How To Install Laminate Flooring: Understand the Locking Systems!
If you're about to install the floor of your dreams, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your laminate floor - which you know is a "floating floor" with not a nail in sight - will stay together, and provide you and your family with a beautiful and strong "floors for living" surface. For that reason, we created the Laminate Flooring Locking Systems video which focuses on Kronotex USA's laminate locking systems. After watching this video, you'll understand how to successfully install Kronotex USA laminate floors.
The laminate floor locking systems Kronotex USA uses.
Kronotex USA uses four locking systems in its product line:
- Express Clic used on Beaufort, Beaufort Traditions and Amazone collections
- Angle to Angle used on the Cherry Valley collection
- Clic2Clic used on the Yorkshire collection
- 5G used on the Designer Series, Aberdeen and Wilmington collections
In the Laminate Flooring Locking Systems video, Brad Young, technical expert with Kronotex USA, gives a detailed explanation of the “locking systems” listed above which are used on Kronotex USA planks. He shows how they fit together and shares installation tips for each one.
The video is 4-1/2 minutes long. [To view the video directly on YouTube, visit Laminate Flooring Locking Systems on Kronotex USA's Channel.]
Below are highlights and tips that Brad shares when explaining how to install laminate flooring and how the locking systems work.
Microns of tolerance for strong interlocking laminate flooring planks
As Brad explains, the real secret to a successful locking system is the precision with which the locking profiles are cut into the plank. Kronotex USA calibrates its locking profiles in microns. A micron is equal to one millionth of a meter – a very small tolerance indeed!
The 5G locking system for installing laminate floors
“This is the latest, greatest and most technologically advanced locking system available,” states Brad. What’s unique about this system is a “permanently extended plastic tongue” that helps the planks fit together easier on the ends.
A note of caution: If you have to rip-cut the plank length-wise, you should always remove the tongue by sliding it out of the groove so that it doesn’t become a projectile.
Brad shows how the tongue is made with circles stamped on one side that always face up, toward the décor face, so that you can reinsert the plastic tongue into the groove correctly.
The Designer Series, Aberdeen and Wilmington collections employ the 5G locking system.
Express Clic locking system for installing laminate floors
“Just like the name says, it’s really fast,” Brad says as he shows how the planks simply overlap and lock into place. However, a word of caution: End-joints have integrity when the planks securely click together and stay together on the ends and have a “12-inch end stagger from row to row.” That means end-joints shouldn’t be close together in rows next to each other.
The diagram below illustrates Brad's point. Ensure that end-joint integrity!
As Brad reminds us, it’s that “interlocking” quality that gives a floating laminate floor its strength. By placing end-joints too close together, you risk compromising that interlocking strength.
Check out Beaufort, Beaufort Traditions and Amazone collections for Express Clic.
Angle to Angle locking system for installing laminate floors
Brad shows how the planks install by angling the end-joints together and assembling a row at a time. Then by using the “South Carolina Slider” technique, you slide the entire row across the top of the preceding row, allowing the “tongue to dive into the groove and simply lock the floor into place” as Brad explains and demonstrates.
The Kronotex USA Cherry Valley collection uses the Angle to Angle locking system.
Clic2Clic locking system for installing laminate flooring
Brad shows the use of a “bridge piece” (actually a small scrap cutting of a Clic2Clic plank) to properly maintain alignment of two planks while using a tapping block (with multiple light taps) to connect the end-joints together. The bridge piece “bridges the gap” and “guides the tongue into the groove to maintain the correct angle to engage.”
You'll find Clic2Clic on the Yorkshire collection.
Final advice on how to install laminate floors
Kronotex USA wants you to have an excellent experience with your laminate floor, from the first click of installation to the ooohs and ahhs you receive from admiring friends and family. In addition to watching the Laminate Flooring Locking Systems video, we encourage you to explore the resources you'll find in the Installation section of the KronotexUSA website. There, you'll be able to print out installation instructions for your specific locking system, assemble the tools and accessories you'll need, acclimate your laminate flooring planks [note: this is very important!], become familiar with tongue and groove, and read through FAQs.
Let us know what you think of the video. Do you have a favorite locking system?
Thanks for watching!