Glueless Floating Floors
If you’re installing a floating floor in a basement, you’ll need to put a layer of plastic over the concrete slab as a vapor barrier. You don’t want moisture from the concrete getting into the underside of the flooring.
It may be necessary to trim the door casing so the flooring can slide under it. Set a jamb saw on a piece of scrap flooring to guide how much casing to cut off.
You might also have to plane off the bottom of any doors to clear the new flooring. Butt a piece of flooring along the door bottom and trace with a pencil to mark how much needs to come off. Add an extra 1/8" for good clearance.
A little planning at the start pays off. Figure out which wall you want to start at (usually the longest wall in the space). Check to see that when you reach the wall at the other side you won’t be left with a thin piece that will be difficult to cut and install. (You might need to rip down the width of the pieces in the first row to make the last row work out best.)
For most glueless systems you join the pieces together at an angle and when you flatten them out the tongue and groove lock together tight. The planks lock along both the long and the short edges. It requires a very specific technique for connecting a piece to the previous piece in the row along the short edge and to the previous row along the long edge. The first few rows will always be the toughest.
First, join the short edge of the new piece to the previous piece in the row. You’ll need to hold the new piece a little bit away from the previous row along the long edge.
Once you’ve locked the new piece along the short edge, squat or kneel on the flooring that’s already been installed and lift up the new piece along the outside long edge. Pull it towards you and push down to lock the piece to the previous row. You’ll find that some of the previously installed pieces in the newest row will also lift up a little. The challenge is keeping those pieces from coming loose. It helps to weigh those pieces down a little with a box of flooring or a helper.
Cutting the flooring planks is just like sawing laminate countertops: they may chip if not done correctly. Follow the manufacturer's directions according to the type of tool you're using. Generally, cut the plank face side up with a hand saw, or from the backside if using a power saw.