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Published on Feb 20, 2013
Our laminate flooring installation expert with Swiss Krono explains how to install that last plank of laminate flooring when you're faced with limited clearance under a vertical obstruction (such as a door jamb). The solution involves safely compromising the laminate floor locking system to complete the installation of the last plank without sacrificing the installation integrity of your floor.
As he points out, when you install a laminate plank underneath a door jamb (or door casing that you've already trimmed, of course) it will be the last plank. You'll have two challenges: 1) The vertical obstruction of the door casing will prevent you from being able to angle the plank (that's the "limited clearance") to employ its locking system because it has to horizontally slide under the door casing and therefore, 2) It will need to be glued to the next-to the-last plank, so you'll have to remove the upper part or "lip" of the groove on the next-to the-last plank to create a second tongue on which to apply glue.
He demonstrates how you can use a standard utility knife to shave the upper lip of the groove off but it takes a little bit of work and will drag your knuckles across the subfloor. A better tool he recommends and demonstrates is the mini-trim planer. With this, you can remove the upper lip of the groove from above. Brad shows just how smooth and easy it is to use the mini-trim planer for this purpose.
After that's done, he demonstrates how to use PVA Type II Glue from a flow-control nozzle and apply it to the groove (now a tongue) where you've shaved-off the lip. He shows how you then slide the last plank underneath the door jamb, then pull it back into place horizontally and inserted into the next-to the-last plank.
To hold the last plank and next-to-last plank together and in place, Brad applies a few strips of blue painter's tape across the joint of the two planks; as well as extra spacers along the wall, to ensure that the hydrostatic pressure of the glue doesn't push the planks apart as it dries, leaving an ugly translucent line. Wipe up the excess glue that oozes up in the joint and you're done!