Replacing linoleum with ceramic tile

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  #41  
Old 04-30-15, 07:36 PM
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Bless you on your journey, what a lovely family and hats off to stepping up to the greater good. Everything here is second to what your family needs. I'm not too far removed from little ones and know the importance of quality time together. I've one starting college next year and another who is a freshmen in high school. The time flies (as you know) to take it slow, the kitchen can wait as long as necessary. And that gives you additional time to source what is correct for your situation. you can live with the floors tore up for a while. You can put the stove and refrigerator back into the holes and continue to use the kitchen. Personally, with a growing family and little ones, I would steer clear of cork and other exotics. Focus on the many varieties of domestic woods, pre-finished. True engineered click lock for ease of installation. Dream homes with exotic floors and butlers serving you crumpets are for the rich folks and dreams. Lets get a functional floor that works for a growing family.
 
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  #42  
Old 04-30-15, 08:00 PM
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Man, you've got your hands full, so much going on and there's not enough time. Also sounds like you're working from the house or not working right now. The floor may have to wait.

A family of 6 going on seven is a busy household for wood floors. Any pets? Do you walk direct to the wood floor from outside? It can work, but it's not going to last (the finish), as long as in some other homes. In general the experts tell you the floors should need to be re finished every 6-10 years if you want them to look almost like new. Of course I doubt anyone follows that schedule, I certainly wouldn't.

Quality " hardwood for $3? Yikes, that's too low. Maybe oak strip is possible but you'll need to do some searching. Strip is 2 " like the rest you now have and might be the way to go. Also try looking at the Build Direct website.

I paid about $4 for my hickory and that was wholesale almost 2 years ago. I tried to "sell" some to someone else last year and my cost was close to $5, so retail about $6.50 if a large purchase. Add all the odds and ends and that's another $1.50 or more.

Jaz
 
  #43  
Old 05-01-15, 09:32 AM
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Any thoughts on Empire? My wife used them for carpet a number of years ago in her first house and she was happy with them. We have them coming here this afternoon to give us an estimate on hardwood for the kitchen. I'll be shocked if their quote is within our budget, but I've been wrong many times before.
 
  #44  
Old 05-01-15, 10:17 AM
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Any thoughts on Empire?
Huh, well, nothing good to say for sure. Be very careful.

Gotta go do some work now, but give us your impressions later.

Jaz
 
  #45  
Old 05-01-15, 10:26 AM
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While I prefer not to bash any individual company, I will say this. Anytime you have commissioned salespeople who drive company cars who reports back to a sales manager who has a secretary and warehouse manager and installation crew - somebody has to pay for all those perks and salaries.

There are many independent installers, like myself, who float under the radar. My overhead is a truck, tools and the gas to get me there and back. Well, maybe a license and some insurance too, but you get the point. The box store hire people like me and then overlay a mark up onto what they charge you. I had a buddy who installed corian counter tops for big blue box store. He said the toughest part was getting paid from them and it did not matter how many trips you had to make, you got the same money.
 
  #46  
Old 05-01-15, 02:23 PM
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Anytime you have commissioned salespeople who drive company cars who reports back to a sales manager who has a secretary and warehouse manager and installation crew - somebody has to pay for all those perks and salaries.
Well said.

...give us your impressions later.
The Empire salesman was all the things a good salesman should be. Friendly, talkative, offering up personal anecdotes that related to our family, etc. He brought flooring samples with him which was helpful. Long story short, I signed a contract to have them install some laminate flooring. Why? Because he told us it was the most durable option that he had, and because my wife liked the look and feel of that one the most. The engineered hardwoods looked fake to her. (My wife was deadset against laminate until she saw the samples this afternoon.) We disagreed on both points (as we do when it comes to many design/style choices) but I'm not remodeling the kitchen for me, I'm doing it for her, so I'm going with her choice. Why did I go with them in the first place? Because my dear wife has had to put up with my slow, methodical, perfectionist ways many times over the 5.5 years we've been together and I could tell this was hugely important to her - having the floor done sooner rather than later...meaning before the baby is born, not after...so within 2.5 weeks ideally. So...there's all of that...which brings me to this...

I have 3 business days in which I can cancel the contract. It didn't take me long after the salesman had left to track down the source of this laminate flooring and obtain a local price estimate for ordering it myself. I can get it myself for less than half the cost we'll be paying them, and our cost through Empire is after numerous discounts they gave us. I looked at the installation instructions and it looks like it would be quite simple. I think even I could do our 120 SFT kitchen in a day.

