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Casey 08-15-2005 02:29 PM

Perfectly straight line
What is the best way to obtain a perfectly straight line on my floor? I purchased a strait-line laser, which shows a straight line to any end point I choose, but how do I ensure my end point is perfectly straight from my beginning point? One end of the room has an exterior wall and an interior wall. The other end has the same interior wall (no guarentee of being plumb at 20 years old) and continues into another room.

I have put down three rows of flooring now and apparently my line is a little off at one of the ends. Suggestions on removing the floor boards will be greatly appreciated as well!


Floorwizard 08-15-2005 02:47 PM

Which floor did you buy?

A chalk line would be another tool that may work good for you.

Casey 08-15-2005 03:07 PM

Thanks. Bruce flooring by Armstrong, 3/4" thick hardwood.

I run into the same question with a chalk line. How do I ensure the beginning and end points are in line with each other? It seems like such a silly question but it is critical to the installation. Thanks again.

pipeguy 08-15-2005 04:53 PM

Light won't bend across the distances you're talking about. A line along a laser beam is straight - period.

Sportbilly 08-15-2005 05:49 PM

Not sure what you're asking either, I'm assuming that you're approaching the opposite wall faster on one end than on the other so basic questions first, is the room square?

Have you measured all four walls (or extrapolated where the corners would be if it's not a regular rectangle) and then checked that the diagonals are equal?

Casey 08-15-2005 06:16 PM

Light won't bend and the laser will provide a straight line, but that doesn't mean the location I am pointing to from 15' is in line and straight from my starting point. I seem to be between 1/8" and 1/4 inch off on the other side of the room.

The only square corner I have is the corner where the two external walls meet. The interior walls are not even close to being square. I started the rows from the interior wall because that is the area one will see first. I wanted to reduce as much cutting and fitting as possible in that area. Would I be better off starting from the exterior walls since they are square?

Thanks for all the responses.

jproffer 08-15-2005 07:39 PM

If you don't gain too much more the trim will cover the gap. If you do you may have to use a table saw on the last pieces.

Teetorbilt 08-15-2005 10:08 PM

I usually measure to the center of 'dominant' room. In my case, this would be the entry/living room, the space carries over into the dining area and then into the florida room. Try it with a string line, if it doesn't look right, adjust it.
Moden homes can be off by inches. Don't use cheap lasers, a good one should run about $600. The cheapies are only good for a couple of yards, if that.

JustaFramer 08-16-2005 02:51 PM


Originally Posted by Teetorbilt
Moden homes can be off by inches. Don't use cheap lasers, a good one should run about $600. The cheapies are only good for a couple of yards, if that.

I think Teetor may be off on the price because the have come down in price. But still expect to pay 300-400 hundred for a good one. If you don't want to spend that just make sure the laser isn't very hot and has fresh batteries. Even expensive top of the line lasers wander when the battery goes low.

plumguy 08-16-2005 03:45 PM

I have'nt graduated to laser yet! I still have about 1/2 gallon of chaulk I need to use !! But, I usually use my framing square against the wall and then that guides my chaulkline in a staight path to the opposite wall!!

Teetorbilt 08-18-2005 11:40 PM

Plum, a string still works great and I use it most of the time along with water levels. Lasers still degrade too much over distance for my work, if +/- 1/4" is good enough for what you do, go for it.

Your problem is not the device but the builder. I have seen walls out by as much a 4" in less than 20'! Nobody cares anymore! Get-er-done!

IceT 03-20-2011 04:48 PM

nothing is perfect

danrb007 03-20-2011 06:51 PM

I think maybe what Casey is asking is if the line is square to the walls. I would do two things, measure from the parallel wall at each end of the line. The second thing is to check for square. I use the 3', 4', 5' rule to check square. What I have always done when laying tile or flooring is measure from corner to corner (no matter what shape the room is) to find the center. Then I make a T line across that center point parallel to the walls. I check my 2 lines are square with each other. then I have a center point and I can run the flooring or tile in either direction depending on what looks better.

daltinator 04-05-2011 10:18 PM

Straight Line
I was wondering the same thing. It is so funny to see that people do not know what you are asking. Ya it is a straight line, but you can put that line at any angle and you will be off at the end point. So if you had a straight line using chalk or a laser level without a great reference then you can be 1 degree tilted with your straight line and be off more at the end point. I am coming to the conclusion that there are no true lines like you are asking. You need a perfect reference point. But what is a perfect reference. The equator? :laughing: So just try to allow the smallest gap possible. Like Ice T said nothing is perfect.

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