them together at the sides of the boards. Lay them so that the ends don't line up between courses. Cut the last board of each course on your miter saw, as needed.

  • Cover the whole floor. Cut the planks of the final course on a table saw, length-wise, so they fit against the wall with a small gap there (between ¼ inch and ½ inch).

  • Nail the floor trim back in place using a trim nail gun. The trim should cover the gaps.

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