Caulk or transition moldings for floating floor?


Old 04-10-17, 11:42 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: USA
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Caulk or transition moldings for floating floor?


I'm wrapping up the install of some Armstrong 3/8" engineered wood flooring throughout my first floor. Among other places, this flooring butts up against my front door, wraps around a marble slab in front of my fireplace, and forms a starting corner around my kitchen's floor which will eventually be redone with tile.

Up to this point, I've planned on using transition moldings at the front door, around the fireplace marble floor slab, and at this starting corner for the kitchen floor. However, I've seen several pictures and suggestions from people who have also had good results with caulking these joints instead. We haven't picked out our kitchen tile yet, but my understanding is that the majority of the time the finished floor height of kitchen tile is also 3/8", which in theory would mean we could caulk these joints with the wood floor.

My only worry here is that our floor is floating... and therefore I wonder if it would be better to use transition moldings since these can help keep the edges of the floating floor pulled down as opposed to caulk. On the other hand, I do like the clean look that a caulked joint provides. Another potential concern is that the install instructions call for a 1/2" expansion joint... it would seem pretty ugly to caulk a 1/2" joint, so I know that a lot of installers just don't sweat this and caulk a much smaller joint between the wood & tile, and claim they never have issues. Still though...

Any advice here? Will using transition moldings look just fine, or should I seriously consider caulking some or all of these joints instead? Thanks!
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Old 04-10-17, 05:40 PM
Marq1's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
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I think you came up with the answer, if you have a floating floor then attempting to caulk an edge has a high probability that over time it will shift, that's what it's supposed to do.

I just installed nail down floors and when I came up to the threshold piece to out bathroom I caulked that joint but it was 1/8" and with the correct caulk the joint is invisible.

And you are correct, never try to caulk anything 1/2" wide!
Old 04-11-17, 05:10 AM
czizzi's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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I think caulking was bad advice where ever it was that you heard or read about it. Use Transition pieces and make sure you don't nail into the flooring when installing. Around the hearth, you most likely will have to glue to the marble. Dabs of hot glue make work without making a big mess to clean down the road.

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