wondering whether tongue could/should be trimmed on first boards along wall


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Old 03-07-18, 07:57 AM
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wondering whether tongue could/should be trimmed on first boards along wall

I have flooring I want to install soon. I watched a video at https://www.homedepot.com/c/how_to_i...oring_HT_PG_FL

At 1:24 (min:sec in video), they say "Keep in mind, first row planks should have tonque side facing the wall". And then,
at 1:34: "Always allow a 3/8" gap at each end for floor expansion". So, by leaving a 3/8" gap along that first board, the quarter round installed after flooring is installed has to cover both the 3/8" gap (from tongue edge) and the tongue. So, I'm thinking trimming the tongue on the first row of boards makes more sense than just installing in the manner shown in the video. Or, should I just do as stated in the video?
 
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Old 03-07-18, 09:51 AM
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If it was wood flooring the tongue goes away from the wall because that is where the nails go.

I guess it depends on how the locking hinge functions and what is considered the tongue or groove.

You dont need to balance the planks across the room which usually means the first plank gets trimmed, if it happens to be full piece leaving the tongue or groove is ok, just leave the total gap to the edge of the plank.
 
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Old 03-07-18, 04:12 PM
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I always remove baseboard molding when I install laminate flooring. It then gives you a larger area to hide your expansion gap. I also never use quarter round as it is too chunky. I use shoe molding instead. Removing the baseboard molding isn't a problem when you go to re-install it as it will be higher than the previous height by the thickness of the flooring. Usually all you have to do is pull a new caulk line and and you don't have to repaint anything. Remember to nail the shoe molding to the baseboard and not to the laminate.
 
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Old 03-11-18, 11:46 AM
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I believe I need to elaborate on a couple of points. First, regarding the choice of removing baseboard trim or not, I understand removing it is one way to go about installing the flooring but, as noted by czizzi, the molding is then reinstalled higher on the wall due to the thickness of the new flooring. But, in my case, this is not as simple as it would be in many homes. My home has a unusual floor plan. The kitchen, living, and dining areas are on the 2nd floor. The front entrance is at mid-level between the two floors. So, a half flight of stairs from the entrance/foyer leads up to the 2nd floor. The stairway has baseboard molding that connects to the molding around the room. I would not be removing and/or adjusting the baseboard molding on the stairway. Therefore, adjusting the height of the baseboard molding around the room would create a disconnect where it meets the baseboard molding on the stairway. The attached photo may help visualize this.

In my initial post, I mentioned quarter round. Actually, I would probably use shoe molding since it already is installed in other spaces such as kitchen and bathroom., assuming I could be sure it would conceal the gap (approx. 3/8") between baseboard (assuming baseboard not removed for this option) and flooring.

And, if baseboard molding is not removed and shoe molding is used to hide the gap, this brings be back to the question in my initial post regarding trimming of tongue on boards installed directly next to the wall. My point was that the shoe molding like that in kitchen, bathroom, etc., would not cover the gap along that one wall because the length of the tongue plus the recommended 3/8" gap would be too large to be fully concealed.

Note: The photo is upside down, as usual for this forum. The original photo does not appear upside down on my computer but the forum apparently like to turn photos upside down.
 
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Old 03-11-18, 11:52 AM
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You always start with the groove against the wall because you nail thru the tongue. If you are replacing the carpet with hardwood you may find that the base is already elevated off of the floor.
 
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Old 03-11-18, 01:13 PM
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Bigger question is how are you planing to deal with the stair nosing transition. I would still pull the base and rip it to size when installing it again. That way you maintain maximum expansion space under it. Sometimes it is about doing it right, not was is the easiest.
 
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Old 03-11-18, 01:59 PM
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After more thought about this discussion, I was beginning to wonder whether I was incorrect about what edge I assumed was the tongue because it extends out further than other side. I just reviewed the instructions (with illustrations) that came with the flooring and I see that I was incorrect. The "Groove Edge" (top edge in photo) is actually the edge that sticks out furthest from the board surface. See photo.

But, even though the "Tongue Edge" (bottom edge in photo) is actually barely 1/8", the instructions do say to trim off that edge on the first row of boards next to the starting wall. This seems unnecessary, so I am inclined to ignore it. The sawing tools I have on hand are a circular saw, a jigsaw, a reciprocating saw, and several different hand saws. I would like to avoid buying or renting other saws, such as a table saw, so trimming the small edge along the full of boards could be tricky.

Since this flooring is 3/8" engineered wood, nails will not be used. This will be a floating floor installation.
 
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Old 03-11-18, 02:11 PM
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Bigger question is how are you planing to deal with the stair nosing transition. I would still pull the base and rip it to size when installing it again.
So. you would remove the baseboard molding, rip it (meaning cut off a strip along the bottom), reinstall it after laying the flooring, and then install shoe molding. Is that right?
 
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Old 03-11-18, 04:36 PM
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Yes, remove and trim, it doesn't have to look pretty as the shoe will cover it.

Again, the bigger question is the stair nosing and how to handle that.
 
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Old 03-11-18, 04:42 PM
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I found a very helpful video at https://www.homedepot.com/p/Home-Dec...313E/205170952 It shows installation of the exact type of flooring I have.

Perhaps I will have to buy a saw that will be more effective at making long straight cuts. Or, I will have to devise a way to make very straight cuts with my current tools. If I proceed with removing baseboard molding and cutting a strip off the bottom of it, I want to make straight cuts. This is going to be more work than I expected but I may proceed with this to the full extent you have advised.

Edit: I just saw your last post. Yes, as you said, the cuts on the baseboard does not have to be perfect. So, I can probably do that cutting with current tools.
 

Last edited by dderolph; 03-11-18 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Had not seen previous post by other member
 

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