Eng. Wood / Prehung Door Install Order and Transition ?'s

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Old 01-23-08, 10:03 AM
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Eng. Wood / Prehung Door Install Order and Transition ?'s

I need hand-held and walked through the process/order of installing engineered wood floor in a basement project.

I have two rooms, one will be engineered Thomasville from HD wood floor. This floor will be floated. The adjoining room will be carpet. The rooms will connect by a 48" prehung french door that opens into the room with the wood floors. The carpet won't be laid until the end of the project.

Q's:

1. Do I install the prehung door first or the wood floor first? If the door comes first, do I just estimate the height of the wood floor/underlayment and raise the jambs exactly this height off of the concrete floor, or do I allow some extra space?

2. Where should the wood/carpet transition occur? In the center of where the door will be? Entirely on one side of the jamb or the other?

3. Assume the carpet is a shag. Can I get away without putting a transition piece between the two and hope the carpet guy can get the carpet to abut the wood floor enough that the shag will hide the edge of the wood? I would prefer this over an ugly transition piece at the room entry. Plus, most transition pieces in the flooring section aren't 48" long anyway.

4. If the answer to #1 is to install the floor first, then how much more clearance would I need from the bottom of the door to clear the carpet. In other words, since the prehung probably is made with around 1" gap from the bottom of jamb to bottom of door (not sure about this, just guessing)... if my jamb bottom is sitting on top of my wood floor, I want to cut some jamb off to bring the door closer to the wood floor. But about how much clearance will I need from concrete floor to door bottom for standard shag carpet and pad?


Thanks so much. I'm diving in tomorrow and don't know which to do first.
 
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Old 01-23-08, 10:26 AM
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Ahh, choices, choices, choices..... LOL

You've got the best of all worlds going for you - lots of options. Were it me - I'd install the door after I installed the flooring. On the other hand, you can always install the door, leaving just a smidgen (technical term) of a gap between the new flooring height and the frame. Nothing is perfect - and a tiny (1/16th) gap won't ever be noticed.

Transition - again - you've got options. I always split the difference on a transition and try to put it in the middle of the proposed door so it doesn't show from either side. You can always lay the floor/install the door/carpet and go from there. If you carpet layer can get the carpet down the way you want it - great!! If you end up with loose threads/etc., you can glue down a transition strip at that point (48-60inch pieces are available, maybe special order at your particular box store).

Last, but not least, you should end up with plenty of gap on a stock door at the bottom to clear your new carpet. (you did say the door would be opening into the wood floor area). If there is an issue - you can always take off a smidgen (that word again) as necessary for smooth clearance.
 
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Old 01-23-08, 10:48 AM
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Thanks. I forgot that the door isn't going to have to clear the carpet anyway as long as my transition isn't under it.

I would really prefer to install the floor first. I just want to make sure that I'm not missing some problem down the road by setting a prehung on top of a floating floor. I'll try to space the jamb 1/16 above the floor height so when the day comes down the road that my wife says "that floating floor is soooo 2008ish, let's get rid of it" that it won't be hard to remove from under the jamb.

If there is a decent chance I can get away without a transition strip, I will probably make the transition meet the edge of the door on the carpet side. That way I can install the door height to a minimal clearance above the floating floor and not have to worry about clearing the carpet at all.

What is the preferred height to have the bottom of the door above a floating floor in the perfect world?

Assuming that I glue all of the floor pieces to each other and float it, I assume I'm not going to have a problem when you step on the last piece of flooring which will adjoin the carpet without a transition strip? Meaning, as long as I have the underlayment under it, the piece isn't going to try to separate when you step on it... is it?

If anyone has a big objection or concern to wood floor going in before prehung door... please let me know in the next 24 hours or I'll be past the point of no return.
 
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Old 01-23-08, 11:41 AM
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You will want an end cap on the last strip that lies under the door - gives you a square finish on the last board (which can be glued/tacked/nailed down).
 
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Old 01-23-08, 11:51 AM
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You are talking about an endcap that doesn't go on top of the wood floor, but just lays next to it at the same height with an eased edge... right? If so, can I just rip this myself or is there some magic to it besides ripping a board to the correct height and easing over the edge that sits next to the carpet?

Not dying to pay $50 for two transition kits on the big box shelf that matches this hardwood in order to span the 40" opening.

I assume, I can cut and stain a piece of oak that would halfway match this jatoba finish on the floor?
 
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Old 01-23-08, 12:03 PM
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Correct. A properly matched end cap will snaplock into the existing tongue/groove of the previous strip. They are spendy, to be sure - but make for a seamless finish that you will appreciate over time. You can always rip the last strip to make it fit and remove the tongue/groove - but will end up with a rough edge that will probably deteriorate over time. That being said - you can also buy matching caulking for the end of the ripped piece that will protect it pretty well, depending on how much traffic it gets. There is more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak - and it sounds as if you're creative enough to come up with a satisfactory solution. Remember - there are usually a number of "right ways" to do a project - all having their pros and cons - you have to determine what is right for you.
 
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