Laminate Flooring question

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I am finishing my basement, and want to put laminate flooring in 2 large rooms (kitchen and family room.
These rooms are separated by an 8 foot open archway.. as indicated by the link below.
The question is, Can the 2 rooms be laid continuously. or do I have to put a transition between the 2 rooms ? So far Ive got conflicting advice,,
Thanks for any help
Ray
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fhlb9vzy6yzlw05/basement3.JPG
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The reason I was concerned, is that maybe the 2 rooms may be heated slightly differently, so unequal expansion might warp the floor
Ray

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On 9/3/2013 10:31 PM, Ray wrote:

Won't be a problem
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The kitchen is also a potential place for leaks and water damage. Something to consider in the basement project.
Yes you can do this without a transition piece. Start in the kitchen area and cross past the archway (doorway) into the Family room using the same flooring orientation. Continue through the family room. I see no reason the change the orientation of the flooring.
The reason I was concerned, is that maybe the 2 rooms may be heated slightly differently, so unequal expansion might warp the floor
It could be worse with water damage to laminate.
I've seen it happen when a pin nail punctured a pipe after the laminate was in. When the base molding was set in a basement bathroom. The laminate warped from a slow, slow leak of water.
Fixing tongue and groove laminate that warped from water leaks is not an easy task for some folks.
In Actual fact, this area may never be used as a kitchen.... I only show this as a possibility in my drawing. I have put in the plumbing and wiring, but as long as I live here there will be no basement rental. If I get a "failure to Launch from one of my kids, I would just put in a strip of tile along the back of the kitchen.
Ray
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Ray wrote:

You may have already thought of this, but there is a product called Allure TrafficMaster Vinyl Flooring that you may want to check out. Here are a few videos about it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
ΔztVIOwKuo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTH9102E7qk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS9zkbySzNw

The flooring strips are made of all vinyl which means that you don't need to worry about water damage. The strips actually stick to each other along the overlapping edges, rather than clicking together like regular laminate flooring. But, it is a complete floating floor and isn't adhered to the subfloor underneath. I have some samples that I got from a Home Depot demonstration that I attended as part of a recent real estate investor group meeting in my area. It's just a thought in case this option is of any interest to you.
Also, you mentioned that the basement may one day end up being a rental unit or a "failure to launch" space for one of your kids.
You probably already know this too, but for any sleeping area in a below grade space such as your basement, you have to have the proper means of egress directly to the outside from any sleeping area room. That could be a door leading directly from the room itself to the outside, of course. Or, it can be an egress window -- as long as it meets the size, height from the floor to the bottom of the window, etc. egress window requirements.
And, finally, if you are finishing the basement yourself or with contractors, including adding a bathroom and/or kitchen etc., and you later decide to sell your house, the buyers most likely will require proof that there were permits taken out for all of that. The permit issue is your call, and it is certainly the proper way to go, but I wanted to mention it since the lack of a permit often holds up or kills a future home sale.
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On 9/3/2013 6:53 PM, Ray wrote:

A transition is not required. It's a lot more work to lay continuously. You'll be doing a lot more notched planks.
Sacrifice a plank and cut it into 3 inch pieces so you can plan the layout so the tongue of the boards match the opening between the family room and kitchen (starting from the window in the family room).
A Skil laminate saw makes things easier, though a table saw is fine too.
Buy the laminate with the foam pad already attached, and the laminate that uses no glue (floating). Costco's Harmonics is good, though the supplier really gouges for the baseboards and transitions.
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YES
now I bet you would like to know where to put the Center at::::::
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Ray,
I see no reason why you can't make the flooring continuous in both rooms. What's the white area between the fridge and furnace?
Dave M.
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The white area has been eliminated, but the drawing not updated... There used to be a door at the bottom of the stairway. Ray
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Ray wrote:

Not enough information to give you an answer. You don't have the room sizes marked, or brand of laminate. There should be no conflicting advice with the necessary information.
For example: both Mohawk & Pergo state transitions are required over 40'. Think length & width. Whatever brand you go with, follow the instructions.
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On 9/4/2013 10:51 AM, Ron C wrote:

