How to Stagger Laminate Flooring

Stagger Laminate Flooring

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It’s important to stagger laminate flooring for a finished appearance that will add value to your property and a professional touch to the installation. In addition to providing a more genuine look, this method eliminates the potential for seams to show and simplifies the installation procedure. 

To stagger the planks, you would arrange them out such that the ends of adjacent rows are not perfectly aligned. This design helps to avoid monotony on the floor and also serves to draw the eye. Additionally, it aids in spreading the flooring’s weight across a larger area, which keeps the flooring stable and long-lasting. To assist you get a professional looking result, we’ve laid out a detailed tutorial on staggering laminate flooring in this article.

  • Measure the room and planks

Accuracy in taking space and plank measurements is essential for a smooth laminate flooring installation. The procedure is as follows:


Measure the room

Take accurate dimensions of the space by measuring its width and length using a measuring tape. The area of the room may be calculated by multiplying the two numbers above.


Figure out how much flooring will be required

For information on how many square feet are in a box of laminate flooring, see the product’s packaging. How many boxes of laminate flooring you’ll need may be estimated by dividing the room’s square footage by the average square footage of a box.


Measure the thickness of the boards

The laminate flooring package should include the width of the individual planks. Pick a width that works well with the available space.


Take into account obstructions

If there are entrances or cabinets in the area, you will need to measure around them to get an accurate square footage. Incorporate these figures into the overall area of the space.


Measure irregularly shaped rooms

Rooms with unusual shapes should be measured by sectioning them off into smaller areas and measuring each one individually. The overall square footage of a room is calculated by adding the square footage of its individual sections.


Waste 10% of your total

If there is any chance of error or waste during installation, you should add 10% to the total square footage.

  • Find out how long the first row is

Laminate flooring must be staggered correctly, and figuring out the length of the first row is an essential first step. Follow these steps:

Measure how far is it from the starting line to the back of the first row

Measure from the wall where you want to begin installing the laminate flooring to the wall where you want the first row to terminate. Wall trim, including baseboards and crown molding, must be included in.


Consider potential growth gaps: 

Expansion gaps should be left around the room’s perimeter when installing laminate flooring so that the material has space to expand and contract when the air temperature and humidity fluctuate. The standard expansion gap recommendation is between a quarter and a half of an inch. Take this into account when figuring out how long the first row will be.


Keep in mind the finishing touches: 

Baseboards and quarter-round, as well as any other wall trim, have a thickness that must be taken into consideration when measuring for the first row. The first row’s length should be increased by the thickness measurement taken from the trim pieces.


First plank down: 

Using the first row’s length as a guide, cut the first board to size using a saw. When making a cut, make sure to provide room for expansion and any necessary trim.


Set up the first row: 

Position the board along the first wall, spacing it out to allow for growth. Maintain the distance between rows by using spacers while you set up the first set. Planks should fit closely without being pushed together so that they may expand as needed.

  • Stagger subsequent rows 

Installing laminate flooring with staggered rows is a must for a professional look and long life. Here’s the procedure:


Find the ideal spacing apart

Select the stagger between the boards that you like. Laminate flooring installation guidelines suggest a stagger of 6-12 inches. This ensures that the ends of the second row of planks are at least 6 to 12 inches from those of the first row.


Remove the first board

Using the expansion gap in mind, cut the first board of the second row to the correct length using a saw.


Place the second set of rows 

The angled end of the cut plank should be flush with the end of the first row’s plank. To secure the board, just press it down into position. Keeping the proper stagger between boards, proceed with putting the planks in the second row.

Iterate for the next set of rows

Stagger the planks and cut the first board of each new row to the correct length, just like you did in the previous row.


Locate the discrepancies and fix them

Check for spaces between planks at regular intervals as you install succeeding rows. To guarantee a snug fit, tap the boards into position using a tapping block and hammer.

  • Maintenance and Care

Laminate flooring requires regular care and maintenance to keep it looking great and functioning well. To ensure that your laminate flooring remains in pristine shape, follow these guidelines.


Frequent cleaning 

Dirt, debris, and dust may harm laminate flooring if not frequently removed by sweeping, vacuuming, or dust mopping. Laminate floors are not watertight, thus careful handling of water is required. Periodically clean your laminate floors using a moist mop or a cleaner made for that purpose.


Don’t wait to clean up messes

Quickly mopping up spills can help prevent water from seeping into the joints and damaging the laminate flooring. After mopping up the spill with a soft cloth or paper towel, make sure the surface is completely dry.


Make use of corner guards 

When you move or rearrange furniture on your laminate flooring, be sure you use felt or rubber glides to avoid scratches and dents.


Keep away from toxic substances 

Laminate flooring may be easily damaged by the use of abrasive cleaners, strong chemicals, or steam cleaners. Use only the cleaners specifically designed for laminate flooring, or a solution of mild soap and water.


Limit scrapes

Avoid scratching or otherwise damaging your laminate flooring by dragging heavy furniture or sharp items over it, and by using rugs or mats in high traffic areas.


Cut your pet’s nails

Laminate floors may be protected from pet claws by keeping them trimmed.


Keep the humidity down

Wet environments, such as bathrooms and basements, are not appropriate for laminate flooring. When humidity levels are high, use a dehumidifier and be quick to clean up any accidents.


Protect against sunlight

Excessive exposure to sunlight may fade or discolor laminate flooring over time. To avoid this, use curtains, shades, or UV-protective window coverings.


Stick to the guidelines provided by the maker

If you want to take care of your laminate flooring and keep your guarantee in effect, you must strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation, cleaning, and maintenance.


Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs


When installing staggered laminate flooring, what materials are required?

A circular saw, jigsaw or handsaw, hammer, tapping block, draw bar, measuring tape, and square are among the necessary instruments for installing staggered laminate flooring. A pry bar, a square, and a utility knife could come in handy as well.


If I want to stagger the laminate flooring, how long would it take?

Stagger laminate flooring installation time will vary based on the square footage being covered and the installer’s skill. The installation procedure often takes a few hours to a few days to finish.


Can laminate flooring be installed in a staggered pattern over an existing floor?

Usually, this is the case. If the subfloor is level, clean, and in excellent shape, stagger laminate flooring may be laid directly over the top of the existing flooring. If you want to be sure your new flooring will work with the old one, check the manufacturer’s guidelines for the product you want to use.


Can laminate flooring be staggered over radiant heat?

If the laminate flooring is suitable for use over radiant heat systems, then the answer is yes. Make sure the flooring doesn’t go any higher than the maximum height allowed by checking the manufacturer’s installation guidelines.


Can it be expected stagger laminate flooring to last?

Stagger laminate flooring is very resistant to wear and tear, making it suitable for high-traffic areas. The product’s quality, the accuracy of the installation, and the frequency of use all affect how long it will last. Laminate flooring often comes with a guarantee that lasts anywhere from 10 to 25 years, but this may vary by manufacturer and model.


Final Words

Installing laminate flooring in staggered planks is a crucial step in making a stunning and long-lasting floor. By using a cut plank at the beginning of each row and keeping an 8-inch spacing between end joints, you may prevent structural problems and achieve a more natural appearance. 

Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation and maintenance to get the best possible results. With little work and patience, you can have beautiful laminate flooring that serves its purpose well and enhances the value and appearance of your house.

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Written By: Trisha Mae Raymundo 


 Alex J
Alex J

Alex is the founder of the BFG, he has been in the flooring business for over 12 years and specialize in laying new floors, resurfacing old ones, and giving people practical advice on how to keep their floors looking beautiful.