So - you guys have been so ridiculously helpful I can't thank you enough. Hoping you'll humor me asking a few more questions in spite of me not following your most recent advice...
1) The flooring product is Heron Bay from Shaw. All their laminate products feature their OptiCore technology. I can't find specifics on what all is in it. It says it contains various wood products, but not what else it might contain. It says it's waterproof though. Should I be suspicious of that claim?
2) Sales guy says "no need to tear up the existing floor." They'll install over top of it. I ask if the product has the "no more than 1/8" height difference in 6' span" requirement and he shrugs it off and says our floor is fine, because he can see it and it looks fine to him. Well, the Shaw installation sheet says to fill low spots greater than 1/8" in 6' with Portland cement leveling compound. So presumably that's what the installers would do. It would certainly be simpler (I think) to do that instead of tearing it down to the subfloor. This is a floating floor installation - no nailing - so what's the drawback with installing over top of our existing floor? I know there's the deflection issues with the joists, which I should be able to take care from below. What else should I be concerned about? I kind of want to tear down the floor still and make it right, but I need to win my wife over. If I'm going to tear it down I need to tackle that tomorrow.
3) I'd like to save half of our cost and install this myself. Installation instructions here. Are there any wrinkles with the installation that I'm not picking up on?
4) Durability - resistance to scratches - so the sales guy says this is the most durable when it comes to scratch resistance. We have some friends that put in a new floor last year and it was scratched badly within just a few weeks. We're hoping to avoid that outcome. Do you agree with the salesman's opinion that laminate is more durable than engineered hardwood at resisting scratches? Or perhaps it all depends on the specific model of laminate/engineered hardwood?
 
  #47  
Old 05-01-15, 02:36 PM
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Laminate would probably be my last choice for a kitchen, but it can be done without serious issues. Most important thing is wiping up any spills as soon as they happen. I have seen lots of laminates claim to be waterproof but have yet to see one that actually is. As long as you know this going into it, you should be ok.

The installation is actually very easy, even for someone who has never installed it before. just make extra sure your joints are all locked together right, and that you do not cut too close to any walls or other trim.

There is no structural or prep reason to need to remove any of your existing flooring to install laminate. Lay your underpad right over the existing and you will be fine. Also, if your floor is as flat as you have said ( ~1/8" over 6') that is acceptable. No need to fill low spots, or do any structural work below the floor.

Laminate is probably the most scratch resistant floor you can get besides ceramic for everyday wear, but that does not mean you can drag heavy metal leg furniture across the floor without it scratching.
 
  #48  
Old 05-01-15, 02:57 PM
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Lay your underpad right over the existing...
I forgot I was going to ask about the pad - the company is using their value pad if we go with them. If I do the install myself, what would be a recommended pad for kitchen use?
 
  #49  
Old 05-01-15, 04:44 PM
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Wow, so much to consider here.

I had to laugh when you said this;

Originally Posted by jessman
It didn't take me long after the salesman had left to track down the source of this laminate flooring and obtain a local price estimate for ordering it myself. I can get it myself for less than half the cost we'll be paying them, and our cost through Empire is after numerous discounts they gave us.
A bunch of years ago this company wanted to hire me to do some of their ceramic installations. Upon walking into their office/warehouse I noticed the place was a "boiler room" of at least 20 operators answering the phones in reply to their tv commercials, ok, fine. Spoke with the manager to find out how the program works.

Essentially the salesperson calls the office as he arrives at your house, then goes in. He tells you the regular price for your job is (ie.) 2k, but for you, right now, they can do it for $1,500. If you don't jump for joy, he will call his manager to see if there's any way to go lower since he's already there and needs the sale. The manager tells him to go 1,300 right now and to remind you that you have 3 days, and how such a great product it is and they're the best in the land etc. In the end there might even have to be another call to the boiler room and another price reduction. If the price gets down to about half, it's probably in the right ballpark. But why would I wanna do business with someone who tried that with me?

In the end there is nothing wrong with trying to charge you the most that you are willing to pay. Why should they charge less than you're willing to pay? It's hard to compare some products and very hard to compare labor and you've been convinced they are a good company and give things away cuz you see the commercials 17x every day.

Back to my situation and ceramic installs. At that time I could furnish and install; decent quality porcelain tiles of $3-4 ft. retail, install Ditra or CBU and a few odds and end including finishing a few doorways and maybe help move a couple appliances etc. for about $9-11 a ft. They would try to charge $19-22 ft. for similar tiles.

