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Install Wood Strip or Laminate Flooring

Step 4: So Your Room Isn't So Simple?

Up to now, we've floored a room without complications. But rooms tend to be connected to other rooms, and that makes matters more difficult. What do you do if the new floor …

  • Meets a carpet? Place some extra padding—or a strip of 14" plywood—under the edge to raise the carpet closer to floor level. Tack down a metal strip to hold the carpet.

  • Meets an existing strip floor? The simplest, but least attractive, solution is to make a straight seam across the doorway. Consider using a plate joiner, a tool that cuts slots for plates that strengthen a joint, to make a strong glue joint between the new and old floors. But if the doorway is visually important—say a wide doorway that connects two rooms—you'll have to work harder. Remove a few boards from the finished floor by sawing down the center with a circular saw. Insert some new boards into the existing floor that are long enough to stretch into the new room. Use them to start the layout for the new room, using the same technique described below.

Building Smarts

To carry a flooring pattern into an adjacent room, nail one or two boards across the transition. Slip a spline into the groove and change direction so the tongues face both directions. Now you can work toward both walls from these starting strips.

If the new floor turns a corner into an alcove or closet, how can you continue the pattern into the smaller room? By using one board from the pattern in the larger room to guide work in the smaller room.

Because this guide board will be in the center of the smaller room, you'll have to change direction so the board has, in effect, tongues on both sides. (You could say it will be speaking out of both sides of its mouth, but the point is that you can work the smaller room from the center toward the walls—opposite from the usual tactic.)

To change direction, place a spline—a ripsawed piece of oak that fits the groove—into a board so it has two tongues.


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Home Improvements © 2004 by David J. Tenenbaum. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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