How to Install a Plank Floor

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Prybar
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Tapping block
  • Hand or circular saw
  • Straight edge
Materials Required
  • Foam underlayment
  • Bamboo planks
  • Spacers
  • Glue
  • Web clamps or tape

Before You Begin

To prepare remove the existing shoe or base moldings with a prybar and save it for reuse. The installation requires that you leave about a 1/4-inch gap at all walls and immovable objects. While you can install the flooring over small irregularities in the subfloor, make sure the existing floor is secure and squeak-free. Cover concrete with a vapor retarder, usually heavy (8-mil) polyethylene sheeting, overlapped at any seams.

Don't want to do the job? Click here to Home Advisor, a local referral service that connects homeowners with flooring contractors in your area.

  • Step 1 : Spread the foam underlayment

    Spread the foam underlayment

    Roll out the foam underlayment and trim it to fit the room. Roll out one width of underlayment as needed. When the planks cover the underlayment, roll out another section.

  • Step 2 : Dry fit the first three rows

    Dry fit the first three rows

    Position the first plank in the corner with its grooved edge against the spacers. Position additional planks to reach the end of the wall. Tap the plank into the end of the first plank using the tapping block the manufacturer supplies (or one that you make yourself using a short cutoff of the grooved side of the flooring).

    Dry fit the first three rows

    Measure and cut the last piece in the row so it fits tightly against the spacer at the far end. Start the second row with the cutoff from the first row (assuming that it's at least 12 inches long). Then fit the third row.

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