I'm going to be installing a laminate floor and want to know what I can do
in doorways and closet openings when I do the install. I'll be running the
laminate from one room into the other (and the closet) and I know that I
generally see a "T-Strip" being used in the opening. My closet opening is
roughly 5 ft. wide, if that matters. I don't know what the t-strip does
other than to join two fields of laminate flooring. I know about sawing
jambs/trim and running the laminate underneath that. Is it a must to use
the T-Strip in a doorway installation like that? I had the idea that it
might be cleaner looking and cheaper to not use the T-Strip and just run
the laminate through the door from one room to the other, unbroken, but
don't know if this is can or should be done. I don't want it to look like
a moron did this, so please help me out.
No need to use the T-strip. Just run it continuous. I would not allow
an installer to install Ts at doorways unless there was a change in the
materials. T strips are for flooring material changes, not to make it
easier to run. That is the amateur method.
This is poor advice at best. You always follow the manufacturers
You really should be familiar with laminate facts, before saying something
is the amateur way. Your opinion shows exactly who the amateur is, in this
T strips are not just for flooring material changes. Please do yourself a
favor, and read up on T strips, and their purpose.
I'm a certified installer, and if you told me not to install T strips in a
doorway, I would tell you to find an amateur, such as yourself, for the
installation. T molding must be used in doorways on all 4 ft. and under
openings. There is this thing called expansion & contraction at different
rates, because not all rooms heat/cool/humidify/de-humidity at the same
rate. And, yes I realize the OP said their opening was 5 ft. On the same
note, if a closet is big enough to walk in, it must have a T strip. Each
job is different, there's no one answer fits all.
You are correct. Not all jobs are the same, and if I ever find a
situation where the total width of the areas to be floored is over 30',
then I would use a T-strip. Anything under that and I will continue to
insist on continuous runs. The 50,000 or so SF that I have done thus
far has had no call backs without the T-strips.
I do far more engineered wood and solid wood flooring than I do
laminates, so I am not as familiar with it as I am the former flooring
Dang! I should have read ahead before replying! So I got it right? Just
not sure on a closet though.
Rooms yes, closets in rooms, not sure. I think it might depend on the
dimensions of the closet. Heck, mine have those vented slat type that slide
back and forth on runners so I'd end up having to do something there anyways
if I did this.
It's all hypothetical for me though. Wood floors would *not* be a good pick
for my place because the walls in the livingroom are solid panelled wood
(not the cheap panneling, nice redwood stuff, polished in livingroom and
rough in both bathrooms). Wood floors here would be overkill.
The only thing other than carpet that would work in my place, would be a
terra cotta looking tile.
First, check the mfgrs instructions. Go by that and ignore anything that
From what I remember when I did one was that over a certain run length is
when it was recommended. Expansion purposes just like the gap at each
Mine was different in that the long edge was at the door. An entryway had
a closet that I just ran the ends into but that total run was like 10'.
Kitchen had a 22' length. I put no joints there. Wasn't there more than a
few months after the install so I can't even give you a 1 season test of
Consider expansion and contraction first. The instruction will tell you how
long a run you could maintain without an expansion joint. Usually I have
problems with runs over 30' without an expansion joint, but yours maybe less
per your instruction. I leave a gap at the doorway to relive the stresses -
I don't use the factory t-strip but I mill my own with real hardwood. If the
room side is less than 20' I don't bother with it for the closet. If you
need to set the bottom track, I'll pre drill a larger holes on the laminate
before you screw in the track to allow for some expansion. Done about 4,000
sf so far, works for me.
Not just length, but position. If you have boards against the wall (with a
gap for expansion, of course) narrow at the doorway, then get wider on the
other side, be sure there is plenty of room where you go to wider boards on
the other side of the wall. You could have contraction on both sides and
pull in opposite directions right against the wall and pop the joint in the
/////////______////////////// This can be pulled both directions.
Danny, it's for expansion gaps. I grant it will 'look nicer' without the
T-strip but it might cause problems.
Lets take an example. I have a large living room, with a 5ft open (no door)
section leading to the kitchen. If I wanted to use this type of product for
both floors, then the strip might not be needed. See, humidity and temp
would be the same.
Now different case, if I did the whole house, I'd want a t-strip I think at
each 'closeable door' as the temps past that area (and humidity) would not
be the same. That means all 3 bedrooms would have a t-strip and definately
at the doors to the 2 bathrooms. Not sure if a closet would need one, but
my closets are tiny old style ones something like 24x18 inch measures
I'm not a professional installer so hopefully this is right. If any of it
disagrees with the manufacturer or a professional installer, please ignore
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