How to install engineered(click lock)flooring in your home…a novice guide to beautiful flooring

how to install engineered(click lock)flooring in your home...a novice guide to beautiful flooring

HOW TO INSTALL ENGINEERED WOOD (CLICK LOCK) FLOORING. A NOVICE GUIDE TO BEAUTIFUL FLOORING by Donald Thomas

Installing engineered (click lock) flooring can be accomplished by most serious minded weekend warriors who are willing to get down on their knees and give it their best. It’s really not a very difficult task to do, all you need is good information and that’s readily available plus the willingness to see it through. That’s all. Thanks to a number of engineered flooring manufacturers who have put a lot of thought into making their product user friendly and less intimidating. I’m a home improvement contractor that’s been in the business since 1984 and through trial and error I have learned a lot about home improvements in general, but you really don’t need a whole lot of experience these days to do many of the home improvement projects around your home.

And we owe that in part to a lot of great guys and gals in research and development departments around the world who have helped make home improvement projects within most homeowners’ and contractors’ skill level. I’m certainly not ashamed to publicly give thanks to them for helping me and my business accomplish a number of tasks that might have been beyond our ability to do had they not done such an excellent job in making the products more easier to install, remove, etc. etc.

Have you ever walked into a room where the flooring simply looked breathtaking and it just captivated you for a moment and held you motionless? Then you know the effects that elegant flooring can have on you. Well, I do too, and it felt as if time stood still. that’s what beautiful flooring can do to you; it can leave you just short of being spellbound. And you can be sure for the most part it was installed and finished by master craftsmen who probably did that and only that—year in and year out. Again,that’s why I’m more than grateful to flooring manufacturers who have made it possible for almost everyone to be able to install beautiful flooring correctly and efficiently and without a lot of hassles and headaches to boot.

Now unlike earlier times homeowners can install beautiful flooring themselves without having to hire expensive contractors. Quality flooring can literally be just a few steps away; breathtaking flooring that really is beautiful and exquisite, yet so easy to install and easy to maintain after the installation. You know it really doesn’t get much better than this. So climb aboard as I take you through our engineered flooring project that we did for a client of ours. It turned out just great and it was quite simple to install as well—at least, once you iron out the kinks.

Our client we’ll call him Robbie for the sake of privacy wanted a complete remodel for his condominium. He moved into it back in 1989 and had lived in it ever since then without any type of upgrades or renovation work. When he contacted us back in May 2008 he was ready for a complete change and especially the flooring. All the floors were covered with carpet, the same carpet that had been installed when it was first built back in 1971 except for the kitchen, bathrooms and luandry room, they were covered with sheet vinyl; however we replaced the sheet vinyl with ceramic tile. He was ready for a better alternative but he wasn’t quite sure what so we highly recommended that he allow us to install ceramic tile and he did and I would like to also add that he choose some beautiful tile at that.

So we visited a couple of home improvement centers, flooring stores, websites and we looked at any number of magazines to get an idea of what would work best with our new decorative theme and new interior concept. Finally, after many weeks of pondering, deliberating and imagining we decided to install engineered flooring in the living room/dining areas, roughly a 20×20 area or 400 square feet. We had completed the ceiling work; installed the crown moulding; completed the repair/installation of the walls (drywall) and the time had come to install our flooring. We were very excited about installing it and we could hardly wait to get going.

PREPARATION: THE KEY TO SUCCESS

In order to do a fine flooring job you must properly prepare the subflooring that the engineered flooring will be installed on. I cannot express enough the importance of this statement. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your flooring looks or how experience you are as an installer if your subfloor(s) are not suitable to receive a finish floor. In other words you are about to waste a lot of money and labor if you neglect this particular aspect of the job. By far, in my opinion this really is the most important aspect of the job and to be totally honest with you it is the most important aspect of any home improvement project, I think. So by all means make sure you get this part correct. This is the foundation on which you will build. If it is an unstable foundation your project will end in failure. If it is a good foundation you are on the right road.

INSTALLING ENGINEERED FLOORING OVER WOOD

If your house subflooring is wood be sure to check thoroughly to see if the wood is in good condition, meaning, no rotten wood; no warped boards/planks; no damaged boards/planks, and by all means no insect infested wood. If your floor joist/sills are in need of replacement now is a good time to have them replaced. If your house is unlevel this is a sign that the foundation is in question. Check your floor joist and or sills and proceed accordingly. It would be wise to have a foundation contractor take a good look at your foundation and make the necessary adjustment if needed.

