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Old 07-24-2008, 05:04 PM   #1
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Laminate wood floor layout questions

Project: putting in laminate wood flooring in my house (2-stories house)

I has never done wood flooring before so I need help and guidance from the knowledgeable out there. So far I have done basic research on doing this, from Internet, from Home Depot’s Flooring 1-2-3 book. Most basic stuff are covered but I still have some general and specific questions.

General questions:

1. Since all the rooms, halls, foyer area are interconnected, what is the proper layout? Do I try to make them one continous floating floor, or do I separate them into independent zone and connect the floors with T-molding strips ?

2. Closet layout: most closets are long rectangular shape. What is the proper way to layout the plank: along the length of closet, or I would image along the width is much easier, since you just cut a bunch of same size plank ?

3. Stair treatment: do I use the same laminate wood plank, or should I get something better such as engineering wood just for the stair? There is not much info on how to do the stair out there.

4. Is there a proper sequence to do the flooring, ie the rooms first, then hall ways, or foyer first, then hall, etc…. ?

Specific questions to the floorplan of my house (please see accompanying images)


The image shows a door way connecting 2 rooms (master bedroom and retreat). If I have to do the rooms seperately and connecting them with T-molding, where should the conjunction be: line A, B, or C ?


How should I do the layout with such closet ? Do I remove the closet door rail, layout the laminate floor with the room and closet as one single area, then put back the closet door rail on top of the wood plank ? Or do I do the room and closet seperately and use some kind of molding along the closet door rail ?


This closet is a bit different. There is no rail, just a small guide holding the closet doors. Obviously in this situation I have to treat the room and closet as one single area. But when I put back the close door, how do I install the closet door guide ?


The 2 bedrooms at the end of the hallway. Their doors open to the hallway at a 45 degree angle. I am not sure what is the right way to do these rooms and the hallway. I have 2 options: (a) layout the rooms, then stop at the door threshold (at that angle). Then layout the hallway and use T-molding to connect the hallway with the rooms. (b) Layout the rooms and continue to the hallway as one single area. It would look nice but I image it’s very hard for the wood plan layout in the rooms to merge together at the hallway as one continous area. What is your suggestion?


The image shows the living room, the foyer, a small hallway (with door to garage on the left, door to closet on the right), and a bedroom as interconnected area. What is the best layout here ? Layout each zone independtly and connect them with T-molding ? Merge the hallway with the foyer into one continous area ? Please give me your suggestion.


The image shows the living room and family room connected via a small transition area. The rooms are divived by a thick wall/counter. I have no idea how to layout this area. If I started from the side wall (right side of images) toward the left side, I am afraid that the living and family section won’t match when they meet at the transition area. The seemingly logical way is to start from the left toward the right. However if I started on the left, I have the side wall in the living room to start from, but in the family section, there is none, just a tile floor. What is the best way to do this ?


Around the fireplace in the family room. In front of the fireplace is a raised platform, tiled with ceramic or porcelain tiles. What is the proper molding for this ? Use quarter-round base and glue it to the tiles ? Or is there other way ?

I know that is a lot of questions to ask. I won’t be comfortable to start this project until I have all the answers to help me with advanced planning. Any hint, tip, trick, suggestion, guidance you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Sacramento, California

Last edited by nathan.tran; 07-25-2008 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:09 PM   #2
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Sorry for the messed-up images URL links in my post. I have fixed them. -- Nathan
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Old 08-16-2008, 03:05 PM   #3
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did you get your answers? I sure would love to hear replies.
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:35 AM   #4
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Fellow DIY'er

Great post, fantastic use of Digital images to illustrate. Using the photos as a guide it looks like maybe your hallway and family/living rooms run parallel. They also seem to run your longest measurements.

1. Plan your floors to be one big floor. In your picture with line markers 'A, B, & C' ... if both sides of the doorway are new laminate, install them together as one piece not separately. If one side is carpet and the other is laminate, the T should be placed under the door as much as possible. So, if Line 'C' is carpet, the T would be on 'B' closer to 'C'. Assuming the door hangs between 'B & C' when closed.

2. Closets - Include it in the installation of the room (project), it will require notches cut to fit in framing areas. I would remove the track and door (shown in photo), lay down the floor, and find a moulding or decorative wood spacer to reclaim the height lost by removing the carpet and pad. If no spacer is needed, then screw the track into the new laminate. note: if you live where there is concrete instead of sub-floor underneath your laminate, then you will want to pre-drill and use concrete screws.

3. Stairs - I do not recommend laminate for your stairs. The surface area is far too small to keep pieces in place. In this case, wood is your friend. Remember, I'm a DIY'er not a professional. I would think laminate on stairs would be an enormous headache.

4. Layout - This is my opinion... floors running with the longest (overall) measurements look the best. In your photos it looks like the direction of the laminate grain would always stay the same. I would start in (picture floor4.jpg) the family room far corner. I would run the laminate grain along the right wall, finishing a row along the wall then build toward the transition. Once that point is reached the living room will need to be started (near lamp I assume) and then the two areas will be joined with the boards crossing the transition.

This will also help in the angle cuts it looks like you'll need to make in finishing this section along your foyer.

I would continue this direction with your hallway.
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:56 PM   #5
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My two cents

Lose the floor guides for the closets the doors will still work with them.
They will look very unattractive with the new floor.

The glass door track , never and I say never secure any laminate to the subfloor. it will void you warranty and impede expansion, this inturn will lead to floor failure. You will need what they call endcaps for this track area or you can rip a T-mold in half and make your own endcaps on the table saw you will need to do the job.

You must allow at least 1/4 expansion on all your edges.

Plan to install some 3/4 rd to hide the gap

Laminate is a floating float and it means just that: "Floating" This means it cannot be secured or bound in any way shape or form to any existing area other than itself.

I do agree, your presentation is very well done.
Stay with the length of your longest room for your layout no need for transitions unless you have a floor level difference or your floor longest area exceeds 28-30 ft in length. some laminates you can go up to 40 ft.
You will need transitions at all your break points, tile, carpet ect.

All your stopping (break) points should be under the center of the "Doorswing" (not the door casing) so in thoery you will not see carpet from the wood side nor wood from the carpet side ,this is proper procedure. So it would fall between B-C Chances are you will encounter a seam in this same local in your carpeted areas.

It is hard to say where to start without seeing the whole layout.
Your best bet is test the floor to see wich way it cliks together the easiest then keep the largest part of the job going in that manner.
if you are going to fight the floor kep it to the least amount.

Doorways: work away from your door ways as much as possible it will make your life easier.
Undercut all the doors !!! I cannot stress that enough, limit your transitions.
If you have not chose your floor yet avoid the boxstores and purchase some Wilsonart Laminate it is the highest density laminate on the market, I just loaded a whole line of it on my website and I have it in my house.
Tarket, Bruce and Armstrong all have good laminate but spend a little more and get the good stuff.
If you do not shop on the internet, that Mom & Pop shop down on the corner will treat you better than the box stores. The will not offer freebies or charge you for extended warranties but they will fillyou with all the proper info to get your job done.
If you shop on the net we can walk you through it here or you can stop be and see me.

Whatever you do: Follow all manufacture advise instll procedures this will include plastic over the concrete, acclimation etc.
Good Luck!
Schluters Kerdi Shower System, Ditra. Loxcreens ProVa Mat Shower Systems
Konecto Luxury Vinyl Plank,Armstrong and Hardwood flooring.
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