This article is intended for those who have the basic skills and tools required for the installation of a laminate floor. As always, pre-planning is the most important part of any installation. It requires time to think an installation through, one step at a time, so that any unforeseen obstacles are recognized and dealt with in a logical, methodical fashion. Step one will be the layout of the flooring; considering all the starting points; obstacles; perimeter cuts; and most importantly, installing the product so that it appears square, straight, and true against any visible line of vision, e.g. walls, cabinets, columns, doorways, etc. Step two is simple, but is a must for a quality installation. It is floor preparation! Confirm what the work order requires, and get authorization for any additional work from the appropriate person. Approach the prep work so that you maximize your time, tools, and human resources. This is a step that costs most installers money. The objective is to do more with less.
At this point, it is time to use your most valuable installation tool – the chalk line. First, establish two points on the existing floor by measuring from the last row of installed laminate flooring. Your measurements should be on opposite ends for accuracy, and should be exactly the same (each measurement must go beyond the opposite side of the fixed object). The measurements should be taken from the same points on the installed laminate flooring; for example, from the outside edge of the tongue. Mark these points on the existing floor.
This technique removes the guesswork and makes an installation around a fixed object easy. The same technique works for diagonal installations, the only exception being a diagonal installation would work up to a corner of the island cabinet instead of the side(diagram 5).
This method will also work for wood flooring, ceramic, or any modular flooring product.