Remember, your subflooring must be sound and level in order to install engineered flooring successfully and that pretty much goes for all types of flooring as well. It could mean having to spend extra money on your flooring project but believe me it is money well spent. In fact, until you have this work done your home’s market value is not only in question, but you and your family’s safety could very well be in jeopardy as well.

INSTALLING ENGINEERED FLOORING OVER CONCRETE (slab)

If your house sits on a concrete slab once the old finished flooring has been removed you should examine it to see the condition that it is in. If all you see are small hairlines cracks running across the slab take no offense. That’s okay. But if you see much wider cracks and broken pieces of slab then by all means again, contact a reputable foundation contractor that can assist you with your problem(s). Be ever vigilant and watchful to see if there are excessive amounts of moisture visible, if it is this could be another indication that something is wrong. Your foundation contractor should be able to ascertain all your questions and successfully address and remedy each and every one of your problems. Once that has been done you’re now ready to go forward.

INSTALLATION: PHASE ONE

Before you begin to install the engineered flooring boards you should first make sure the subflooring is free of debris, dirt, and everything else. Make sure the subfloor is clean and dry before you proceed. The first thing that you want to do after cleaning your subfloor is to install a membrane on it. This is nothing more than a sheeting of plastic that’s about 6 mils thick that forms a moisture barrier that help protects the finish flooring. Moisture is the enemy of wood flooring in particular and practically all flooring in general. So in order to prevent your flooring from succumbing prematurely install a good moisture barrier and you will be glad you did. After all, for a few dollars more and maybe an extra hour or two of labor you could be saving yourself a lot of money down the road.

Now that the moisture barrier is down you are now ready to install the underlayment. The way to install this product may vary from one manufacturer to another so check the instructions and follow accordingly. It’s imperative that you follow the manufacturers’ instructions to a letter in order to avoid disaster so read the instructions carefully and don’t feel unintelligent if you need to read them again and again if that’s what it takes for you to get a clear and precise understanding of what they are trying to tell you. Never feel apprehensive about calling the manufacturer and speaking with a technician, or sales representative that can assist you with the installation process as well as ascertaining any and all questions you may have. Please don’t be afraid, after all, by you purchasing their product(s) you help them to stay in business in a time when so many are going under.

INSTALLATION: PHASE TWO

With the membrane in place (moisture barrier) and the underlayment properly installed you are now ready for the most exciting part of the job: installing your engineered (click lock) flooring. But first of all allow me to back track for a moment. Earlier I mention the project we did for our client Robbie and I stated that the room was roughly 400 square feet. Once we knew the square footage of the area we would be installing engineered flooring over we were able to take that to the place where we had planned to make the purchase (engineered wood flooring) from.

We presented that information to the sales rep who in turned helped us figure out just how many boxes of the flooring boards we would need to do the job and of course we allowed an extra 15% for waste and for future use if the need should arise. We chose a beautiful santos mahogany finish engineered flooring that we fell in love with at first sight. When they actually delivered the flooring we were still busy with a number of other tasks so we open the boxes to allow the boards to acclimatize to the environment that they would be installed in. For about two weeks the boards had a chance to do just that. But generally speaking, two or three days should be sufficient enough for the boards to acclimatize to your home; however, the longer the better. But never, never, never allow the flooring to be in an area that’s humid and moisture laden. It should be stored in a room where the temperature and humidity is agreeable. This is a note well worth remembering so take heed and tread carefully.

INSTALLATION: PHASE THREE

Before you begin installing your flooring boards take the time to do a couple of very simple things that will help ensure a quality job that looks great and will stay looking great for years to come. For the most part there are very few rooms, walls, and floors that are straight, level and plumb. That’s just the way things are in the world we live in. I said that to say this, in all honesty you will not be able to use your walls as a straight reference line. To you they (walls) may appear to be straight but trust me, they’re not; practically none of them are. So here’s what you can do: pop a chalk line along the longest wall. Make sure you do it correctly because this line will be your reference line that you lay your flooring by.

All you have to do is first of all find the center point of the room that you will be installing the engineered click lock flooring in and this is how you can do that. Measure the length of all four walls then divide by 2. Mark that spot on each wall and pop a chalk line from one point to the other or from side to side. Where all lines intersect should be the center of the wall in other words, from wall A to wall B; from wall C to wall D; where all four walls intersect is the center of the room. Measure from the center of the room to withing one or two inches of your longest wall; this will be the starting point for installing the engineered wood click lock flooring.

The key to you achieving a straight floor will depend on this line so do it carefully. Once you have this line begin working from left to right. at least that’s how we did it and it worked for us. But if you choose to work from right to left that should be a workable alternative as well—I don’t know. But before I begin the actual installation I like to do a dry run just to see where the boards will fall so to speak. Before I begin the click lock process I want to make sure the boards are lining up in the best possible way, in other words, I don’t ever want a piece of board that’s less than twelve inches long any where! And I want to stagnate each and every row to make sure that no two rows are looking identical.

