Laminate flooring, orientation, transitions and entrance-way

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
For mobile home parts, click here.

Moderators: Mark, Greg, mhrAJ333, JD

mdnagel
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

Greg,

How much extra cut in depth did you add under the shoulders? (to allow for some float)

A general question: is there any concerns about putting heavy stuff on floating floors given that they are supposed to "float?" The vinyl planking is going to have appliances (washer, dryer, stove and refrigerator) on them. NOTE: this only applies to the vinyl planked flooring.
User avatar
Greg
Moderator
Posts: 5690
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

I went the thickness of the floor +1/16" to allow for float.
I use pine to make the "prototype" first and keep some as a template for future use.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
mdnagel
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

Greg, I priced out the raw stock vs. the pre-fab (synthetic) material. Just slightly over $1/ft* vs. $4.60/ft! So, yes, you're absolutely correct! My rough estimate is that I can pay for the router table with the savings (for just this installation job- router table will continue to provide value).

* This is based on 1" x 2" oak strips. 1" x 3" comes in at about $1.65/ft.

What's the recommended width for a "T"? I'm thinking that 2" stock isn't going to be sufficient.

Also, what's the recommended spacing of screws (brass- right?)? And would 2" screws be sufficient? (countersunk of course) NOTE: I'm not looking forward to seeing particle board sub flooring (have pretty much avoided this for the entirety of my life).

My wife already asked me whether I have time to make the strips, just as I suspected she would :-) Fortunately we've came up with more hours for the project (which will buy me a router table :-) )!
User avatar
Greg
Moderator
Posts: 5690
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

I would buy some pine and make a couple of strips different widths and see what looks the best. That way if you make a mistake you don't ruin the "Good stuff" and you can try a few different designs. Make a few foot long strips see how it looks. You can try rounded edges or 45* bevel edges. Take some time and play with designs.

I went 1 1/2" wide and 12" - 18" spacing on the screws. Remember that Brass is soft so drill pilot holes and don't over tighten. Stainless screws would also work but may not look right depending on your decor.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
mdnagel
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

Greg, I'm assuming that there also needs to be a 5/16" to 3/8" gap between the edge of the flooring and the edge of the T's vertical- the "rail." There still needs to be sufficient overlap by the top of the T (horizontal). If 3/8" gap, then that's 6/8". The width of the rail needs to provide enough meat for the screw hole, probably another 1/2". The overlap, say an additional 1/4" per side. If my math is right, this works out to about 1 3/4", which is probably the nominal dimension of an actual 2" board.

As you say (another nice tip BTW!), use pine boards to prototype...
mdnagel
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

I'll be needing to solidify the flooring layouts this weekend when my wife is in town. Won't have time to take pictures before then, so I've scrawled out some drawings that might show what I'm having issues figuring how to deal with transitions. The dilemma is how to manage the flooring from the den, transitioning it to the hallway and the living room.

First drawing/picture is Plan B: just "vinyl" planking at the entrance-way.

Second drawing is of Plan A: joining "vinyl" planking from the entrance-way with the dining and kitchen, and spilling down the hallway such that it also links up with the laundry room (which has a door exiting the back).

The last drawing/picture (I attached it first, but it posted last!) is of the basic floor plan.

I like Plan A in that it provides a nice durable, water proof (as much as any flooring really can be water proof) surface to the kitchen and laundry rooms from either exterior doorway. It also emphasizes the living room area, as well as, what I believe would be, clean delineations for transition pieces.

Plan B is simple, and cheaper: the "vinyl" planking is about $2.09/sq ft, whereas the laminates are running (going to be on sale for nearly 24% off! sure glad I procrastinated!) about $1.25/sq ft (the sale savings on the laminates would allow me to use more of the "vinyl" planking [stay on budget]).

Pardon my amateurishness with these drawings, I wasn't much better with crayons as a kid! :lol:
Attachments
"Vinyl" planking at entrance.  Doesn't provide any solution to the den issue.
"Vinyl" planking at entrance. Doesn't provide any solution to the den issue.
EntranceWithVinylPlanking.jpg (31.83 KiB) Viewed 2045 times
Running "vinyl" planking from entrance to dining and laundry (past den).
Running "vinyl" planking from entrance to dining and laundry (past den).
FloorPlan-PassThroughVinyl.jpg (32.78 KiB) Viewed 2045 times
Basic floor plan, according to my "memory" :-)
Basic floor plan, according to my "memory" :-)
BasicFloorPlan.jpg (12.2 KiB) Viewed 2045 times
mdnagel
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

OK... here are actual pictures of the "area" of concern (I wasn't too far off in my memory of what it's actually like- my drawings are pretty accurate).

To further compound things the edges of the entrance way to the den are very irregular! I kind of know why carpeting was used! Any suggestions for how I can get laminate to form around this and then how to put molding around?

I think that I'm starting to develop a headache!

