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If the First Row of Flooring is Not Straight Can I Continue a Laminate Flooring Installation?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I just got done installing the first row of my new floor. It is a little bit crooked but it doesn’t look too bad. Will it correct itself as I go? Can I continue a laminate flooring installation if the first row is not straight?
– Monica F.

Dear Monica,

Stop! Do not move forward with the installation until the first row is completely straight.

The first row sets the tone for the entire installation. If it’s crooked, your entire flooring will be crooked. This is the most important step in the installation process. Let me explain.

Why It’s Problematic

For laminate flooring to stay in place and seal completely (important when you consider how crucial it is that moisture stay out from under your flooring), the planks must be completely straight. If they’re not tightly sealed, your flooring will not be as durable and will not last you as long as it should.

The flooring will not and cannot correct itself as you go. Instead, the problem will compound with the more planks you install. When you reach the end, you could have an unsuccessful installation with gaps in the planks.

Correcting the Problem

Step 11Continue Installing Standard Flooring Underlayment

With your first row looking a little bit slanted, it’s a good idea to pull up each plank and diagnose the problem. Most of the time, there will be residue between the grooves causing the planks to become misaligned. Other times it’ll be an easy shift and fix to tighten up the seal.

If you’re still unsure of why your flooring is crooked even after you pull up the first row, call our office. Our team will try to walk you through the installation over the phone to help you find the problem.

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