My point is this, if my first board is 36″ long that I’m using to begin my first row then my second row should begin with a board about 18″ long and so on. If the last board on the first row is 12″ or longer than I can use that board to begin my second row, if I choose not to I can take a whole board and cut it in half, you see the choice is mine. Consequently, I will have more waste by cutting a perfectly good board in half as oppose to using the already cut last board from the previous row. The call is yours it’s your show.

Note. When installing engineered wood (click lock) flooring be sure to randomly pick from at least three different boxes as you go, reason being; try to avoid having certain areas of the flooring looking slightly different from other areas. Make every attempt to lay a uniform floor.

Some people, tradesmen, contractors, and homeowners like to work in grids or sections as they go. This might prove to be more beneficial for you as well but if not just continue laying boards row after row. All you need to do is keep a straight line and by all means keep the boards tight together. The technique varies from one manufacturer to another on the best method for manipulating their click lock system. For example, with some types of click lock engineered flooring you will need some type of wedge to slide underneath the two boards that you are joining together in order to get them to engage. Usually when it does you will hear that click lock sound, hence, that’s how we get the identification for this type of flooring. I think.

CONCLUSION:GIVING IT YOUR BEST

Installing click lock flooring can really be a worthwhile experience for the young and the not so young at heart. Its’ truly not that difficult of a task to execute and accomplish just follow the manufacturers’ instructions and directions and proceed with caution. And remember this, as it is with most failed home improvement projects impatience is usually the culprit. So take your time, never rush; never work when you really don’t feel like it, and avoid setting unreasonable deadlines that can only lead to disaster. Your resolve for installing engineered flooring can become a spring board for other home improvement jobs. Just give it your best and stick to it. I did and almost twenty five years later I still enjoy this kind of work. Here’s wishing you the best—kid.

American Painting and Pressure Cleaning, Inc. is your number #1 source in Shreveport/Bossier City/Minden La. and surrounding areas for plaster restoration and plaster repairs; complete drywall (sheetrock) service; interior painting contractor; exterior painting contractor; countertops and backsplashes; ceramic tile flooring installation; carpentry/carpentry repairs, and engineered wood installation and so much more.

HOW TO INSTALL ENGINEERED WOOD (CLICK LOCK) FLOORING. A NOVICE GUIDE TO BEAUTIFUL FLOORING by Donald Thomas

Installing engineered (click lock) flooring can be accomplished by most serious minded weekend warriors who are willing to get down on their knees and give it their best. It’s really not a very difficult task to do, all you need is good information and that’s readily available plus the willingness to see it through. That’s all. Thanks to a number of engineered flooring manufacturers who have put a lot of thought into making their product user friendly and less intimidating. I’m a home improvement contractor that’s been in the business since 1984 and through trial and error I have learned a lot about home improvements in general, but you really don’t need a whole lot of experience these days to do many of the home improvement projects around your home.

And we owe that in part to a lot of great guys and gals in research and development departments around the world who have helped make home improvement projects within most homeowners’ and contractors’ skill level. I’m certainly not ashamed to publicly give thanks to them for helping me and my business accomplish a number of tasks that might have been beyond our ability to do had they not done such an excellent job in making the products more easier to install, remove, etc. etc.

Have you ever walked into a room where the flooring simply looked breathtaking and it just captivated you for a moment and held you motionless? Then you know the effects that elegant flooring can have on you. Well, I do too, and it felt as if time stood still. that’s what beautiful flooring can do to you; it can leave you just short of being spellbound. And you can be sure for the most part it was installed and finished by master craftsmen who probably did that and only that—year in and year out. Again,that’s why I’m more than grateful to flooring manufacturers who have made it possible for almost everyone to be able to install beautiful flooring correctly and efficiently and without a lot of hassles and headaches to boot.

Now unlike earlier times homeowners can install beautiful flooring themselves without having to hire expensive contractors. Quality flooring can literally be just a few steps away; breathtaking flooring that really is beautiful and exquisite, yet so easy to install and easy to maintain after the installation. You know it really doesn’t get much better than this. So climb aboard as I take you through our engineered flooring project that we did for a client of ours. It turned out just great and it was quite simple to install as well—at least, once you iron out the kinks.

