How To Stagger Laminate Flooring Step-By-Step

When installing a new laminate floor, the laminate boards should be staggered. Although there are no strict rules about it, understanding the fundamental ideas behind why it is important can help you create a floor that would be more visually attractive, lasts longer, and requires less maintenance. 

Many people are unaware of the need for staggering and have no idea about the necessary amount of stagger. That’s why we are here to provide you with more detail about how to stagger laminate flooring.

Why We Should Stagger Laminate Flooring

How To Stagger Laminate Flooring

A floating floor that cannot be correctly staggered will get an unusual appearance and lack the capacity and high integrity of a professionally installed laminate floor.

The major issue of improperly staggering laminate flooring is that it is likely to detach from the panels that it needs to be attached to. Furthermore, in extreme cases, the panels would rise or slide out of position. The reason for this situation is because you generate floor sections that are more capable of transfer than as a cohesive block.

How Much Should We Stagger Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring companies typically demand manufactured floors be staggered upwards of 6–12 inches or more. Therefore, it is critical to get a thorough grasp of the package recommendations when installing laminate flooring.

How To Stagger Laminate Flooring

Begin Your First Row

Let’s get to the bottom of the most important question: how to stagger laminate flooring? First and foremost, you must understand that the boards must be arranged unevenly; because all laminate boards are the same length, an uneven design may appear hard to accomplish.

Staggering is used in this situation. But, first, let’s have a look at how you begin and conclude the first row.

To avoid difficulties with the expansion gap, trim the tongues on the boards that will be part of the first row. Begin by lining up the trimmed section against the wall. Additionally, keep the expansion gap at the recommended half-inch distance.

You may also use spacers to ensure that you maintain the appropriate spacing at all times. Besides, you’ll have to measure again if the walls aren’t straight. To continue putting the next planks until the first row is complete.

There should be no gaps in the terminal joints. Use a hammer to ensure that the joints are closed.

When you get to the end of row one, the last panel will most likely incomplete fit. Hence, you must trim it down to suit the remaining area.

The cutout you receive would not suit any corner of the room. Thus, you can start your second row with a plank; this is a simple technique to make an uneven design with minimal waste.

Begin The Next Row

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To begin the second row, use the offcut from the first. Continue stacking the remaining boards till the row is finished. You won’t make the new row with the reduction from second since it might result in a major building block. In order to maintain the pattern random and avoid an H-joint, take a piece from some kind of complete laminate piece for the third row (when your third row is entirely the same as the first row).

When you’ve finished the third row, you can begin the fourth row with the second row’s cutoff. Specifically, use the reduction from the third row for the fifth row. Continue in this way until you reach the last row throughout the room.

The majority of laminate boards include a click and lock mechanism. Hold a plank from one row at a 45-degree angle while connecting it to planks from the following row.

You may now start moving the plank toward the floor by inserting the tongue into the groove of the preceding row’s boards. Additionally, secure the planks in place with a hammer using mild pressure.

Finish The Last Row

Because the planks may not suit the area, the final row is generally the hardest to install. Therefore, you’ll probably need a table, circular saw, or jigsaw saw to rip them.

Remember to leave a half-inch gap between the final row and the wall to allow for growth.

This content is the core idea of staggering, and you’ll see a straightforward effect today. All of the individuals and technicians who try to avoid it generate actual causes that will ultimately manifest.

Avoid H-Joints

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H-joints are commonly seen on usual flooring, but they should be avoided for visual and construct reasons. When a laminate floor is laid out regularly, it loses its capacity to shrink and expand as a whole system rather than as individual laminate planks, resulting in spaces or even rising like a hinge.

Last but not least, please take note of how every second row of boards is identical (or regularly placed), as this is not how laminate flooring should be installed.


Although there are no strict rules on how to stagger laminate flooring, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that you should attempt to install your floor in an uneven arrangement with such a stagger range of 6 to 12 inches.

Before attaching your laminate planks, spread them out in a position to obtain a continuous perspective of how your completed floor would look or if your stagger is acceptable for that line.

Finally, always remember to provide an expanding space around the borders of the room when considering how you’ll stagger your laminate.

Reference Source: How to Stagger Floating Floors : Laminate Flooring Installation & Repair


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