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Flooring and Carpeting/direction for laminate

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QUESTION: I have purchased some laminate, select surfaces from sams club.color canyon oak.14.3 mm with a backer included. They are 7 inches wide and 4 feet long.

my living room and dining room are one big room total appr 400 sq feet where i will do the installation.

My question is which way should i lay the laminate?

The way the light enters this room is east to west. the dining room is 8 by 18 and the living room is 21 by 19. I've read lay it perpendicular to the wall with the light source.
Any suggestion is appreciated

Thanks

ANSWER: Hi Ed,

The old days when glue was used to bind the laminate, it had a tendency to swell the seams making them show more in the cross light of the sunny window. That's not an issue today with the self locking mechanism.

In the early years we never worried about the light coming in the window(s). And later we scoffed when that started to show up in the so called instructions, was obviously a development that came later as Pergo and other laminates became more popular.

What I do and have always done is to enhance the length of the rooms thus making them look larger. If you run the wood the short way it tends to shrink the room, especially if it is already small.

Now you gave me the dimensions, ty, but I have no way to visualize the connection of the rooms and if the directions are paralleled or perpendicular to one another.

If I assume that the living room of 21 feet and the dining room of 18 flow in one unified direction that would be 39 feet and the "length" of the room. I would lay the material in that direction.

However if the customer has ideas of their own I only offer suggestions and options. You are the customer and you have to enjoy the room long after I / the installer, has departed.


Window light be darned, enhance the room and visual aspect of the products the floor and decor/furn.

For example if your dining room table is an elegant piece which sits 8-10 or more you may want the length to be pronounced in that room thus that will determine the direction of the living room.

Since your living room is almost square, any direction will be attractive as long as you are satisfied with the overall installation.

That's my 2 cents,

Chris


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the feedback.Now that i am started i was wondering how to handle the place in front of my sliding glass doors.I have a picture link for you to see.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/49120640@N06/8740835708/in/photostream

those pieces of wood are not flush with the concrete. I have removed one of them so you can see the 3 inch wide and 2 inch deep space between the concrete and sliding glass doors

Thanks Again for your very detailed previous response!

ANSWER: Ed,

How are you,

Ok we typically fill those areas with a quick drying floor patch. Here are some brands I prefer sold at Lowes and THD.

1 bag of this stuff is about 15.00... 10 lbs...probably more than you need? But this is a good deal.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_3147-1295-0080010_0__

Get a couple of small containers (1 gallon buckets in the paint section)for rinse water and for mixing. Use a 6" drywall knife and fill the void 1/2 - 3/4 full in the first pass. On the second pass finish nicely and flush with the concrete slab. You can be a little low ...just don't be high.

Add water to the bucket first ..then powder.

Mix with water to make a cake batter consistency. Use any device you have to mix smooth and creamy. If you like it wetter and flowing easier just add a bit more water.

Clean the tools and bucket ASAP so it doesn't dry and contaminate the next batch.

If the patch dries to fast add a bit more water and stir. The finished dry product can be smoothed off with a damp towel , so ridges and imperfections disappear. Very user friendly.

Mix small batches at a time until you are used to it. It dries in about 20 - 40 minutes depending on how thick the fill is. You can use a fan to speed things up. Once it is hard to the touch you can lay the floor...usually no more than 2 hrs.

Here's a couple more products...same results/ methods.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Henry-549-FeatherFinish-Patch-and-Skimcoat-12163/1005
According to what I read Henry's bought Ardex ...but the older labels look like this.
http://www.installertools.com/cgi-bin/INTstore.pl?user_action=detail&catalogno=A

Then Henry's also has a couple more.
http://www.wwhenry.com/content.aspx?id=127&View=Product&cID=83&pID=145

that should do you well....

Let me know if you need any other assistance.

Chris




---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thanks again for the great and detailed response.
the frame to the sliding glass doors is about one eigth lower than the slabe so it might
be a liitle lower than the slabe. is that ok?

Is it ok to leave the moulding on the  wall then just using a quarter round after installation or do you recommend removing the moulding on the wall before install? the manufacturer recommended a three eigth gap

Thanks again!

Answer
Hi Ed,

Ok so let me get this right. The frame is metal and the bottom threshold is metal and it sits below the slab slightly. That's weird usually it is installed on top of the slab, allowing you to butt a "baby threshold" or "Carpet stop edge" finish piece. Both of these are laminate wood trim pieces that stop when pushed against the door frame.

I went back and looked at your picture again. I see you have the edge stop ready to go.

Ok here's what I am thinking, make the floor level and smooth with the patch. Lay a piece of wood and underlayment down and a small scrap of end cap. Test the over all fit and finish by sliding the scrap end cap the width of the door opening. Take note of any odd notches you might need to make.

As you know a small gap is needed for expansion 1/4" is fine. But the end cap will need to be attached to something and cheating is allowed for the length of 6 feet , no big deal. Make it tight as possible while still allowing the cap to just drop in place easily, yet fully supported by the floor underneath the decorative lip.

Test and fit to be sure you like it. Cut the underlayment back so the adhesive you use will contact the slab / patch. In this case i use liquid nails (10 oz) cartridge and cheap caulk gun. Use as much adhesive as you need to really make a nice bed for the end cap to sink into. Just before you place the end cap down , under the lip , apply a clear latex silicon made by ALEX PLUS (2.99) Press into place and tidy up any excess. Tape down the lip to the floor with BLUE PAINTERS tape. Allow that to set over night taped in place.

The wood floor is not going to bend down. It will determine the height and finish of the end cap and what happens at the sliding door is gonna happen. Unless you are prepared to get a new door?

After the floor and end cap are finished,dried,cleaned, you can add the Alex Plus as needed to make a water proof seal at the finished edge of the end cap and sliding door.

Yes on the base shoe and gap can be 1/4" all day long. The thickness of the wood cut into small pieces make great spacers. What do you have ? 7mm ? 8mm? 10mm? That's plenty of gap.

Rule of thumb has been, gap as thick as the wood. Laminate doesn't expand like real wood. If it gets wet you need to replace it. It wont magically contract back to normal.

OK, shout back if you need anything.

Chris  

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Chris

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20+ years flooring installation ...carpet,wood,tile and vinyl. Residential and commercial. I do not sell the products , just install what ever the shop / customer has purchased. I actually love seeing the finished project completed and it gives me great satisfaction to help others acheive that goal. If I don't know the answer I will say so, and then I will recommend another expert for you. I may even research the subject and answer to the best of my ability ...including links to my sources. I wish you all success Chris

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20 years as an independant contractor

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H.S. diploma A.S. agriculture Mt San Antonio JR. College

Past/Present Clients
Gene Bonas and Kevin Churnock Inc. Sheward&Son&Sons Century 21 Forte Const. Famous Footwear BOSE Corporation Homebodies General Contractor Perry Floors, Tri Cord Flooring T.J.'S Supplies

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