Note, I had a little more to this, but this forum's program looses your writings after a certain amount of time, or pause, and although you can go back an retrieve it later, sometimes you can not retrieve all of it. That's what happened with the last paragraph so I cut it short.

Jaz
 
  #50  
Old 05-01-15, 04:49 PM
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Laminate would probably be my last choice for a kitchen
Ditto - plus you have not addressed the particleboard under all that mess that is already probably swelled from various incidents over the years. Just hide it under another layer - out of sight, out of mind. Your wife, god bless her, fell for the pretty picture, the fancy salesman and the glitzy presentation. Laminate is MDF with a picture of wood on it coated with some aluminum oxide. Engineered is real wood, if he had a poor sample then I don't know. I would never pick laminate over engineered if I had the choice. Yes it looks funky as a sample, but as a whole floor, it look incredible.

No prep to a pre-determined floor that is not level, slap it down, cash your check and hope you don't call until the warranty for the installation passes. I suppose the transition strips were also going to be made of press board as well. Will they be pulling the baseboards or just installing quarter round? I hate quarter round and only use shoe molding, looks to chunky.

One last question, how much was the quote per sqft?
 
  #51  
Old 05-01-15, 05:27 PM
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Why would laminate be your last choice for a kitchen? Moisture potential, I'm sure. Other reasons as well? Will post more later. The sun has set and I'm not quite done with mowing the lawn yet.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 05:33 PM
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Oh...... some of my lost reply had to do with formaldehyde in laminate and the known or unknown affects, if any, on young lungs.

Another reason I do not think much of laminates it that it may sound tinny when you walk on it and that it does not add value to your house. Although you may not care about that. Did we mention we don't think much of a photo of wood as flooring? Heck you might be better off with sheet vinyl cuz at least it would be in one piece instead of having all those seams for stuff to get into. But, I might be wrong?

I would stick with quality products, go real wood or ceramic/porcelain. 120 ft. is a 2 day job after you're ready to go with ceramic and less with wood.

Jaz



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  #53  
Old 05-01-15, 06:45 PM
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Yes, moisture potential. A spill on a laminate floor for as little as 5 minutes is enough time to soak in the joints and swell the flooring. I am not really a fan of any wood flooring in a kitchen, but engineered or solid wood flooring would be a better choice, but as you know, it comes at a price.

The good thing about laminate is its cheap and easy. If it gets ruined in 5 years, or you are tired of the look, it is easy to change.
 
  #54  
Old 05-01-15, 07:15 PM
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Will most engineered wood be as easy to install as the laminate? Or does that depend a lot on the specific model?
 
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Old 05-01-15, 07:51 PM
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There are click togther engineered flooring options, but you will likely pay double the price for them. They are as easy to install as laminate and look a heck of alot better. I installed one last year for a customer and it is holding up well in their kitchen/living room. It is still susceptible to water damage, but unlike laminate, when it dries most if not all swelling will go away.
 
  #56  
Old 05-01-15, 10:11 PM
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Well, my wife is on board with me purchasing and installing the laminate myself. Checking with a local store in the morning to see if they have installed floor samples that we can look at and walk on to give us a better idea of the options between laminate and engineered hardwood.
 
  #57  
Old 05-02-15, 04:12 AM
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When you decide on a flooring let us know what you have and we can guide you through the process..
 
  #58  
Old 05-02-15, 05:20 AM
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Because he told us it was the most durable option that he had
Laughing out loud on this one, too. Sorry. I wish you luck with the laminate. You won't have "good" luck with either the installation nor the longevity of the product, after looking at the specs. 11/32" is a woefully thin product. Laminate, in general, is a bottom line seller, IMO. As stated, engineered flooring is far superior, although with that superiority goes cost, which is natural.
 
  #59  
Old 05-02-15, 07:20 AM
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engineered flooring is far superior
I believe that.

My wife and I talked about the options again last night. The big roadblock to engineered wood for her is that she knows multiple families who have put in engineered wood floors in the not-too-distant past, and they are all scratched horribly. So based on that, to her, engineered wood flooring = lots of scratches. I can't imagine this is typical for engineered wood floors, or they wouldn't be so popular. What can you tell me about what to look for in an engineered wood floor to minimize scratching? And what about every day use for preventing scratches? We don't have pets and we don't wear our shoes in the house. We have 2 (soon to be 3) small children, but they aren't prone to playing with toys in the kitchen. The only thing I can think of that would scratch the floor with our current normal usage is our waste and recycling cans but those should be inside a pull-out drawer by the time our overall remodel is complete.
 
