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  1. #1
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    Default floating floor doorways

    I'm in the process of installing a laminate flooring product with a click-and-lock style joint on all four sides, and I've run into some difficulties installing in my doorways. I'm trying to install the product in a hallway that has doorways on both sides. The hallway is about 3.5 flooring panels wide with one doorway on one side and three doorways on the other.

    For the side of the hallway where I laid the first course, I followed the directions, and was successful in cutting the door molding trim and sliding the flooring underneath while still leaving room for expansion.

    However, on the opposite side of the hallway, I have the last course to install, and I have multiple doorways there as well.

    The problem is that if I cut the panel to fit the doorway, and slide under the trim, I can't get the panel into place, let alone lift it at an angle to mate the panels.

    Any suggestions?

    Matt

  2. #2
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: floating floor doorways

    Most of the snap fit floorings say that you can use a knock block to drive the tongue and groove together. I would recommend you do this with two scraps that are the width of the door, not only for practice, but to see if you can indeed knock them together.

    Another method would be to stop the flooring on the hallway side, ending with a T-molding, restart laying the floor from inside the room. It will be a bit of a pain, but you can pop the casing (door trim ) off on the hallway side so that you get the flooring all the way to the wall.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: floating floor doorways

    Indeed, getting the panels together requires not only a knock block, but fitting them at an angle of about 5degrees, then several good whacks with a hammer and a block.

    However, without that 5degree lift on the new panel joining the existing courses, you can whack all day, they will not join.

    You make a good point about the t-track joints. The thing with that is, in continuing the flooring on the other side, I would then end with another t-track after only a few inches.

    Thanks for the ideas, keep 'em coming!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: floating floor doorways

    Quote Originally Posted by mattPVD View Post
    Indeed, getting the panels together requires not only a knock block, but fitting them at an angle of about 5degrees, then several good whacks with a hammer and a block.

    However, without that 5degree lift on the new panel joining the existing courses, you can whack all day, they will not join.
    You could shave the tongue so that it still fits snug, but doesn't require the beating to install.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattPVD View Post
    You make a good point about the t-track joints. The thing with that is, in continuing the flooring on the other side, I would then end with another t-track after only a few inches.
    Why is that? The T-molding is just to make the transition through one side of the door, the other side would be cut and put together with the first plank in the room before sliding it under the jamb legs and into the T-mold on the other side.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattPVD View Post
    Thanks for the ideas, keep 'em coming!
    That's all I've got ...
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: floating floor doorways

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    You could shave the tongue so that it still fits snug, but doesn't require the beating to install.
    That's a really good idea, I like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    Why is that? The T-molding is just to make the transition through one side of the door, the other side would be cut and put together with the first plank in the room before sliding it under the jamb legs and into the T-mold on the other side.
    Sorry, I wasn't clear on this. On the other side of these hallway doors are either rugs, tile, or stairs (down).

    In any case, I'd like the new flooring to extend into the doorway before the transition. In the case of the tile, there is already a marble edge halfway through the doorway, and in the case of the stairs, I'd like the new flooring to extend to the edge of the top step.

    I'll take a picture tonight and post it.

    Thanks so much for all of your comments!
    -Matt

  6. #6
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    Default Re: floating floor doorways

    Here is an example of the situation I'm trying to resolve:


    I'd like to have the T-joint nose up against the marble block in the doorway, but I'd also like the panel to lock into the other panels and fit under the door molding.

    The panels themselves are about 46" long.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: floating floor doorways

    Here ya go. Going by this picture, it looks like the scrap across the door will be about the same width as the gap between the existing floor and baseboard. Cut the piece that will go across the door the width of that gap. Cut the length of this piece the width of the door plus the width of the casing on ONE side. Slide this piece of flooring down the groove of the piece to the right of the doorway, all the way past the casing on the right side of the door. Install the remaining piece of flooring to the left side of the door, then slide the scrap back across the doorway and install your T-mold.

    If that doesn't work out, then you could cut the piece for across the door to just fit between the casing legs. Install it, then install the t-mold, caulking any gap between the t-mold and the tile. If the T-mold is wide enough, then you can scribe cut the ends to the casing which should cover any gap that shows OR caulk these points so that they blend in with the door and casing.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: floating floor doorways

    So, if I understand you correctly, you are suggesting that I do this in three pieces, not just one?

    If so, don't I run the risk of those pieces flexing independently since they won't have a tongue/groove joint between them?

    Thanks!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: floating floor doorways

    I don't know what type of flooring you're installing, but the T-mold is a separate piece, not connected to the flooring. The reason for this is that the floor can expand/contract under the lip of the T, while the back edge of the T sits tight against whatever you're ending at. The sliver of flooring across the doorway would be connected as any other piece, through the T&G.

    Let me try this again.

    Look at the picture, you've got your finished floor up to the door on the right, but are one board away on the left. Correct? What you do is slip the sliver for the doorway into the last piece of flooring on the right, sliding the T&G together rather than knocking from the side. Slide the door sliver all the way past the end of the floor board on the right, probably past the casing too if you need to lift and flex to fit the last piece of floor on the left. Once you've got all that together, slide the door sliver back into place then install the T-mold.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: floating floor doorways

    Thanks again for your suggestions.

    I want to be sure the planks engage all 3 of the t/g edges with the 4th edge either under the door molding or under the t-track.

    Your earlier suggestion to trim the raised portion of the tongue to help engage the planks was echoed by the manufacturer's response that I just received as well:

    The solution is to remove the "Locking Lobe" (small raised ridge) along the top outside edge of the groove side of the plank with a sharp chisel or small block plane. Be careful to remove the small ridge (Locking Lobe) only. Then apply a small bead of carpenter's glue where the locking lobe was. This will allow the planks to be engaged while flat on the floor, and eliminate the need to raise the plank.
    I think the solution will be to:
    • remove the previous course of planks,
    • scribe my cuts perfectly for the last course,
    • remove the "locking lobe" from the last course
    • insert the last course under the door moldings (and temporarily tight against the wall)
    • reinstall the previous course
    • pull the last course together, exposing the expansion gap.


    I'm excited to try this! C'mon weekend!
    Again, thank you for all of your suggestions. I'll let you know how it works out!

    On a side note, I just noticed on the mfr's website that they sell a special knock block that holds the planks at the perfect angle to engage the "locking lobe." I'll have to look into that ;-)

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