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Floating Installation



Additional Requirements - Helpful Tips

Make sure sub-floor is properly prepared and is tested for moisture. See above.

When laying flooring, stagger end joints from row to row by at least 6”. When cutting the last plank in a row to fit, you can use the cut-off end to begin the next row. If cut-off end is 8” in length or less, discard it and use a new plank at a random length to start the next row. No two end joints should be within three rows of each other. Installation parallel to the longest wall provides the best visual effect.

Always begin each row from the same side of the room. For floating application, stagger seams 12” to 15”. Work from several open boxes of flooring and “dry lay” the floor before permanently laying the floor (But never open more than a few boxes in advance). This will allow you to arrange the varying grains & colors in a harmonious pattern. It also allows you the opportunity to select out very dark/light pieces for use in hidden areas in order to create a more uniform floor. Remember, it is the installer’s responsibility to set the expectations of what the finished floor will look like with the owner.


Doorway and Wall Preparation: Undercut or notch-out door casings 1/16” higher than the thickness of the flooring being installed to avoid difficult scribe cuts during installation and remove existing base and shoe molding as well as doorway thresholds - each can be replaced after installation is complete.

Floating Installation:


A&W are suitable for floating installation at any grade level, be it above grade, on grade or even below grade onto a concrete sub-floor, wood sub-floor, ceramic tiling, or linoleum with proper site preparation. Preparing and leveling the sub-floor:

  1. The sub-floor must be level, i.e., a slope of no more than 3/16” (5 mm) over 10’ (3048 mm).
  2. The surface should be relatively clean and free of particles.
  3. If below grade, lay a 6-mil polyfilm with seams overlapping 8” (200 mm).
  4. Fasten seams every 18” to 24”(450 to 600 mm) with duct tape or poly tape.
  5. Run 4” (100 mm) of poly-film up against the perimeter of wall.
  6. Lay foam underlayment by butting edges and duct tape the full length of the seam.


Steps for floating installation


1. Install leading brand pad with built in moisture barrier - 2 in 1 or 3 in 1. Follow padmanufacturer’s instructions.

2. Direction of finished flooring should be at right angles to the floor joists whenever possible.

3. Use a chalk line to trace a starting line parallel to the starting wall at a distance of a single plank width plus the 1/2” (12.7 mm) expansion joint.

4. Lay out 4 to 5 rows of planks ahead of time that match in terms of joints and color. Cut planks with imperfections or place them in less visible areas.


5. Install the first plank along the starting line with the tongue facing you and the groove laid out facing the starting wall. Use expansion shims spaced every 12” (300 mm) along all walls to prevent movement during installation. Always keep a 1/4” (6.3 mm) expansion joint at row ends. First row must be square to ensure a true fixed base from which to build the entire floor.


6. Proceed from left to right to install the other planks in the row. Apply PVAc adhesive to upper inside of grooves on planks. Always apply adhesive to groove instead of tongue.


7. Start each subsequent row with cut-off end of last plank from previous row. Stagger end joints by minimum of 20” (500 mm). Tighten each seam with knocking block and each end joint with last board puller or crowbar.


8. The last row will generally not fit perfectly, thus scribe row to allow expansion gap, engage all seams with last board puller.


9. Once the entire surface is covered, remove expansion spacers and reinstall base and/or quarter round moldings to cover the expansion spare. Install any transition pieces that may be needed.


10. Tape may be removed within one hour. Allow 12 hours before placing furniture on floors and 24 hours before introducing heavy objects or full traffic.


11. During Installation, immediately wipe any adhesive from the floor surface using Bostik’s Ultimate solvent and towels or Taylor wipes. Use paint thinner if adhesive persists.