There are different ways to install laminate flooring. Every manufacturer has their own license for a lock system or a click system so always be sure to read the insert that comes in the box with the flooring you purchased before attempting to install any flooring. There are two known methods for installing laminate flooring which are the “Drop and Lock” and “Angle Angle”. However we are going to discuss more on the Drop and Lock method.



Drop and Lock is the second of the two main types of click together installation methods for laminate flooring. The first thing you’ll want to do is put your spacers all along the wall, every 18 inches to two feet or so and down your side walls as well. On a Drop and Lock flooring installation, just as with an Angle Angle, you have two sides to your boards. You have a groove side, which is kind of a lowered lip, and then you have a tongue side. You install the flooring with the tongue side against your flooring with the tongue side against your wall, and your groove side out into your field, out into your install area. You’re going to be up against your spacers on the side wall, and your spacers on your back wall.


There are two common mistakes people often make when installing Drop and Lock flooring but they are easy to correct, and then the rest of your installation job should be a breeze. The first one, on your starting wall, the groove side of the board. It needs to be out into your field, out into your room and the tongue side needs to be up against your starting wall. Often people reverse that. They put the groove against the wall, the tongue into the field. This makes everything backwards and difficult to install. Thankfully it’s easy to fix. Turn it around however make sure that the lower lip, that groove side is out, facing into your field and then the tongue is facing towards the wall. That’s the first mistake people make.


After installing the first board, laid up against or sitting up against the spacers on both sides. To continue out the finish the first row, all you have to do is to line up the end joints and simply place the second board over top of the first, line up the end joints, make sure everything is tight against the spacers and continue all the way to the end of the first row. The pieces are not completely locked together. That’s one of the tricks that most people don’t know about the Drop and Lock system. When you put the end joints together, the seam is not fully installed until you do your next row and the joint is covered. So it takes the next row to fully engage and fully lock in the row behind it. So that makes your first row done all the way to the end of your wall, and always remember that with Drop and Lock flooring whatever cuts off over to the end of the flooring, usually is a good sized piece. It needs to be at least eight inches long and a nice sized piece to come over and start your second row with, because with Drop and Lock, you want your end joints or your end seams to be a minimum of eight inches apart. So you need to make sure that first piece in the second row has a board length that will give you at least an eight inch staggered between rows.


So, to start the second row, the first piece of the second row goes in at a slight angle. You can easily slide it all the way down to the end, up against to the spacer and then rock it into place. If necessary, you can face tap the face with the palm of your hand and slide in the second row. Be careful when you are sliding the boards since it’s not yet engaged. You will notice that the boards will be lock after installing it right, the seam in the first row will be locked after installing the the second row so on, continuing all the way down. The second mistake people make when trying to install Drop and Lock flooring is that some people install the long, side seam first. Angle it in, slide it and you get it over top of the other end seam and then push it down. The common mistake here is that people try to put in the end joint first, and they try to angle it and slide it back and then somehow rock the piece on the long side. This can’t be done and it will cause problems, boards will break, locking mechanisms will break. Makes people want to use a tapping block or a rubber mallet on the side seams that will cause rows to come apart. You will encounter all kinds of problems when you try to do the end joint first and the reason people do that is because that’s the common method on Angle Angle installation. On Drop and Lock installation, you must know and must remember that you must install the long side seam first. Bring ot over and drop it on top for the end seam. Two common mistakes however very easy to fix!


Once you reach on your last row , you should consider the weight of the entire floor. It’s one, moving, floating floor, so the weight will keep it down and of course your trim pieces. Whatever trim piece- if you’ve ended the last row at the end of the room and there is a wall and you put a quarter round down or there’s a transition piece, you’re going to carpet or tile, that transition piece will provide the locking for the end seams in your last row. So that is how you install your Drop and Lock flooring.