What Size Mallet for Laminate Flooring: A Quick Guide

When installing laminate flooring, choosing the right size mallet is crucial for ensuring a smooth and secure fit. Mallets come in various sizes and materials, and the ideal choice may depend on several factors such as the type of laminate and personal preference.

In summary, a rubber or plastic headed mallet, weighing between 16 and 32 ounces, is typically suitable for installing laminate flooring. However, it’s essential to consider the specific flooring materials and the installer’s comfort to ensure an efficient installation.

Mallets for Laminate Flooring

Types of Mallets

When working with laminate flooring, there are three main types of mallets to choose from:

  • Rubber Mallet: Made with a soft rubber head, it’s gentle on flooring surfaces and provides an even distribution of force.
  • Soft-faced Mallet: Made with a combination of materials such as rubber, plastic, or rawhide, it’s usually lighter than a rubber mallet and prevents damage to the flooring.
  • Dead Blow Mallet: Filled with a material such as sand or steel shot, it absorbs vibrations and reduces the risk of damaging the laminate flooring.

Selecting the Right Mallet

When selecting a mallet for laminate flooring installation, consider the following factors:

  1. Weight: A mallet should be heavy enough to provide adequate force for joining the planks, but not too heavy to cause fatigue. A weight range of 16 to 32 ounces (450 to 900 grams) is often recommended.
  2. Material: Choose a mallet with a soft head material, such as rubber or rawhide, to prevent damage to the flooring.
  3. Handle: A comfortable grip on the handle is essential for long hours of work. Wooden or fiberglass handles provide durability and comfort.

According to a study from the Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture, the type of mallet used during installation significantly affects the quality of the final laminate flooring. For best results, select a mallet that is specifically designed for laminate flooring installation.

What Size Mallet to Use

Choosing the right size mallet for laminate flooring installation is crucial for a successful project. In this section, we will discuss factors to consider and recommend mallet sizes for various laminate flooring types.

Factors to Consider

Several factors should be taken into account when choosing the appropriate mallet size:

  • Thickness of the laminate flooring
  • Size and shape of the planks
  • Installation method (glueless, glued, or pre-attached underlayment)
  • Manufacturer’s recommendations

Recommended Mallet Sizes

Based on the factors mentioned above, we have compiled a general guideline for mallet sizes to use when installing laminate flooring:

ThicknessSize and ShapeInstallation MethodRecommended Mallet Size
6-8 mmStandard PlanksGlueless16 oz.
8-12 mmStandard PlanksGlued or Pre-Attached Underlayment16-32 oz.
12-15 mmWide or Long PlanksGlueless or Glued32 oz.

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and it is always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific product you are working with.

Proper Mallet Usage

Mallet Techniques for Laminate Flooring

When installing laminate flooring, using the correct mallet size and technique is crucial for a successful installation. A lightweight rubber or soft-faced mallet, usually between 16 oz (450g) to 24 oz (680g), is recommended for this purpose.

Here are some techniques to follow for optimal mallet usage:

  • Hold the mallet handle near the end for maximum striking force.
  • Apply even pressure on the mallet to ensure joints are tightly connected.
  • Tap gently on the tapping block, not directly on the laminate plank.
  • Be cautious not to strike too forcefully, which could cause damage to the flooring.

Potential Mallet-Related Issues

While mallets are essential tools for laminate flooring installation, improper usage can lead to potential issues:

IssueCommon Cause
Chipping on plank edgesStriking too forcefully or tapping directly on the plank
Unsecured planksNot applying enough pressure during mallet strikes
Uneven flooringIncorrect mallet technique leading to poorly connected joints

By adhering to the recommended mallet techniques and using the proper mallet size for laminate flooring, you can avoid these issues and ensure a smooth installation process.


In summary, choosing the right size mallet for laminate flooring is crucial for a successful installation.

Some key factors to consider when selecting a mallet include:

  • Weight: 16-20 ounces is ideal for most laminate flooring installations
  • Head Material: Rubber or plastic heads prevent damage to the flooring
  • Handle Length: A handle between 12-18 inches offers both power and control

Adhering to these guidelines can ensure a smoother and efficient installation process. Additionally, always consult the manufacturer’s recommendations and rely on authoritative sources for accurate information.

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