I didn't leave the recommended 1/4" gap between the floor and the sill
plate, so now I want to saw it out before installing the base molding. I
need cut about nine feet, so using a flush pull saw would be tedious.
I went to Home Depot and Lowe's looking for a small circular saw blade
(maybe 4 or 5 inches) that I could stick in an electric drill. Neither
store had anything, even in the Dremel section. Any other suggestions?
Is the wall you butted agains drywall? If so, it would be far easier to cut
the drywall and dig out the chalk chips.
You could use an "undercut" saw: Here's an example:
These are available at the box stores.
4.5" circular saw blades ARE available. I have one on a B&D battery-operated
teeny saw. Attaching it to a drill would be tricky, but I bet it could be
with. (But the other 45 feet are properly gapped.) ;-)
of waviness in the wallboard between some of the studs. I'll take care
of that with caulk along the top of the molding.
Thanks for the ideas.
To clarify, I want to go no more than 1/2" in from the wallboard (the
base molding is 3/4" thick). So the gap to the sill plate would be the
thickness of the wallboard, plus the gap I cut. This is more than the
required 1/4" for the laminate, but the practical realities of the
presence of the wallboard must be considered.
I spoke to a Pergo support guy today and he suggested what two of you
did: removing the bottom inch or two of the wallboard where the gap is
missing and rotate that last row up to free it. Worked pretty well,
although some of the grooves were damaged but still usable when I
reinstall the floor after ripping the last row 1/4" narrower.
I had to shorten the wallboard 1.75" above the laminate so the last
planks, which had been ripped down to 3" wide, could clear it. Wider
last planks require shortening the wallboard more; for a 7-5/8 plank to
clear a 5/8" wallboard, the wallboard must be shortened to 3" above the
Of course the bottom row of sheet rock nails were right in line with
where I was going to cut. So I put new screws above them (but still
close enough to the floor so the baseboard molding would cover them),
then gouged around the nails and pulled them out with a vise-grip.
To shorten the wallboard, I used the Irwin model 20014450 dovetail/jamb
saw from Home Depot, about $11. Here's what it looks like:
This solved the gap problem along a 9-foot wall inside a closet. I still
had a problem for about 22 inches along the ends of three rows of
planks. I couldn't use the same trick to remove the planks to shorten
them. I finally came out of my coma and remembered the 4.5" angle
grinder I bought last week to grind high spots in the concrete floor
using a cup grinder. (Most people use that tool with a disc grinder, not
a cup grinder.) So I bought a 4.5" disc grinder designed for masonry (I
thought that would be a better choice than the one for metal). It did
the job, but laminate dulls even a masonry grinder wheel pretty fast. I
ran the wheel through a brick, hoping it would "renew" the face. It
didn't, but the job is finally done anyway.
As someone pointed out, aluminum oxide finishes will dull blades fast.
The Pergo Prestige and American Cottage lines, with their 30-year
warranty, do have the oxide finish. I guess that's why the grinder wheel
clogged/dulled. Someone else suggested renting undercut saws; neither of
the rental places near me had one.
1. Remove the baseboard molding, and align the ends/edges of the
laminate planks with the inside of the wallboard, so the clearance to
the immovable sill plate will be the thickness of the wallboard, which
is well above the recommended 1/4" around the entire perimeter. If you
use the spacers the way the manufacturer recommends, there will be a
problem of how to remove them. If you just eyeball the spaces, pay
particular attention until the first five or so rows are installed.
Before then, the floor can shift if you use one of the installation
tools, even if you are sitting on it. After six or so rows, the weight
of the floor pretty much maintains the previous gaps.
If part of the floor meets an immovable visible edge like a granite
strip under a bathroom door, leave the 1/4" gap and fill it with a
color coordinated sealant that remains flexible.
2. Measure your baseboard molding. My is 2.25" high by 11/16" at the
base. That set the limits on how much you can shorten wallboard and the
maximum gap between the end of a laminate plank and the inside of the
3. Do buy the installation kit. It's absolutely necessary.
Thanks to all for your suggestions/comments.
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