Our client we’ll call him Robbie for the sake of privacy wanted a complete remodel for his condominium. He moved into it back in 1989 and had lived in it ever since then without any type of upgrades or renovation work. When he contacted us back in May 2008 he was ready for a complete change and especially the flooring. All the floors were covered with carpet, the same carpet that had been installed when it was first built back in 1971 except for the kitchen, bathrooms and luandry room, they were covered with sheet vinyl; however we replaced the sheet vinyl with ceramic tile. He was ready for a better alternative but he wasn’t quite sure what so we highly recommended that he allow us to install ceramic tile and he did and I would like to also add that he choose some beautiful tile at that.

So we visited a couple of home improvement centers, flooring stores, websites and we looked at any number of magazines to get an idea of what would work best with our new decorative theme and new interior concept. Finally, after many weeks of pondering, deliberating and imagining we decided to install engineered flooring in the living room/dining areas, roughly a 20×20 area or 400 square feet. We had completed the ceiling work; installed the crown moulding; completed the repair/installation of the walls (drywall) and the time had come to install our flooring. We were very excited about installing it and we could hardly wait to get going.

PREPARATION: THE KEY TO SUCCESS

In order to do a fine flooring job you must properly prepare the subflooring that the engineered flooring will be installed on. I cannot express enough the importance of this statement. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your flooring looks or how experience you are as an installer if your subfloor(s) are not suitable to receive a finish floor. In other words you are about to waste a lot of money and labor if you neglect this particular aspect of the job. By far, in my opinion this really is the most important aspect of the job and to be totally honest with you it is the most important aspect of any home improvement project, I think. So by all means make sure you get this part correct. This is the foundation on which you will build. If it is an unstable foundation your project will end in failure. If it is a good foundation you are on the right road.

INSTALLING ENGINEERED FLOORING OVER WOOD

If your house subflooring is wood be sure to check thoroughly to see if the wood is in good condition, meaning, no rotten wood; no warped boards/planks; no damaged boards/planks, and by all means no insect infested wood. If your floor joist/sills are in need of replacement now is a good time to have them replaced. If your house is unlevel this is a sign that the foundation is in question. Check your floor joist and or sills and proceed accordingly. It would be wise to have a foundation contractor take a good look at your foundation and make the necessary adjustment if needed.

Remember, your subflooring must be sound and level in order to install engineered flooring successfully and that pretty much goes for all types of flooring as well. It could mean having to spend extra money on your flooring project but believe me it is money well spent. In fact, until you have this work done your home’s market value is not only in question, but you and your family’s safety could very well be in jeopardy as well.

INSTALLING ENGINEERED FLOORING OVER CONCRETE (slab)

If your house sits on a concrete slab once the old finished flooring has been removed you should examine it to see the condition that it is in. If all you see are small hairlines cracks running across the slab take no offense. That’s okay. But if you see much wider cracks and broken pieces of slab then by all means again, contact a reputable foundation contractor that can assist you with your problem(s). Be ever vigilant and watchful to see if there are excessive amounts of moisture visible, if it is this could be another indication that something is wrong. Your foundation contractor should be able to ascertain all your questions and successfully address and remedy each and every one of your problems. Once that has been done you’re now ready to go forward.

INSTALLATION: PHASE ONE

Before you begin to install the engineered flooring boards you should first make sure the subflooring is free of debris, dirt, and everything else. Make sure the subfloor is clean and dry before you proceed. The first thing that you want to do after cleaning your subfloor is to install a membrane on it. This is nothing more than a sheeting of plastic that’s about 6 mils thick that forms a moisture barrier that help protects the finish flooring. Moisture is the enemy of wood flooring in particular and practically all flooring in general. So in order to prevent your flooring from succumbing prematurely install a good moisture barrier and you will be glad you did. After all, for a few dollars more and maybe an extra hour or two of labor you could be saving yourself a lot of money down the road.

Now that the moisture barrier is down you are now ready to install the underlayment. The way to install this product may vary from one manufacturer to another so check the instructions and follow accordingly. It’s imperative that you follow the manufacturers’ instructions to a letter in order to avoid disaster so read the instructions carefully and don’t feel unintelligent if you need to read them again and again if that’s what it takes for you to get a clear and precise understanding of what they are trying to tell you. Never feel apprehensive about calling the manufacturer and speaking with a technician, or sales representative that can assist you with the installation process as well as ascertaining any and all questions you may have. Please don’t be afraid, after all, by you purchasing their product(s) you help them to stay in business in a time when so many are going under.

INSTALLATION: PHASE TWO

With the membrane in place (moisture barrier) and the underlayment properly installed you are now ready for the most exciting part of the job: installing your engineered (click lock) flooring. But first of all allow me to back track for a moment. Earlier I mention the project we did for our client Robbie and I stated that the room was roughly 400 square feet. Once we knew the square footage of the area we would be installing engineered flooring over we were able to take that to the place where we had planned to make the purchase (engineered wood flooring) from.

