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Old 05-31-2013, 03:08 PM   #1
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


I'm almost ready to install laminate flooring in my living room and dining room which are conjoined by a 5' wide open passthrough. In the picture, I am going to lay the planks parallel to the longest wall of the living room starting in the bottom right corner and then gradually work my way back towards the passthrough.

Since I'm running the same flooring in the dining room, and in the same direction, am I still required to install a t-molding strip at the passthrough where the two rooms meet. Or can I continue the flooring all the way through both rooms without it? I bought one just in case, as well as enough to surround the tile area at the front door, but I would prefer the flooring to be continuous with the break at the passthrough if possible.

The flooring, underlayment, and moisture barrier I'm using are:

Hampton Bay Maraba Hickory 8mm Thick x 5 in. Wide x 47-5/8 in. Length Laminate Flooring http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-Maraba-Hickory-8mm-Thick-x-5-in-Wide-x-47-5-8-in-Length-Laminate-Flooring-16-28-sq-ft-case-367471-00192/203011332

Roberts Black Jack Roll of 2-in-1 Laminate and Engineered Wood Flooring Underlayment
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/QuickViewService?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&R=202549346&catEntryId=2025493 46

Roberts Moisture Barricade
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/QuickViewService?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&R=100578718&catEntryId=1005787 18

Maraba Hickory 7/16 in. Height x 1-3/4 in. Wide x 72 in. Length Laminate T-Molding
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Maraba-Hi...1528/203071932

Appreciate any and all help and advice. Thanks.
John

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Old 05-31-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


No you don't have to use the t- moulding,just continue the run into the next room.

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Old 05-31-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


#1 I'm not a big fan of laminite, It will instanly lower the resale value.
Ever once seen an ad in the paper saying laminite floors through out?
It's going to be a night mare to try and run that floor through that opening.
Reason being as your going to find out is trying to tap it to lock without having the seams open up in the middle of the opening.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:40 AM   #4
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


This is a very easy laminate install. You can go thru the opening with no problems. Laminate floors do not decrease the value of a home. On the other hand the do not increase the value.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:54 PM   #5
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


Thanks for the input guys.

The laminate isn't going throughout the entire house. Not shown in the diagram are the kitchen, den, and a bathroom which I tiled in a diamond pattern. Additionally, the upstairs will probably remain carpeted...but with new carpet.

I understand that some may not like laminate, but we just had to go with something other than the carpet which was original to the house. It was some horrible rust color that was long past its prime. We're doing a ton of other remodeling projects throughout the house and felt that this laminate would suffice for a while, and we went with one that at least had a 25 year residential warranty.

I still have to measure everything to find out where the seam is going to end up around the passthrough. I'm kinda hoping the seam ends up at least more than halfway through the opening, then I should just have to notch the first board as it meets up on the dining room side. As well as on the other side of the opening in the same run.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:37 PM   #6
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


Depending on how your measurments come out you may only have to undercut the trim on the pass through,easier than having to notch.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


Thanks Canarywood1. Fortunately, I just put the wall in and haven't trimmed out the passthrough yet? In fact, I recently re-drywalled the living room and will wait to put the baseboards and quarter-round in after I put the floor down. The dining room is in the process of being re-drywalled as well. So I'll have a fresh start with everything, including painting, when I'm ready to put the flooring down...hopefully next week.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:33 PM   #8
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


The passthrough is not an issue. You only need a transition when any one dimention is greater than 30 or 40 feet, all products are different, it should tell you on the instructions. Rule #1 read the instructions.
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:36 PM   #9
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


Some laminates require a T molding every 25-35 '. Read up on the one you are using.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:40 AM   #10
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


Thanks, guys. I read the little cover sheet that was provided with the box and it really didn't specify anything regarding the t-molding. The only thing they really mentioned was the importance of keeping a 1/4" gap around the perimeter. The directions pretty much assume the installer is only doing a single, basic room. I got a copy of the Black & Decker Flooring book and some other materials, and watch a number of videos, but haven't really found anything that addresses my particular issue.

To me, it looks like it should be pretty easy to continue through the passthrough without the need for the t-molding. I guess if it comes to it, I can lay the floor up to that point and see how it's going. Then, if it appears that I'll need to split the floor in the middle of the passthrough for whatever reason, I can lay in a strip at that point and then continue on. I just really don't want to have that small molding there if it's not absolutely necessary.

Thanks again for all the help everyone.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:08 AM   #11
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


Carry on then, just make sure to maintain that 1/4" gap around the perimeter, especially around the passthrough, if one piece is tight at that point it will act like a hinge and open a seam or perhaps cause the floor to buckle.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:19 PM   #12
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
Some laminates require a T molding every 25-35 '. Read up on the one you are using.
I agree with Rusty.

