Floating Floor Installation — How To

Floating Floor Installation - How To

Floating Floor Installation

Most people should be able to install a floating floor without professional assistance as long as they are comfortable using basic measuring, power, and hand tools. However, it’s a good idea to devise an installation plan before you start.

Floating floor systems mimic real hardwood floors. They are low-cost, relatively easy to install, and can be installed in less than ideal places, such as a room with a cement slab floor. Although I am very impressed with the appearance of my floating floor, I don’t care as much for the sound or feel of the floor when walking on it as it doesn’t feel as solid as fixed (nailed or glued) flooring.

Installing The Floating Floor

Required Tools / Kits

  • Flooring manufacturer’s installation kit
  • Hammer
  • Power miter saw
  • Trim saw
  • Phillips screw driver
  • Trowel
  • compressor & brad nailer for reinstalling trim (optional)
  • Floating Floor Installation - How To


  • Flooring
  • Foam underlayment
  • Vapor barrier
  • Vinyl cement (to fill in voids in cement slab)
  • Transition pieces
  • Wide tape to connect underlayment pieces

The following guide is intended for those who wish to install a floating style floor over a concrete slab.

The first step is to remove the old flooring material. If the old floor is vinyl and can’t easily be removed, or might contain asbestos it might be better to install the new floor over the old material. Fill in any low spots with vinyl cement or other leveling product designed for that purpose.

*TIP # 1 — If you have a home theater system you may want to run speaker wires (or phone wires, etc.) across the room before you install the foam underlayment.

*TIP # 2 — Now is a great time to paint the room.

Floating floor installed.

A floating floor must be able to expand and contract under the trim along each wall. Read the instructions to determine the correct amount of room needed for expansion and contraction.

When the floor has been properly prepped, layout the vapor barrier plastic overlapping the seams by 8 to 10 inches. You may want to tape the seams to insure they don’t move. Next, lay out the foam underlayment as instructed by the manufacturer.

Once the the vapor barrier and foam underlayment are installed, it’s time to devise an installation plan. Your plan should determine which wall is the logical starting place, how you are going to deal with doorways, entrances, stairways, and other obstacles, and make sure that the end pieces will not come out too small.

The Pergo floor system I purchased had three lengths of flooring material per box — long pieces, medium length pieces, and short pieces. To create a realistic looking hardwood floor installation, you will need to cut-off a random amount of material from the first piece of each row (be sure to read and understand the installation instructions). I used a power miter saw for cutting the row starter pieces and a cheap table saw when a flooring piece had to be cut lengthwise.

Flooring pieces snap together. I recommend purchasing the installation kit provided by the manufacturer as these kits contain tools that make it easier to connect the pieces firmly without damage.

Reinstall the trim with a brad nailer and you’re finished!

DISCLAIMER: INC8.com makes no guarantee that the information presented on this web page is complete or correct. Always consult a professional when in doubt. Use of this web site and the information within is at your own risk.

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