Laminate floor at front door threshold

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  #1  
Old 10-25-12, 10:44 PM
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Laminate floor at front door threshold

Hi all,

I have been installing laminate floor (replacing carpet) in my condo which is on the ground level on a concrete subfloor. I have gotten to the front door and am trying to figure out how to best handle this and could use some help.
I have done some research and have seen people recommend 2 options.

1) use end molding / a reducer butted up against the threshold of the door
2) remove the threshold, install the floor under it, reinstall threshold on top.

Are there any other options? Most people seem to go with #1 from what I can tell, is that true?

I have attached photos so that you can see my exact situation. At the entry way, I discovered vinyl(?) floor that I never knew was there under the carpet. Please forgive the terrible shape it's in in the photos :-)

I am tossing these 2 ideas around in my head and considering the following:

If I go with #1:
- I have a "multi purpose reducer" strip that I could cut to the length of the door threshold. This is the same type of strip I am using up against my sliding glass patio doors and also one of my walls which is completely covered by a mirror so quarter round is a no go to hide the gap there. It looks good up against the threshold, but... the threshold sticks out from the door frame into the room quite a bit, leaving a gap on each side to deal with. I am thinking that I could trim the reducer to the length of the threshold, and cut the laminate such that it very closely runs up the side of the reducer, then under the jamb which I would undercut JUST enough to hide the floor and seal it (mother nature is on the other side of that door), with an expansion gap at the walls beside the jamb covered by quarter round. I have matching color sealant that I could use to seal the small gap between the sides of the reducer/threshold and the laminate floor to fill in that gap. I'm not sure how this would look, but it's the best idea I've thought of yet.

Concerns: I have been very good about using spacers to ensure the expansion gap is good everywhere, and in order for this to look good I feel I'd have to have almost no gap as the floor ran up the sides of the threshold, the small gap I plan to seal. Is this a bad idea? Note that I am on the ground floor on concrete in southern california without huge temperature / humidity swings, and it's not really possible for rain to reach the front of my outside door since it's covered, I've got the proper expansion gap everywhere else, and proper moisture barrier/pad underneath the floor.

If I go with #2:
-I do not currently know how to remove the door threshold. I can see glue in the bottom corners but no screws. I'm on concrete, so maybe it's simply glued down. There is duct tape all over it that MIGHT be hiding screws (I have no idea why the previous owner did this, I'm almost scared to pull it up and see what it might be hiding).
-I live in a condo, with an HOA. I cannot find anything in our rules and regulations about the door threshold, and what I'm allowed to do or not do or if I can replace it with something else. I walked around other condos in my complex and saw nothing but the same threshold as mine, so I suspect it's not an option for me to switch it out with a new one. So, if I damage my current one pulling it up, I may be stuck with it.
-Wouldn't this make the threshold higher on one side due to being pushed up against the laminate? Would it still make a good seal? Could this make it so high that the door won't close?

I think #1 would be easier to do because I don't have to mess with the threshold, but #2 would look cleaner.

What would you do to finish off this area? I'm open to any and all suggestions.

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-26-12, 03:20 AM
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Welcome aboard...

The threshold is most likely an integral part of the door and you will not be able to simply remove and tuck the laminate under it. The floor also needs room to move and breathe so you don't want to bind it under a threshold.

Only option I see is the reducer and how to make it look good.

For starters, undercut the door casing AND the baseboard on both sides of the door. Also undercut about 3 to 4 inches of baseboard on the long walls either side. Plan on tucking the floor under all this trim. Shoe molding will make the area look finished.

As far as the reducer trim, you have 2 options, make a 45 or 90 degree corner on either side of the door and plan on tucking the reducer under the casing as well. Being on a slab, this creates problems as far as how you fasten down the reducer. The carpet industry has a product that is used to adhere carpet tack strips to concrete slabs when nails will not hold, its called Chemtrex. I get it in a specialty supply stores that deals mostly with contractors. Comes in a tube like liquid nails, but works far better. In fact, your can stretch a carpet within 30 minutes of application. You spread it out, mist it with water to activate and set your molding, that simple.

I would check how well the vinyl is stuck to the slab. Suspect that duck tape was use as a cheap fix by a previous installer. If the vinyl is loose in the area of your reducer strips, remove a strip so that your adhesives will bond to the concrete and not loose vinyl.
 
  #3  
Old 10-26-12, 04:46 PM
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You will want to take base molding off or you can put quarter round down to cover the gaps. A osolating saw is what you will need to the door jams. 1/4" is what most likly you will need for expsnstion.
 
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Old 10-27-12, 02:07 AM
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It's Chemrex not Chemtrex. sorry for the typo on the adhesive recommendation for use on a slab.

Chemrex CX-948 Carpet Tack Strip Adhesive, 30 oz. Cartridge | Tools4Flooring.com
 
  #5  
Old 10-29-12, 12:38 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

I worked on it this weekend, and decided to go with czizzi's advice and make the transition strip go up the sides. I used 45 degree cuts, similar to how I do an "outside corner" on quarter round, so that the reducer wraps around the door threshold and then goes up under the door casing. I did plenty of undercutting of the casing and baseboards to help hide the transition strip + expansion gaps of the floor.

I still need to glue the transition strips, and mount the molding, but I'm already happy with how it's turning out. I'll post pictures eventually when it's all done.

Czizzi: The vinyl was still glued plenty enough for me to not want to have to tear it up. I already have "liquid nails" and have used that to glue the transition strips to the slab without any issue. How good will the liquid nails adhere to the vinyl? I'll have to check the label to see if its good for that or not. I'm trying to decide if what I have will do the trick or if I need to order something like the chemrex you suggested.
 
  #6  
Old 11-02-12, 06:14 AM
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Check your liquid nails, they make several formulas, not all are rated for flooring applications. What will not hurt is the try the product you have on hand, if it doesn't hold up, then invest in the professional grade stuff.
 
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