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Install a floating floor (wood or cork)

  • Difficulty Level: hammer hammer
    Close Difficulty Levels
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
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  • Completion Time : 1 day
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Laminate, engineered wood or cork floors, otherwise known as "floating" floors, are easy to install and can be laid over most types of subfloor, with the exception of carpet. Always read the manufacturer's installation recommendations before beginning work, as details may vary from one flooring system to another.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to successfully install a wood or cork floating floor – a relatively straightforward project, provided that the subfloor is properly prepared.


Tools and materials required


  • Push broom
  • Mitre box and mitre saw
  • Spacers or wood shims
  • Glue (as recommended by manufacturer)
  • Chalk or mason line
  • Carpenter pencil
  • Pull bar
  • Rubber mallet
  • Hammer
  • Power drill
  • Adhesive tape
  • Metal ruler
  • Hand saw or jigsaw
  • Backsaw
  • Trowel


  • Polyethylene film
  • Floating floor system and planks
  • Polyethylene foam padding


Before Assembly



Calculate the surface area and add a percentage to allow for breakages and spares. We recommend purchasing 10-15% more floor planks than required for the surface area.

Store the planks flat in their boxes in the room for at least 48 hours so that they acclimate to the temperature. Carefully inspect them to make sure they are not damaged or defective.

Fill and seal all openings in the floor, for example around pipes. Use transition moulding for protection where necessary.

Leave expansion gaps of approximately 1" between rooms and inside any room larger than 860 sq. ft. The same applies for all rooms over 35' long when floor planks are laid width-wise.

Some manufacturers recommend laying the planks parallel to the room's main light source, while others state the opposite. One thing is certain: if the flooring you choose has visible seams, these will have a bearing on the overall look of the room. In this case, to make a long room look wider, install the planks width-wise.

Floating floor systems – whether laminate, engineered wood or cork – are not recommended for use in bathrooms or any room with a humidity level higher than 60%.

Nevertheless, this type of flooring is more moisture resistant than solid hardwood and is therefore an attractive option for basement rooms. If yours is a newly built home, wait at least 60 days before installing.

Several types of underlayment are available on the market. Some have good sound insulation properties. Others, such as polyethylene foam, are designed mainly to compensate irregularities in the subfloor surface.


Most floating floor systems do not require gluing, though a small amount of adhesive can be applied to the tongue of planks situated in high-traffic areas, for added strength (in which case, use the adhesive recommended by the manufacturer).

On some systems designed for heavier-duty use, adhesive is applied to the planks at the factory. The planks are then wiped with water before installing, which activates the glue and locks the joint.


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RONA Langdon Hardware Ltd. / Fort Erie

1238 Dominion Road, Fort Erie,
Ontario, L2A 1H7

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