Opinions Please on Floating Floor Top of Stairs

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Old 02-28-18, 04:53 PM
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Opinions Please on Floating Floor Top of Stairs

I am planning to install either engineered or laminate flooring on the second level of my house.

The top of the stairs trim is 1/2 inch higher than the sub-floor where the floating floor will be going (now carpeting). I am divided between using 12mm planks and 10mm planks. With 10mm planks I could have the planks with underpad go right flush with the top of the stairs oak trim. With 12mm planks, I would likely have to forego the underpad for the first plank to make the two butting surfaces flush and the first plank would be slightly sloped, but I would have the extra strength of the extra 2mm and could glue down the first plank.

Any ideas what will work better? Have you had any experience with such a choice?

Thank you,

quickcurrent
 
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Old 02-28-18, 07:29 PM
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You mention it is a floating floor. That being the case, you cannot butt the floating floor right up against the wood. It needs to be spaced away for expansion. So either way, you will need to use a transition (T-moulding) there. You can make either floor work because of the transition. If you use 10mm, the transition will lay flat over both surfaces. If you use the 12mm, you will just need to rip 2mm off of one side of the transition... or don't rip it at all and just let it tip. IMO, ripping 2mm off would look better.
 
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Old 03-01-18, 12:42 PM
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Thanks, XSleeper, but I was hoping to avoid using any sort of transition element there. I think it will look nicer if it just buts up to the stairs trim, rather than having something (likely a plastic piece, yuck) sticking up somewhat. That is why I was thinking of gluing down the first plank and slope it slightly to meet up with the second one with the underpad below it, supported at the transition to the second plank with roofing paper layers. Would that not work?
 
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Old 03-01-18, 02:42 PM
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Depending on your brand of flooring, they many times make a matching stair nosing piece. You simply replace the nosing that is there with the one that matches your new landing flooring.
 
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Old 03-02-18, 08:34 AM
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The trim that is at the top of the staircase is part of the staircase, not a separate trim part, czizzi. It is solid oak and not replaceable. It is also about 4 inches wide and runs the length of the second floor landing atop a curved staircase and the base the balusters are attached to!
 
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Old 03-02-18, 09:46 AM
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Well, at the risk of repeating myself, every floating floor I know of requires room for expansion and contraction. Your product instructions tell you that... along with how MUCH space is required. We are not going to advocate doing something your instructions expressly prohibit. You will likely need to fashion your own moulding to cover the gap that you will need to leave around your baluster base plate.

The only other option is to undercut the baluster base plate and turn it into a rabbeted transition that will receive the flooring and hide your perimeter expansion joint. Your flooring would obviously need to be thinner than the trim height in order to do this.

See these videos for a visual.

https://youtu.be/c1fytIsbbHM
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eaiL4FTUC6Y
 
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Old 03-03-18, 01:40 PM
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Thanks, XSleeper, I certainly like the undercutting method, but my sill plate is not sufficiently high to undercut. It's only 1/2" above the subfloor! Also the end cap method does not work since my staircase is circular and the end cap or any vertical protrusion would be a tripping hazard at the top of the stairs. :-(

I don't like thinner vinyl plastic floor coverings, so it seems I may have to stick with a rug. :-(
 
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Old 03-03-18, 05:46 PM
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If you don't leave an expansion gap, the floor will buckle. So carpet is probably a better choice.
 
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Old 03-03-18, 06:45 PM
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I may end up doing a 1/2" tongue and groove engineered plank installation nailed down, and horizontally flush to the the sill plate at the top of the stairs and butting the sill plate all the way around the curve on the landing. :-)

Thanks for all the replies.
 
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