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Old 09-13-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
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Who you calling short?


So I'm about to begin a laminate floating floor installation downstairs and I'm stuck on where/how to start. I've included pictures. If I work from left to right as recommend I'm going to start in that little area at the bottom of the stairs. Is that ok in terms of the floor holding correctly? And also visually? I have a few things I have to play with in terms of board width because of the fireplace you can see in one of the pictures, and also the last row of boards in the actul room...I don't want either of those to be overly thin. So I figured to do this the first board has to be 5" wide. Anyhow, can I just start laying from left to right here or should I be approaching this differently?
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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Who you calling short?


It looks like the is on concrete. You can run the floor ethier direction. But, you should start on the longest wall. If you start at the steps the wall is short and if it is not straight with the opposite wall your longer wall will be out of square.

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Old 09-13-2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. The problem is I dont really have a long wall since the fireplace breaks up the wall opposite the "left" side as you come down the stairs. The other option is for me to run it in the opposite direction but that means I'll be running the boards "widthwise" across the room "not lengthwise" (the room is 16x12)
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:44 PM   #4
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Who you calling short?


I think I would begin with a full slat at the base of the hearth striking a straight line across the entire room at that point. Then move towards the stairs. Then go back and fill either side of the hearth.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:55 PM   #5
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Who you calling short?


Based on my experience with laminate hardwood flooring, and if this was my basement, I think I'd start at what is the "top left" corner of the top picture (corner immediately to the right of the dehumidifier). That will allow you to cut each piece width-wise instead of length-wise, up along the hearth.

What is going on along the "other" wall - the one you're standing against while taking the picture? Is that a longer, straight wall?
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:06 PM   #6
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Who you calling short?


Here's my thinking!

Flooring has a visual impact. The focal point as you enter the room is going to be the fireplace. That is where a persons eye will first be drawn. You also want to start at the longest line possible to maintain a straight-looking installation. What happens at the walls is unfortunately a take-what-you-get situation.

If you begin in a small pocket somewhere you can easily get off course quickly with little opportunity to go back.

What are/will the stairs be covered with?
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:13 PM   #7
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Here's my thinking!

Flooring has a visual impact. The focal point as you enter the room is going to be the fireplace. That is where a persons eye will first be drawn. You also want to start at the longest line possible to maintain a straight-looking installation. What happens at the walls is unfortunately a take-what-you-get situation.

If you begin in a small pocket somewhere you can easily get off course quickly with little opportunity to go back.

What are/will the stairs be covered with?
Right. And I'd definitely agree that he should start along the hearth, EXCEPT THAT it isn't the whole wall - and it's going to be a little dicey going "back up" on what would be the right side of the hearth.

It might be doable, depending on how the laminate locks together.


Also, to KC45... With this kind of room, including the "nook" at the bottom of the steps, this is going to be a tough install that includes some pretty difficult cutting. I hope you bought a little extra laminate, because if you're like me, you're going to screw up several pieces before you get it right. And be patient.

Good luck!

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Old 09-13-2011, 06:20 PM   #8
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it's going to be a little dicey going "back up" on what would be the right side of the hearth.
Why is it? What am I missing?
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:24 PM   #9
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Why is it? What am I missing?
My personal experience is because of the way the laminate pieces snap together. It's not like old T&G boards, where they just slide together. Because of the way laminates "snap" together, the "tongue" part has to go into the "groove" part at about a 30-45 degree angle, then laid flat.

I'm probably describing that horribly, and in a way that makes no sense. So if I'm not making myself clear, just shut up and go to the State Fair or something...
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:32 PM   #10
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You both make good points. I'm not sure how backing up would be since I've never tried it. there is only a fairly small area to back into though...the other side of the hearth is actually a closet that I won't be laying flooring in.
I am going to be using a trim piece along the hearth to allow for the 1/4" expansion gap without seeing it so technically I'd be starting the flooring along the track for that trim piece.
I'm inclined to maybe try the hearth approach because I know the other walls are a bit out of whack. It's a long story but there is a "waterguard" drain tile lip installed up against the walls. This means they are definitely not straight edges to build off of. BUT the question is, will backing up be tricky or is it impossible to do with a tongue and groove laminate? I am using Armstrong Swiftlock flooring for what it's worth...

Thanks for all your help so far.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:35 PM   #11
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You both make good points. I'm not sure how backing up would be since I've never tried it. there is only a fairly small area to back into though...the other side of the hearth is actually a closet that I won't be laying flooring in.
I am going to be using a trim piece along the hearth to allow for the 1/4" expansion gap without seeing it so technically I'd be starting the flooring along the track for that trim piece.
I'm inclined to maybe try the hearth approach because I know the other walls are a bit out of whack. It's a long story but there is a "waterguard" drain tile lip installed up against the walls. This means they are definitely not straight edges to build off of. BUT the question is, will backing up be tricky or is it impossible to do with a tongue and groove laminate? I am using Armstrong Swiftlock flooring for what it's worth...

Thanks for all your help so far.
The "last" piece just has to be measured for and cut carefully. But keep in mind that there's a good reason why a lot of us install base trim AND quarter round after we're done!
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:51 PM   #12
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Who you calling short?


Armstrong swiftlock is easy to work with and you can work backwards with no problems. Practice in the middle of the floor with a couple of peices first. Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:53 PM   #13
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Who you calling short?


I just don't see a problem. I haven't seen a product yet that couldn't be worked in reverse if need be.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:01 PM   #14
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Who you calling short?


Thanks a lot guys for your help. I think I'm going to try that. My head is going to explode making sure i dont have overly skinny boards against the wall near the dehumidifier and then again in the nook at the bottom of the stairs.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
My head is going to explode making sure i dont have overly skinny boards against the wall near the dehumidifier and then again in the nook at the bottom of the stairs.
I can appreciate that desire but things don't always work out like we like them to.

Get out your calculator and figure it out. I can tell you it won't work out like you figured it but it's fun trying to be precise.

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