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Old 05-02-15, 07:43 AM
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The families to which she refers...do they have pets, and do they wear their cleats indoors? Could be a big difference in wear. Most modern engineered flooring will carry a 30 to 50 warranty on the finish. In addition, engineered flooring can be refinished, unlike the laminate surface, which is just a picture of wood with aluminum oxide finish.

I installed 5" Wide 3/8" click lock engineered flooring in our bedroom last fall. We have two large dogs and cats, and really don't do much but make sure we don't drag in mud, but wear footwear all the time. No scratches evident to date. It is tough.

You can put recycle cans on mats until you finish your remodel.

Bottom line. You are fighting an un-winable battle. No logic will change her mind it seems, and you are having to sell it to hard. If you go with the laminate, at least you will have the inevitable "told you so" moment in your future.
 
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Old 05-02-15, 10:48 AM
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Salesman at the flooring store reinforced my wife's opinion about laminate vs engineered.

We brought home one laminate and one engineered that we both liked the look of. I can live with the look of this laminate better than the one we contracted for yesterday. Still don't care for it though. Anyway...Links below.

Floorcraft Hyrax Lodge laminate
Can't find detailed specs or install instructions on this one. Website says this is $7.33psf but the in-store price was $3.89psf.

Monte Vista Hickory Padua engineered This is on sale currently for $5.99psf.
General installation instructions here, although haven't had time to look through them yet.

Do you think these would be roughly equivalent in terms of installation procedures? What about subfloor requirements?
 
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Old 05-02-15, 11:36 AM
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Responding to some of the other posts from yesterday now...

Jaz, your description of the salesman's routine was spot on.

...this forum's program looses your writings after a certain amount of time, or pause, and although you can go back an retrieve it later, sometimes you can not retrieve all of it.
I've learned that the hard way a few times during my time here. Now, whenever I work on a post for more than 1-2 minutes, before submitting it I will press Ctrl-A (to select everything I just typed) and then Ctrl-C (to copy it to the Windows Clipboard). That way if I took too long and it loses everything, I can just open a new reply window and paste (Ctrl-V) it all back in.

Will they be pulling the baseboards or just installing quarter round?
The existing "baseboards" beneath the cabinets need to go, but he didn't indicate if they would be pulling them. There's only a few feet of regular trim on a non-cabinet wall section. What is typically used for trim beneath cabinets? What we have now is a 1/8" board covered up with a semi-flexible black strip of something that is wedged in there with a bit of a curl at the top and bottom. Yes, quarter-round is what he offered us. Talked about this with my wife last night and neither of us are that fond of it so we'll be looking for something different no matter what we end up with for the floor.

One last question, how much was the quote per sqft?
$7.38 for laminate, quarter-round, value pad, and installation. He wouldn't tell us a price for just the laminate.
 
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Old 05-02-15, 11:44 AM
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Engineered flooring has a real wood surface, so it will wear like a real wood floor, and that means it will scratch. There is no way around that fact, and the only thing that can be done to prevent it is to be careful on it.

If scratch resistance is a priority, I would say stick to the laminate.
 
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Old 05-02-15, 12:05 PM
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I called the store to find out more about the laminate product. It's this one here by Mannington.
 
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Old 05-02-15, 02:05 PM
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Refer to this hardness scale when considering engineered flooring: http://tinytimbers.com/pdf/chart_janka.pdf The higher down on the scale the tougher the product, those closer to the top are softer woods and more likely to have issues with scratching and denting.

Please, please read the warranty information on your chosen laminate. The warranty is null and void if issues result from an improperly prepared SUBFLOOR (which you know yours is inferior to begin with). So, forget about any kind of a claim. It also says that the warranty if null and void for issues related to ANY LIQUID. Exactly what we have been saying.

Any flooring you install will first have to address the particle board and replace it with plywood or an underlayment approved OSB. Somehow that message is not getting through. For that company to not recommend replacing the subfloor and insist you should just go over it, is wrong. In fact, if I walk into a house with laminate in the kitchen, I automatically assume there are issues underneath it. Truth is, Keith, Larry, Jaz and myself do this sort of stuff for a living. We have nothing to gain from leading you in the right direction other than our own satisfaction in helping another human being. We are not paid by this website, we are not employed by this website, we are strictly volunteers. Has your wife read any of the comments here? She spoke with the salesman who stands to make a commission off of you. Don't you think she should read the suggestions of those who will not make a dime?
 