I installed Pergo on the second floor of my house. There was a continuous run from side to the other through a couple of doorways and a hallway, total distance was about 36'... in winter there was no issue... in the summer however, the laminate would buckle in front of one of the doorways--the planks were lifting themselves about 1/2" or so.

My solution was to cut the laminate at the nearest door frame and install a T-moulding which has solved the problem.

BTW, this was not an issue of insufficient perimeter cut around anything... it was more like there was just too much friction along the entire run of laminate for the gaps at either side of the house to be useful when there was expansion in the center... the fact that it was weighted down with furniture probably does not help either...
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Last edited by bubbler; 06-04-2013 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:55 PM   #13
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


The longer the run of the laminate, the more expansion and contraction it has. So 1/4" around the walls may not be enough. Some laminates need the T mold to allow more space in the middle of the run.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:54 AM   #14
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


Bubble, so it wasn't too difficult to cut in the t-strip afterwards?

I reread the install sheet that came with the package. It really doesn't provide too much in the way of detailed instructions. I did see that it says:

"Rooms measuring wider or longer that 30 ft (9m) require the use of T-moldings to allow for normal expansion and contraction of the floor."

My two rooms, in the L-shape that they are, have runs of 21' in one direction and 25'10" going across both room through the passthrough. So I should be safe? I think I was more or loss worried about what is considered "proper" when dealing with two rooms conjoined like this. I guess we shall see.

Another question. The install sheet said nothing at all about ripping the first run lengthwise to remove the tongue side. The Black & Decker book did provide a little more info and said that this needed to be done after measuring across the room to ensure a sufficient size board on the passthrough side.

Finally, the install sheet only recommended starting the 2nd run with a 12" or longer board. The book and some videos suggest starting the 2nd run with a board 2/3 the normal length, and the 3rd run with a board 1/3 the normal length. This is to ensure consistent spacing of the end seams. Does this sound like the better way to do it? I'm kinda thinking yes.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:13 AM   #15
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Conjoined Rooms - T-Strip Required for Continued Laminate?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lohryx5 View Post
Bubble, so it wasn't too difficult to cut in the t-strip afterwards?
I didn't say that

It wasn't terrible, but I wish it had been done at install time... I used a circular saw with a carefully set depth to rip most of the way... then I ended up using a sharp chisel to gouge out the rest where the saw could not hit. I did NOT read the instructions for installation of the T-strip so I did it wrong... I thought the entire center of the T strip plunked into the middle of the metal strip... NOPE... the center of the T strip has a slice in the middle, that slice is supposed to sit on the edge of the metal strip... so long story short I ended up damaging the T-strip and just used liquid nails and a couple of pneumatic brads at either end of the T-strip along with some similarly colored wood putty.

You are MUCH better off cutting for the T-strip during install then after install in my opinion... but if you really want to see if you need it, then it is not horrible to cut after the fact.

In my case the T-strip is at a doorway, it looks like a little threshold and isn't obtrusive... in your case I think your narrowest spot is much wider right? In that case I'd be more inclined to NOT want the T-strip, but I also think it will be that much harder to cut a nice straight set of lines to retrofitting afterwards (before placing the planks you can rip them on your table saw with a laminate blade... nice clean & straight rips... using circular saw later? not so much...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lohryx5 View Post
I reread the install sheet that came with the package. It really doesn't provide too much in the way of detailed instructions. I did see that it says:

"Rooms measuring wider or longer that 30 ft (9m) require the use of T-moldings to allow for normal expansion and contraction of the floor."

My two rooms, in the L-shape that they are, have runs of 21' in one direction and 25'10" going across both room through the passthrough. So I should be safe? I think I was more or loss worried about what is considered "proper" when dealing with two rooms conjoined like this. I guess we shall see.
As I said, my space is about 35+ feet across, so it's more... but I don't know, maybe 25' would still have buckled. It might also have to do with furniture placement and the coefficient of drag on the floor under the laminate......

Quote:
Originally Posted by lohryx5 View Post
Another question. The install sheet said nothing at all about ripping the first run lengthwise to remove the tongue side. The Black & Decker book did provide a little more info and said that this needed to be done after measuring across the room to ensure a sufficient size board on the passthrough side.

Finally, the install sheet only recommended starting the 2nd run with a 12" or longer board. The book and some videos suggest starting the 2nd run with a board 2/3 the normal length, and the 3rd run with a board 1/3 the normal length. This is to ensure consistent spacing of the end seams. Does this sound like the better way to do it? I'm kinda thinking yes.
Just like tiling, you need to be sure that you don't have a tiny start/end piece... You want to try to have as close to "half a board" or more on each side as possible.

The second comment you have about staggering the end seams, the book method is probably going to get you a cleaner looking install? I just did the chop every other row in half method... it looks good to me and I don't notice any pattern to the seams unless I'm really looking.

BTW, I'd suggest investing in blades designed for laminate for your chop and table saws.

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