Laminates have a variety of fitment or assembly methods, each directly related to the design of the manufacturer’s locking system or product thickness. Terms such as glueless, lock-and-fold, angle-angle and tap-and-lock are used to define how products are generally installed. In many instances laminate products less than 10mm thick are flexible enough to install by hand whereas thicker (10-15mm) products are more rigid, often requiring the use of hand tools like tapping bars and blocks. Of course the end-user must defer to the manufacturer’s written product instructions in regards to proper installation techniques and tools.

Laminates surfaces are very tough and durable; however, laminate edges are susceptible to chipping during assembly. Therefore, care must be taken when using tapping blocks and other related tools. Tapping blocks are used to help protect laminate edges during assembly (pic 1). Oftentimes a tapping block may not properly fit a thicker laminate or protect its edge. When this happens a handy trick is to cut a scrap piece of the same flooring and fit it in-between the tapping block and the leading factory edge of the laminate (pics 2-3). This method can help protect the factory edge, and during assembly when the scrap piece of flooring gets worn or damaged simply replace it with another one (pic 4). As with all installation techniques, it’s best to test an area to ensure damage-free results.