We presented that information to the sales rep who in turned helped us figure out just how many boxes of the flooring boards we would need to do the job and of course we allowed an extra 15% for waste and for future use if the need should arise. We chose a beautiful santos mahogany finish engineered flooring that we fell in love with at first sight. When they actually delivered the flooring we were still busy with a number of other tasks so we open the boxes to allow the boards to acclimatize to the environment that they would be installed in. For about two weeks the boards had a chance to do just that. But generally speaking, two or three days should be sufficient enough for the boards to acclimatize to your home; however, the longer the better. But never, never, never allow the flooring to be in an area that’s humid and moisture laden. It should be stored in a room where the temperature and humidity is agreeable. This is a note well worth remembering so take heed and tread carefully.

INSTALLATION: PHASE THREE

Before you begin installing your flooring boards take the time to do a couple of very simple things that will help ensure a quality job that looks great and will stay looking great for years to come. For the most part there are very few rooms, walls, and floors that are straight, level and plumb. That’s just the way things are in the world we live in. I said that to say this, in all honesty you will not be able to use your walls as a straight reference line. To you they (walls) may appear to be straight but trust me, they’re not; practically none of them are. So here’s what you can do: pop a chalk line along the longest wall. Make sure you do it correctly because this line will be your reference line that you lay your flooring by.

All you have to do is first of all find the center point of the room that you will be installing the engineered click lock flooring in and this is how you can do that. Measure the length of all four walls then divide by 2. Mark that spot on each wall and pop a chalk line from one point to the other or from side to side. Where all lines intersect should be the center of the wall in other words, from wall A to wall B; from wall C to wall D; where all four walls intersect is the center of the room. Measure from the center of the room to withing one or two inches of your longest wall; this will be the starting point for installing the engineered wood click lock flooring.

The key to you achieving a straight floor will depend on this line so do it carefully. Once you have this line begin working from left to right. at least that’s how we did it and it worked for us. But if you choose to work from right to left that should be a workable alternative as well—I don’t know. But before I begin the actual installation I like to do a dry run just to see where the boards will fall so to speak. Before I begin the click lock process I want to make sure the boards are lining up in the best possible way, in other words, I don’t ever want a piece of board that’s less than twelve inches long any where! And I want to stagnate each and every row to make sure that no two rows are looking identical.

My point is this, if my first board is 36″ long that I’m using to begin my first row then my second row should begin with a board about 18″ long and so on. If the last board on the first row is 12″ or longer than I can use that board to begin my second row, if I choose not to I can take a whole board and cut it in half, you see the choice is mine. Consequently, I will have more waste by cutting a perfectly good board in half as oppose to using the already cut last board from the previous row. The call is yours it’s your show.

Note. When installing engineered wood (click lock) flooring be sure to randomly pick from at least three different boxes as you go, reason being; try to avoid having certain areas of the flooring looking slightly different from other areas. Make every attempt to lay a uniform floor.

Some people, tradesmen, contractors, and homeowners like to work in grids or sections as they go. This might prove to be more beneficial for you as well but if not just continue laying boards row after row. All you need to do is keep a straight line and by all means keep the boards tight together. The technique varies from one manufacturer to another on the best method for manipulating their click lock system. For example, with some types of click lock engineered flooring you will need some type of wedge to slide underneath the two boards that you are joining together in order to get them to engage. Usually when it does you will hear that click lock sound, hence, that’s how we get the identification for this type of flooring. I think.

CONCLUSION:GIVING IT YOUR BEST

Installing click lock flooring can really be a worthwhile experience for the young and the not so young at heart. Its’ truly not that difficult of a task to execute and accomplish just follow the manufacturers’ instructions and directions and proceed with caution. And remember this, as it is with most failed home improvement projects impatience is usually the culprit. So take your time, never rush; never work when you really don’t feel like it, and avoid setting unreasonable deadlines that can only lead to disaster. Your resolve for installing engineered flooring can become a spring board for other home improvement jobs. Just give it your best and stick to it. I did and almost twenty five years later I still enjoy this kind of work. Here’s wishing you the best—kid.

American Painting and Pressure Cleaning, Inc. is your number #1 source in Shreveport/Bossier City/Minden La. and surrounding areas for plaster restoration and plaster repairs; complete drywall (sheetrock) service; interior painting contractor; exterior painting contractor; countertops and backsplashes; ceramic tile flooring installation; carpentry/carpentry repairs, and engineered wood installation and so much more.


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