My old grandmother used to say ‘anything mechanical, give it a good bashing’.
– Capt. Colin Maud, The Longest Day –
Most folks who’ve done construction have had to hammer something in place without denting or damaging the surface. Typically you will hold a block of scrap lumber against the offending surface, and vigorously pound it with a hammer until something gives and it slides into place. When installing a ‘click together’ laminate or vinyl floor, you have to persuade long planks to sit tight against each other, but the available edges for pounding are thin and fragile. The solution to this is a specially formed piece of plastic commonly called a ‘tapping block’. This block spreads the impact of hammering over a large area to avoid damaging your flooring.
To use a tapping block on laminate (or vinyl plank) flooring:
- Set the block on the subfloor on the side of the plank which needs hammering
- Rotate the block so that the notch on the side is toward your flooring plank. Slide the block toward the flooring plank and press it firmly against the surface
- You may need to tilt it slightly in order to seat the face against the top surface of the flooring (you should never seat the tapping block against the tongue of the flooring)
- Hammer firmly on the tapping block until the board shifts into position
- Repeat as needed along the length of the plank
Keep it up and eventually you will hit a wall. That is when you will need a PULL BAR.