Don't believe the brochures and youtube videos. It's a LOT harder than you think. Not every room is rectangular. They gloss over all the edge issues.
Every constraint you add dramatically increases the difficulty. Some things to think about:
Your rooms probably aren't exactly square.
The perimeter spacing requirements are probably close to the baseboard trim thickness. There's zero margin for error. Measure the board width very carefully. Tiny differences really add up over a large distance.
If it's the stuff that tilts to lock into place, you need to have a place to tilt it. If you try to go thru an opening, you may not be able to tilt it. Even with transitions, I had several situations where I had to lay down 100 square feet or so and slide the whole assembly under a door jamb. When this happens on three sides, it becomes tricky indeed.
There are minimum width and seam offset constraints. If you have a lot of stuff on the floor, which it appears you do, you have to maintain those minimum constraints everywhere simultaneously.
Make detailed, ACCURATE, drawings to make sure you can meet those constraints everywhere. It may be impossible unless you run the boards one way. Pick a pattern that looks nice either direction and with random arrangement of boards.
Even with a rectangular room, You can't just start laying boards. When you get to the other end and are an inch short, what do you do? Do the math first and trim the first course so the last course meets the minimums. You may to trim the first course at an angle to fix any out-of-square issues. Of course, that also impacts where the seams fit into doorways and around fixtures and heater vents, etc. I found that starting at the other end of the room dramatically changed the difficulty of the solution.
Start with that EXACT drawing that shows every seam and cutout. Something as simple as a counter that overhangs and won't let you tilt the board into place can derail your plan.
Take careful note of which end you're gonna cut and whether you can use the other end elsewhere. Your pattern can depend on the length of the leftover board from the previous course. If you just start laying boards, you're gonna waste a LOT.
Don't even think about doing this without a chop-saw and more than one carbide blade. The stuff dulls blades FAST. Do all your sawing outside with eye and breathing protection. The surface material is hard and sharp.
I spent several days with pencil and paper and calculator to come up with a solution that worked. I managed to get all the closets working without seams, but I still have a transition at every room.
Are we having fun yet?
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On 9/4/2013 12:31 PM, mike wrote:

That's what got me when laying laminate at a rental. When I got to one of the far walls I needed like a 1" strip.
The worst part, by far, was stairs.
You may to trim the first course at an angle to

I guess I'm lucky that I never ran into an impossible situation like that. You can tilt the board in on the long end or short end and then bang it into place.

The Skil laminate saw is very useful. I was surprised how fast the blades dulled though.

I used scrap pieces for the closet. They only had a tongue and groove on the long side, but that was okay.
Also, use a flush cut pull saw to undercut molding so you have less jigsaw cuts.
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On 9/4/2013 12:31 PM, mike wrote:

I bought a Skil flooring saw from someone on craigslist <(Amazon.com product link shortened)>. He had two extra new blades. I wondered why he only used the blade that came with the saw, since my laminate dulled the blades pretty fast. The answer was that he installed bamboo flooring, which is very soft (a complaint I heard is that it gets indentations in it very easily). But the laminate, even though the laminate layer is very thin, is also very hard, as you stated. I probably only ripped 15 planks before the blade dulled. Fortunately there's not a great deal of ripping. You really want both a flooring saw (or table saw) plus a chop saw because you don't want to keep changing the orientation of the flooring saw or table saw.
One more tip is to not try to get clever and cut a whole room full of boards at once because the room is certain to vary because the walls aren't straight. Cut boards as you need them even though it's a lot more going back and forth.
I think I prefer the fake wood I have in the bedrooms versus the real wood downstairs. There are no nails to pop up in the fake wood. If a piece is damaged it's not too hard to replace it.
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wrote:

I've found that bamboo is varies a lot. The stuff I had in VT was great. The stuff in the AL house, not so much.

"Hard" doesn't dull blades. Abrasives do. Since bamboo is a grass, it's not very abrasive. Some woods are very abrasive (a lot if silicon in the wood) and laminates will add abrasives to the surface (some bamboo, too, for that matter).

Yep. Three or four courses at once - one end to the other.

If you have nail pops, something wasn't done right, likely the framing is soft.
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On 9/6/2013 7:54 PM, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

lots of laminates now have a silicon coating applied at the factory for hard wearing.
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On Tue, 17 Sep 2013 14:45:09 -0700, chaniarts

That's true (bamboos are the same) but it's not very thick, so not much of a challenge for a carbide blade. Fifteen cuts isn't much for a decent blade. Of course, if it were a steel plywood blade being used for the rips, all bets are off.
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Oren wrote:

I believe you answered your question when you provided the link.
Being I had the privilege of attending Pergo certification many years ago, when Pergo built their factory in Charlotte NC, they stressed this exact condition. I know Mohawk followed suit on their laminates.
Pergo had all their flooring styles layed out in this long hall. Between every style was a transition piece @ 40'.
I know times change with technology, but since both brands have it in their install instructions, I don't believe it's by error.

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Oren wrote:

Ahh yes, my bad. It's an expansion joint every 40'. Normal people cover these with a transition or T molding. Sorry I misled you by thinking there must be the T molding.
I guess the OP could leave a gap without a proper decorative trim piece. But, if they were wise, they would follow the manufacturers instructions.
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Oren wrote:

I'm really at a loss at attempting to explain the manufacturers installation instructions, since you even provided the link to Mohawk. Look at #8 under " 10 focus points".
I'm not sure if you want me to explain why the manufacturer wants it installed this way, or to explain about expansion & contraction over large installs.
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Oren wrote:

You said you never heard of such a thing as an expansion joint every 40', but you understand #8. Sorry, I'm totally missing something.
Actually, I'll bet I installed more certified installations than anyone reading newsgroups.
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