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Two part laminate flooring question


Chrispc's Avatar
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03-31-16, 07:33 PM   #1  
Two part laminate flooring question

Hello, I am installing 12 mil Pergo laminate flooring with separate 3 mil underlayment and have two questions:

1) Pergo recommends a 3/8" gap wherever the laminate meets a wall. I found this difficult to manage because my base trim is only 1/2" thick. Most manufacturers recommend 1/4". I live in Washington state where I have 6% humidity. The question is will 1/4" be enough or is Pergo really the exception and actually does require a full 3/8" gap?

2) I have two heavy mirrored sliding closet doors to work around. Is it possible to install the bottom track on top of the laminate and overdrill the holes in the laminate that the screws go through allowing the floor to still float or will I need to use transition strips on the outside and inside of the closet instead?

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

 
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03-31-16, 07:48 PM   #2  
#1 No one here is going to suggest using laminate.
#2, Unless you follow the manufactures instructions to the letter there is no warranty.
We have no pictures of that mirrored door, any screws through the the flooring can cause it to buckle or come unlocked.

 
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03-31-16, 08:03 PM   #3  
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Thanks, I don't need someone from the forum to suggest that I use laminate, I already am. I believe it's used widely with often good results. Not everyone can afford actual wood floors.

Here's a photo included. If anyone can actually assist I would appreciate it. Thanks.

 
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03-31-16, 09:18 PM   #4  
You add quarter round or shoe molding to the baseboard to cover the gap at the wall. As Joe said, follow the manufacturer's installation instructions or you void the warranty.

 
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03-31-16, 09:33 PM   #5  
Thanks stick shift. Yes, I've heard about using the quarter round. The NALFA guidelines require a maximum industry standard 1/4" gap. I wondered if anyone had any personal experience with Pergo reacting any differently or expanding excessively to warrant the additional 1/8".

Still seeking input on mounting a closet mirror slider directly onto laminate. If it does not screw through to the substrate would it still be considered "floating".

Thanks

 
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03-31-16, 11:10 PM   #6  
Manufacturer's instructions ALWAYS take precedence over "guidelines" issued by others.

The sliding door track on top of the laminate most assuredly will not pass muster with the flooring manufacturer, especially if fasteners through the flooring are used. The proper method would be to run the laminate up to the track, allowing for the required expansion, and covering the expansion joint in an approved manner.

That stated, it MAY work just fine and dandy to fasten the track on top of the laminate BUT if it causes troubles the manufacturer will likely void the warranty.


I have a high-end Wilsonart laminate floor, installed around 2002-2003 in my living room. I have a floor-to-ceiling bookcase about sixteen feet long setting on the laminate (laminate runs to wall with proper expansion joint and bookcase is on top of the laminate) and there is enough weight from the case itself AND all the books that the laminate is NOT going to move under the bookcase. I have had zero problems with this installation but I KNOW that if the floor buckled I would get no satisfaction from the warranty because of the bookcase inhibiting expansion and contraction in that particular area.

 
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04-01-16, 09:40 AM   #7  
If SPACERS are used under the track and a 3/8" gap is created around the spacers the floor will continue to float under the track. The track will be positioned slightly ABOVE the laminate. As installation pros will tell you transitions are expensive and wear like tissue paper. Not a fan of quarter round to solve every laminate problem either, it advertises a "DIY" job. Time for a creative solution.

The guidelines referred to here offered by "others" comes from NALFA and they dictate the industry standard of 1/4".

Good luck with that bookcase...I'm not sure I would have set something that heavy on a floating system floor.

 
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04-01-16, 09:58 AM   #8  
From your last post it seems as if you have answered all your questions so I don't understand why you are asking here unless you just want someone else to sprinkle some holy water on your floor.

As for my bookcase...it and the floor seem to be doing just fine. Then again, it has only been in place for 13 or 14 years.

 
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04-01-16, 10:42 AM   #9  
Lol, no you better hold onto that holy water for that bookcase, thanks.

 
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04-01-16, 11:10 AM   #10  
FWIW I think laminate can be a good choice. I installed laminate in a hallway and small bedroom. I tore it up after 5 or 6 years not because of any damage but because we (read that as wife) wanted a different look.

I would use shoe molding. It's cheap and it will solve your gap issue. As for the closet. I guess I was ignorant because I just put the laminate under the track and drilled it and screwed it down. I think your idea of oversized holes is probably the best option. You might try leaving the track a little "loose" so that it's not pressing the laminate.

6% humidity - you must be on the dry side of the state. I lived on the wet side for a couple of years and I think the humidity probably average 110%.

 
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04-01-16, 12:40 PM   #11  
Thanks cwbuff. I think our humidity is much higher than 6% in WA, just that a lamination install map called it that. In relation to what I'm not sure.

After scouring dozens of threads elsewhere last night the idea to suspend the track above the laminate was also suggested by someone else, he even had a photo of the same spacer I was considering using from Lowe's. So at least I know I'm on the right track to a solution.

I will never install laminate again, too many details in gapping the material everywhere and money to be spent on transitions for every one of those details. This may be a transitional home for me anyway and laminate being a cost effective solution in the interim until I move eventually.

 
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04-01-16, 02:56 PM   #12  
Sorry I'm late to the party here.

The only time we strongly advise against laminate is in a kitchen or bathroom. Otherwise, we advise that engineered flooring is dimensionally more stable due to its construction and is real wood. So we point it out if an upgrade is in the budget. I have laminate in my family room that precludes a large dog from scratching the heck out of real wood.

All floors are going to recommend gaps at the perimeter. People are not a good judge of distance sometimes, so the larger gap probably is there for safety. Also, the floor tends to move sometimes while you are installing so an additional fudge factor. Shoe molding is our best bet stained to match your floor it will blend into the floor and not be noticed. Quarter round is too chunky IMO and screams amateur install.

You closet may best be served by getting a couple of metal dowels the length of the opening instead of spacers set a pair of dowels on each side of the screws and supporting the track. It will carry the weight of the doors and you can tuck the flooring under the track but shy of the dowel.

 
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04-01-16, 03:00 PM   #13  
I think our humidity is much higher than 6% in WA...
Most assuredly. Single digit humidity readings (actually relative humidity) denotes a desert. Possibly in the Tri-cities area the RH will drop that low on occasion but I would say never if you are west of the mountains. Right now the RH at Canyon Park Junior High School, about a mile from my home in Bothell, is 48%.

 
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04-01-16, 09:05 PM   #14  
No worries Czizzi, better later than never. Thanks for the thumbs up for laminate and suggestion for the metal dowels!

 
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