How to Keep Laminate Flooring Square

Installing a laminate floor without checking the squareness of the walls can lead to an "uh-oh" moment at the very end of the installation.
A few measurements can prevent headaches when installing laminate flooring.A few measurements can prevent headaches when installing laminate flooring.
If the walls are out of square, you have to cut the final row at a steep angle to compensate, and it will be noticeable. Moreover, the lines made by the joints between boards won't match the walls. Starting a hardwood flooring in the middle of the floor avoids this problem, but you can't start laminate flooring in the middle. You can use a similar technique, however, to keep things optimally straight and square.

Step 1

Choose a point from which you can see the entire floor and from which it extends longitudinally. This point may be in the main entrance, or it may be at one end of the room looking toward a feature, such as a fireplace.

Step 2

Draw a straight line on the floor parallel to the back wall or the door threshold, using a straightedge and a pencil. Using a carpenter's square, draw a line perpendicular to that one, beginning at the point at which you're standing. Extend this line to the opposite wall with a chalk line.

Step 3

Measure the distance from one end of the line to the wall against which you're going to start the installation, then make the same measurement from the other end of the line. Calculate the slant of the wall by subtracting the shorter measurement from the longer one.

Step 4

Install the first row of flooring along the wall, and push all the boards a uniform distance of 1/4 inch away from it.

Step 5

Measure a distance equal to the slant from the corner that is farther from the line, and make a mark on the floorboard in that corner. Snap a line on top of the boards that stretches between this mark and the opposite corner of the wall.

Step 6

Put on safety glasses. Remove each board in the row, cut it along the line with a circular saw, and set it back in place 1/4 inch away from the wall.

Step 7

Install the flooring until you reach the last row. Measure the gap for each board that goes in the last row with a tape measure, and cut the board with a circular saw.

Things You Will Need

  • Straightedge
  • Pencil
  • Carpenter's square
  • Chalk line
  • Tape measure
  • Safety glasses
  • Circular saw

About the Author

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.