Staggering laminate floor is it really necessary? Not staggering laminate floor such as running the boards wall-to-wall in a hall often results in problems. It is not unusual to check out a problem laminated installation where the boards are moving and separating. A common problem is the installer failed to leave the proper stagger or chose not to stagger areas of boards. The fail to stagger is sometimes seen in halls where all of the boards run from wall-to-wall.
Staggering for Proper Plank Alignment
No Staggering of a Floating Floor
Laminate flooring manufacturers require their floors to be offset anywhere from 6 to 12 inches or more. (See manufacturers installation instructions.) Some people are of the belief that manufacturers require stagger to create waste that requires you to purchase more material. I hate to tell you, but this is not a conspiracy. The difference in the amount of plank you will use is small. What you cut off one end will be used to start a different row of planks.
A floating floor that is not staggered will not only look odd it will not perform well and as it expands it can even lift up like a hinge. Staggering adds strength and structural stability. Not staggering compromises its stability.
Laminate flooring is a floating floor. Areas of boards that are not staggered, create areas that tend to move as a separate unit.
Some people don’t offset the boards because they think it looks better. Most times though the installer thinks that not staggering takes less time. It may take less time when first installed. When replaced it will also require the expense for the new planks.
Short Staggering of a Floating Floor
A short staggering is not quite a bad as no staggering laminate floor though it creates similar problems. With a short stagger you have both an appearance problem and a stability problem. Again this is a floating floor that needs to float as a unit. Short stagger often leads to gaps. If you have a laminate flooring problem and it has not been installed to the standards of the laminate flooring manufacturer, the laminate may not be warranted. Staggering laminate floor really is important so do it!!!