I'm planning on floating my click laminate floor in a diagonal placement in my space. When researching, I came across an article that describes some of the challenges with installing diagonally.

When you begin a hardwood installation in the middle of the floor, you need two first rows. The tongues of each row must face in opposite directions to give you something to which to attach the subsequent rows. Arranging this requires a trick: You have to cut a false tongue to fit into the grooves between the boards in these rows.

It sounds like this article is strictly referring to tongue and groove products, but I wanted to double-check if this issue applies to click systems as well that are floated.

I was under the impression I could click boards in from either side of the "first row boards" in the middle of a room when doing a diagonal install, but since I haven't done this before, I thought it best to ask before buying product in bulk and being suprised.


  • To be clear, the product I'm heavily considering is Pergo XP laminate. I was not aware there were multiple click-lock systems, so please consider this product's system when answering this question.

  • I was instructed to start in the middle of my floor, hence my concern about getting the starting technique correct. When starting in the middle of the floor, my main concern is properly installing boards in both (opposite) directions originating from my first completed row.

  • I do believe they are talking T&G because each board is toe nailed. I have had luck with this kind of laminate by measuring out about 3' build the corner out to 3' and sliding that in place then work to the other corner. I like the look of angeled work but it is tougher but worth the trouble in my opinion I try to have the final piece in the least used corner that may be covered because this last few pieces are tough even with the required gap at the walls because of the angle.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 7 '18 at 20:36
  • @EdBeal, I've edited my question to add some more clarity. I will be floating my laminate, and it does use a click-lock system.
    – Scott Lin
    Jul 8 '18 at 1:42
  • I did this with older pergo glue type floated laminate in 2000 and that floor is still looking good today click flooring can be done the same way because it floats, like I said I think it is easier to do the "backward" side to the least used corner the other side is a piece of cake measure 2x and cut once with a high tooth count carbide blade and you can end up with a beautiful floor that lasts if the surface is as good as this stuff I used.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 22 '18 at 0:50
  • Did you ever get this resolved? If so, please give a check-mark to the answer or write up your own answer explaining what you did to get it fixed and give yourself a check mark. That will help others with this kind of problem know that this has a resolution and is a good place to look for their answer.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 18 '20 at 16:24

"I was under the impression I could click boards in from either side of the "first row boards"

No, the click together stuff does not work like that. You start at one wall and work to the other side. You want to figure out your layout first so you do not end up having to rip a very small strip at the other end of the room if you can. (less important with a diagonal pattern but still you do not want a very small triangle as your last piece)

Laminates and vinyl planks do not have tongue and groove the same way wood does. They have a locking system that usually requires you to work in a certain direction (meaning it easier to have them oriented in one specific direction with the proper "tongue" facing you) you then use blocks and bars to seat the joints firmly in place and you use wedges at the walls to hold the floating floor in place while you are pounding the joints together to keep the whole mass of the floating floor from moving.

To elaborate on the orienting. You want to orient the side you are clicking into to be the wider (usually) "tongue-groove", meaning when you click them together the one on the floor will accept the other one by you holding the one you are clicking in at an angle and then seat it in to the one on the floor and tilt it down as you apply pressure into the other and it locks together. Different brands have different locking systems and some go together more easily than others. You will need the special block that you use to "tap" the tongues and groove together to get a tight fit. Some vinyl planks require you seat the long joint and pound down the end joint with a rubber mallet to get it flush and locked in.

Edit: I have not installed every kind of vinyl or laminate but the ones I have installed have had one side that was much easier to work from. I did do a repair that required me to work from the non easy side and it was difficult to get the pieces locked together, but I did it with much pounding and swearing and gnashing of teeth.

  • You said, "No the click together stuff does not work like that. You start at one wall and work to the other side". Starting at one wall and working to the other side for a diagonal installation would mean starting in a corner, if I'm not mistaken. Is this what you're suggesting? This is contrary to what I've heard so far, so would like to double-check.
    – Scott Lin
    Jul 8 '18 at 1:47
  • Based on your edit, it sounds like you can work backwards ("the non easy side"), which contradicts your statement about, "No the click together stuff does not work like that", right? Perhaps I'm missing something and you could help me understand in more detail.
    – Scott Lin
    Jul 8 '18 at 1:49
  • Yes i mean to say start at one wall, or corner in your case. What i mean by No it does not work like that, is that locking it together is much much easier working from one side of the piece as opposed to the other because of the reasons i stated in my answer in that you need to tilt and fit. You can try it with the product you have with two pieces and see what mean.
    – Alaska Man
    Jul 8 '18 at 2:19
  • My statement about the repair i did was for that particular product and i had to pound s*&t out of it to force the locking to take place. and i destroyed a couple of piece in the process but it was better and cheaper than taking out 400 square feet of flooring to get to the place that needed replacing. that same method would not work for other products i have used because of their system.
    – Alaska Man
    Jul 8 '18 at 2:26
  • If you want to do the diagonal just choose a product that can be installed in both directions easily. I am just say that in my experience i have not dealt with click together system that is easy from both sides but that does not mean they do not exist.
    – Alaska Man
    Jul 8 '18 at 2:31

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