Opinions wanted on laying laminate flooring in adjacent rooms

Old 10-18-12, 08:16 AM
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Opinions wanted on laying laminate flooring in adjacent rooms

Hello! I hope I can explain this without any pictures and stay positive while doing it!

My husband and I are starting to upgrade our first home to something a little warmer. We bought the house without a strong understanding of how half-done all the latest renovations were done, so every project we attempt we run into really odd situations making googling really frustrating!

We're laying laminate wood floor on the first floor (living room, dining room). These rooms are adjacent, with a single entryway from the living room to the dining room (about a 3 foot wide arched doorway). We bought the same laminate flooring for the entire space, in my hopes to make the rooms look larger, and feel more congruent.

Now that we're installing, he wants to sort of cut the rooms in half. We've started installation in the dining room, and he's cut the boards so they stop at the doorway, instead of just leading them into the living room. He wants to put a floor divider between the two rooms. Then he finally tells me it has to be done this way because the floor in the living room is dramatically lower than the floor in the dining room, by at least half an inch (right now the living room is still carpeted). So not only is there going to be a divider, but there will be a half inch step into the dining room. I imagine a lot of stubbed toes in my future.

Anyway, I'm fine doing it this way if I can see an example of where this is done effectively. It seems choppy, and defeats the purpose of selecting a single floor the create a nice flow in the house.

Or should we get plywood and level the floors and make it all one seamless floor?

Or any other suggestions?
Old 10-18-12, 08:19 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Two ways to do this:
1 Raise the living room floor.
2 Install a transition between the rooms to bridge the height difference.
Old 10-18-12, 09:38 AM
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It is a common problem. When I had laminate installed where before there was carpet I also ended up with a transition piece as Mitch notes. Had I known I would have had some 3/8 inch thick plywood laid to raise the floor so the laminate was even (more or less) with the original oak flooring.
Old 10-18-12, 10:00 AM
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And there's this as well....at least I think it's valid. I believe with long runs of laminate you are supposed to put breaks occasionally. I'm not sure of the distance...but it seems like it was around 20-25'?

Old 10-18-12, 02:33 PM
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While I am not a fan of laminate, what Vic brings up is valid. In addition, the laminate can't change heights without transition strips. Options have been mentioned. There aren't many more. Raise the bridge or lower the boat. You will also run into "squareness" problems the longer your runs are and the more rooms you enter. Since you can't use reversing splines in laminate like you can on full thickness hardwood, turning corners is a bear.
Old 10-18-12, 07:34 PM
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Home Depot should carry something similar to what you need. But this is what you need.
Old 10-20-12, 01:02 PM
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Rebekah, We run into transitions in every house. We go from hardwood to carpet, or hardwood to tile, to thresholds at entry doors. Each of these transitions need to be bridged by some sort of material that will smooth adjustment from one floor to another. While I understand your desire to have a contiguous floor without breaks, what your hubby is proposing is fine. In fact, a week or so after he finishes, I bet you won't even notice the area anymore.

You can special order transition strips that match the laminate you are installing. You will want a reducer strip, visit the store where you purchased your flooring and work with the salesman to order the correct configuration for your specific need. There are multiple profiles of transition strips, each designed to handle a different purpose.
Old 10-20-12, 03:44 PM
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Gunguy 45 is right. Laminates can only run 20-25' before you need a transition. Just the way they are made. If you don't they will buckle when they expand and they all expand.

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