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I recently purchase Pergo MAX Handscraped Dawson Hickory flooring. I will be installing it very soon. The instructions say to leave a 3/8" space around the perimeter of the floor for expansion. This is no problem on 3 of the walls in this room. However, the 4th wall is a fireplace with a raised stone hearth running the full length of the wall (about 15 feet). It is somewhat uneven, being stone. I intend to run the flooring perpendicular to this hearth.

How should I handle the 3/8" requirement along this hearth? Obviously, a visible gap would be unacceptable. Molding is not a good solution since the stone is not uniform. Could I scribe the flooring and cut it to fit tightly against the hearth and compensate for the loss of the 3/8" by doubling the space to 3/4" at the opposite end of the room (about 21 feet)? I could cover the larger gap with molding.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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About the best you can expect using the inferior laminate over engineered or real wood flooring is to scribe in a transition strip or using color matched caulking.
 

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About the best you can expect using the inferior laminate over engineered or real wood flooring is to scribe in a transition strip or using color matched caulking.
Well I can see how you feel, lol.

My wife and I actually went out looking for a prefinished wood floor and the more we looked, the more we liked the laminate, but that's a long story. We have a large dog and I was fearful of how the real wood would get along with his large claws. Others with dogs tell me that laminate fares well with them. We'll see how it works out.

Thanks for the reply. I like your transition strip idea. Caulk would be a distasteful last resort.
 

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Don't downplay the caulk suggestion. It is commonly used when settings tile at changes in plane, transition from tile to hardwood, etc. color matched caulk remains flexible and is very durable. Don't confuse the good stuff with the basic dap acrylic model! Ron
 

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How about getting enough 1X4 OAK to span the length next to the stone, scribe a line to fit it against the stone, Thus filling the gap and leaving you with a nice straight edge to space your laminate off of. Then fill the gap with a plastic trim piece that sticks down in the gap loosely, and rounds out the top side. to prevent the trip hazard in the transition from laminate to oak spacer.

ED
 

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How much variation is the stone front? Is it enough you could get a transition piece, like one used between the laminate and tile floors, and scribe the one side to match the stone front but still allow the other side to have a small gap under the transition strip?

Is the flooring perpendicular to the fireplace? You could take one strip of laminate and run it parallel to the fireplace, scribe it in close to the brick, then use a transition strip for the perpendicular flooring. It would sort of frame out around the fireplace and might add some interest. Hard to say without a picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
One of my original questions was:
Could I scribe the flooring and cut it to fit tightly against the hearth and compensate for the loss of the 3/8" by doubling the space to 3/4" at the opposite end of the room (about 21 feet)? This would be my preference, but only if it will safely allow expansion.

I should have put pictures up in the beginning. There are a couple at the bottom of this post.


The first (obviously) is an overall view. The second is closeup with a 12" scale for size reference. I laid a couple of the laminate boards next to the stone as a straight edge so the variation is apparent. By the way- I intend to repair the mortar where it is crumbling before anything else. I would estimate the variation is up to 3/4" to possibly 1". The white on the floor is sealant and the wood to the right is where I replaced the underlayment.

Don't downplay the caulk suggestion. It is commonly used when settings tile at changes in plane, transition from tile to hardwood, etc. color matched caulk remains flexible and is very durable. Don't confuse the good stuff with the basic dap acrylic model! Ron
Please tell me... what brands and types do you consider "the good stuff"? I am pretty good with a caulk gun and I will consider your idea.

How about getting enough 1X4 OAK to span the length next to the stone, scribe a line to fit it against the stone, Thus filling the gap and leaving you with a nice straight edge to space your laminate off of. Then fill the gap with a plastic trim piece that sticks down in the gap loosely, and rounds out the top side. to prevent the trip hazard in the transition from laminate to oak spacer.

ED
Hmmm... it would be so close to the hearth that I am not concerned about a trip hazard. You gave me an idea- a variation of your suggestion: The laminate is a tad over 5/16" thick. I could rip down a piece of pine to that thickness and say about 1-1/4" wide (just a bit larger than my variation). I can scribe it to fit snugly and tack it into place. Then I can lay the floor to within 3/8" of this board. The I can scribe and attach a second board about 1/4" thick x 2" wide on top of it. The second board would overlap the laminate by about 1/4". With the exposed top edge rounded and the finished to match, it should look good. I may have described your idea in different words.
Most pros would undercut the stone.
I am not a pro (obviously). However, I don't think I would allow that. I would be worried about the stone being damaged.

How much variation is the stone front? Is it enough you could get a transition piece, like one used between the laminate and tile floors, and scribe the one side to match the stone front but still allow the other side to have a small gap under the transition strip?

Is the flooring perpendicular to the fireplace? You could take one strip of laminate and run it parallel to the fireplace, scribe it in close to the brick, then use a transition strip for the perpendicular flooring. It would sort of frame out around the fireplace and might add some interest. Hard to say without a picture.
Variation is about 3/4" to 1". I purchased 2 transition strips for my doorways. They come in only one length- about 78-3/4". The flooring will be perpendicular to the fireplace. The transition strips are about 2" wide. I believe this would be a workable and maybe even the best solution.

Below are the pictures.



Thank you everyone for your excellent ideas! You have give me some ideas to ponder.
 

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The funny thing about floors is they never seem to expand and contract where you want them to. I would really try and leave a gap near the fireplace somehow. I think your easiest way would be to get a couple more transition type strips and scribe the one end up to the brick and put the floor under the strip with the gap you need.
 

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Glad that I was able to start the thought process in a good direction. :)

That is going to make a GREAT man-cave, or a Mom-cave, whichever is more appropriate.

:thumbsup::thumbsup:

ed
 

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Re the color matched caulk deal, TEC is a good product and should have a color that matches up closely with what was used to set the stone. I have it in a high traffic area of my house, oak to tile transition, 15 years and going strong. Ron
 

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I8..... Wow ... this was a good/great thread..... smart and good ideas from everybody.... and a smart articulate OP....

Sorry, can't add a thing... Matter of fact, this is the only post off thread..... but I had to compliment it....:yes:
 
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