-mark
Attachments
My "Bermuda Triangle!"  From living room.  Dining room to the left.  Hallway center.  Den to the right.  In addition to the entrance to the den being at an angle, the sides are also irregular shaped: nothing is square!
My "Bermuda Triangle!" From living room. Dining room to the left. Hallway center. Den to the right. In addition to the entrance to the den being at an angle, the sides are also irregular shaped: nothing is square!
DiningAndHallwayAndDenAndLivingRoom.JPG (33.83 KiB) Viewed 2040 times
View from living room.  Den and hallway to the right.
View from living room. Den and hallway to the right.
KitchenAndDining.JPG (30.05 KiB) Viewed 2040 times
User avatar
Greg
Moderator
Posts: 5690
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

Well, all of your flooring is boxed in cardboard. I would make templates out of cardboard first and transfer it to the flooring.

The first & last rows will take the longest to layout & put down. I think 1/4 round molding may be the easiest to put down.

Headache?? If it were easy, ANYONE could do it!!! Don't over think it, one section at a time and it will go together. Remember it's not a race.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
mdnagel
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

Greg, I'm still not sure where to locate the expansion/transition strip that would separate the flooring in the den. Am concerned about running a transitions strip at other than perpendicular to the width of the planks (90 degrees): looks more like 45 degrees. Seems that this would likely result in one or more very short pieces of planking.

Would it be advisable to inset two transitions pieces butted 90 degrees in to the den, lining up with the corners of the edges of the entrance way? In the attached drawing this would be area represented by the red hashed area. Or, come out from the den, as represented by the blue hashed area? I'm thinking the former (likely more traffic outside the den).

BTW - I think that I've resigned myself to running the laminate into the dining room/area as well: I'll be ripping out the low counter that's at an angle and squaring the kitchen flooring out.
Attachments
Dashed line is the entrance way threshold (extended out to emphasize).
Dashed line is the entrance way threshold (extended out to emphasize).
DenTransition.jpg (7.5 KiB) Viewed 2037 times
User avatar
Greg
Moderator
Posts: 5690
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

I think that if you have a door that would be closed to the den I would make it a 45* transition, If it will normally be open then 90* may look better.

I have laminate in the Entrance, Kitchen & Dining rooms, you will want to add felt pads to the chair bottoms to keep from scraping the floor. I went over the old vinyl to add water protection to the subfloor.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
1987Commodore
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:53 pm
Location: Steuben County, NY

My two cents: I think the 45* would look best. You will be staggering the joints in the laminate as you lay it. You don't want any joints to line up, so you can adjust the length of the pieces in the runs that will come to the 45* angle by cutting to length at the other end of the room. You don't want any really short pieces in a high visibility, high traffic area. This way, the transition strip will look natural, as a threshold in the doorway, rather than an odd area of the floor. Maybe run your vinyl the length of the hallway area to the bedroom doors, make your transition under the doors, again as a threshold? You don't want an angled transition going across the hallway. Make it square with something. You can always add baseboards, too. They will cover any small gaps where the flooring meets the walls.
mdnagel
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

I agree, but... I've decided to keep the vinyl only in the kitchen, laundry and at the landing/entry of the front door. The laminate will be spanning the hallway, dining, living and den. I'm thinking that it's going to be real hard to line up the planks such that I don't end up with a short piece at the 45 degree juncture, not to mention the other end (other side of the living room.

So... no transition across the hallway. I now have another question pertaining to strategy, which I'll post separately.
mdnagel
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

Hoping that this is the last of my questions on this subject! :lol: (and I'm really appreciating everyone's help!)

What happens if I should run into an instance where the remaining space to be filled is under the minimum size for a cut piece? The manufacturer says no pieces shorter than 6", but no mention of minimum size of a ripped piece.

The width of the installation will hit five walls:

1) Front of living room and den (same front wall);
2) Inside wall of den adjacent to hallway;
3) Hallway wall adjacent to den (#2);
4) Wall on other side of hallway;
5) Dining room wall (outside wall).

Having the boards line up lengthwise AND having them come out such that I don't end up with too narrow of a row of boards (lengthwise) on one of four walls (one wall will be the starting wall, in which case it doesn't count) seems highly unlikely.

I know, I need to get in there and have a chance to map things out more closely. I'm told that I'll be able to do so by the start of next week...

-mark
User avatar
Greg
Moderator
Posts: 5690
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

I start the first row full size, cut what you need at the end and use that to start the next row. with some luck the joints won't be too close. The ripped piece is what it is, you really can't change it. I save all "small" pieces, the can pull you out of a jam and I have used them as driver blocks also.

Don't forget knee pads!!

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
mdnagel
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

Greg,

What do you recommend for making round-ish cuts? I've got a jigsaw, would that work? Unsure what kind of blade would work best. Fortunately, it doesn't look like I have many non-straight cuts.

Oh... Finally now have full access to the home. I tore out the vinyl in the laundry room and kitchen. It was curling at some of the edges. Found some moisture on either side of the rear door in the laundry room :( Seems pretty minimal, nothing soft or crumbly. Will try and let this dry out a bit. Tore out the funky counter coming off the kitchen. Will be attacking the carpet now! :lol:

Does anyone have a solution for a tall lip at an exterior door? Seems the threshold is quite a bit above the floor level on the front door: and then it drops off a bit (too far IMO) down to the deck.


-mark
Locked