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Old 05-06-15, 09:01 AM
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Thank you for the hardness scale, czizzi. That's very helpful information.

Any flooring you install will first have to address the particle board and replace it with plywood or an underlayment approved OSB. Somehow that message is not getting through.
I hear you loud and clear, but I'm not succeeding in getting my wife to understand that.

We are not paid by this website, we are not employed by this website, we are strictly volunteers. Has your wife read any of the comments here? She spoke with the salesman who stands to make a commission off of you. Don't you think she should read the suggestions of those who will not make a dime?
She has read some of them and I've told her about the others. It hasn't changed her opinion. I don't know why the salesman's opinion ranks over multiple installers' opinions. She said we'll get in a fight if we talk about it and she doesn't want that - so we're not talking about it. I can only conclude that some of our pre-existing marital issues are getting in the way here, and also that her being 8-months pregnant is affecting this, because this isn't typical for her.

At any rate, we are going with the laminate flooring and will not be tearing up the existing floor first. However, after thinking through some of the other kitchen remodeling items I think we will be waiting to install the floor until closer to the end.

I'm sketching up design plans now with a rough 3d modeling software so we can visualize the design better before diving into it.

There's countertops to remove, new countertops to pour, some cabinets to move, cabinets to paint, cabinets to build, sink to replace, extend a gas line, replace some regular breakers with piggy back breakers, then install a two pole breaker for a new 240v circuit, reroute the water line for the refrigerator, and more. Some of those need to be done before the floor goes in, so I need to figure out the best order to go in.
 
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Old 05-06-15, 12:56 PM
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Ok, good luck with everything.

I wouldn't want laminate under my feet, but I can see where it may be a good solution for some people. It's cheap and it's easy, and since it's a picture, they can make it look really nice if they want to. And yes, most laminates are more scratch resistant than most real wood floors. Just like the paint on my car will scratch much easier than the paint on an Army tank. And her nice dress will be more delicate than her jeans.

So, if you guys like the looks and you're not concerned about adding value to the house since you're not selling and want it fast....................... It's only a floor and in 5-10 years you'll be changing it anyway.

Jaz
 
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Old 05-15-15, 09:39 AM
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I wouldn't want laminate under my feet, but I can see where it may be a good solution for some people.
I'm less than thrilled with the idea of laminate myself, but I can deal with it if it makes my wife happy.

We got the price quote yesterday for materials and installation (still planning on installing myself, but figured it wouldn't hurt to get an estimate to know what our options were) through our local flooring store. The guy who came out the day before to take measurements said we need to go with quarter-round around the expansion gap beneath the cabinets. I asked him if there were other options and he said no. Is that correct? If not, can you point me in the right direction to locate other options that would look decent around the expansion gap?

We would need approximately 3 feet each of a reducer strip (kitchen/dining room boundary; kitchen will now be higher than dining room) and a stair nose (kitchen step down to living room). Each only comes in a 8 foot length and averages $40-45 each. That seems like a very steep price to me for a couple of trim pieces. Is that typical for those types of trim, and are there other options that would be cheaper and look just as good? I'm assuming the ones from the laminate company would have the exact same look as the flooring itself, but I'm wondering if that's really necessary.
 
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Old 05-15-15, 01:00 PM
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If in the end you decide to do the work yourself, I bet they'l take less $$ for the materials.

You're among a large group that doesn't like shoe molding. I am the opposite, I don't think it's finished without it. But even if you skip the molding at the base moldings by installing the base molding after, you still need to have shoe molding around the cabinets.

Jaz
 
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Old 05-15-15, 02:21 PM
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You can use metal transitions at the stairs and doorway which are cheaper, but it won't look as good.
 
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Old 05-15-15, 02:29 PM
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said we need to go with quarter-round around the expansion gap beneath the cabinets
I am a hater of Quarter Round, but a lover of shoe molding. Qtr Rd is too chunky as it is the same depth as height. Shoe is shorter in depth and than height so it is IMO more polished. You also stain it to match your new flooring. You can also get Oak molding for your transitions and stain them appropriately. Just remember that you don't fasten the molding to the floor, the floor must float. Also, for a cleaner look when using shoe molding, remove the baseboard moldings and re-install over the top of the molding further hiding the expansion gap.
 
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