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Laminate Install Question

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Jul 30, 2005
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Hamilton

Laminate Install Question

I've never installed laminate flooring before and I've decided to give it a shot. I bought the new golden select Winchester from Costco.

My question is how do I do the transition from the laminate floor to the tile floor of the kitchen. As you can see in the photos, there is a metal lip that appears to have been grouted to the end of the tiles. From the subfloor to the top of the metal lip is 18mm. From the subfloor to the top of the tiles, its about 15mm almost exactly the same thickness as the laminate (13mm+2mm attached underlay).

Do I try and remove this metal strip, and install a t-molding between the laminate and the tile? I've read somewhere that because the height of the laminate and the tile is almost exact, you can forgo the t-molding and run the laminate 10mm away from the tile and just use colour match caulking to fill the void? If there is any damage to the tile from removing the metal lip obviously this won't be an option. If I don't remove the metal lip and try and put a tmolding over top of it, there will be a 3mm gap I think between the bottom the molding and the tile.

Follow-up question. If the answer is to remove the metal lip and use a t-molding. Due to the fact your supposed to leave a 10mm gap around the whole perimeter, do you need to leave the same 10mm gap between the end of the first board and the face edge of the t-molding? (See my terrible mock up drawing of the t-mold attached).

I have two scenarios like the attached picture. 1 where the planks run parallel to the tile/metal strip and 2 where the ends of the planks meet the metal lip / tile at a 45 degree angle.
Images
  • IMG_20180208_2103538.jpg
  • IMG_20180208_2103597.jpg
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12 replies
Sr. Member
Jul 2, 2013
688 posts
182 upvotes
Aurora
Removing that aluminum is no easy task. It will look similar to this
56570-3666595.jpg

If you must remove it, use an oscillating mutlitool with a high quality blade, carbide tooth comes to mind. Make plunge cuts down the length of the aluminum between the grout and edge.

If your T molding fits over the aluminum, just slap it in and be done with it. If your new flooring is running parallel to your aluminum edge, you may be able to just butt up against it without a gap but this depends on the size of the area you are butting up against. If it's a doorway, a gap is not really necessary if the rest of the floor has some spacing around its perimeter.
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Jul 30, 2005
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Hamilton
lehmanr wrote: Removing that aluminum is no easy task. It will look similar to this
56570-3666595.jpg

If you must remove it, use an oscillating mutlitool with a high quality blade, carbide tooth comes to mind. Make plunge cuts down the length of the aluminum between the grout and edge.

If your T molding fits over the aluminum, just slap it in and be done with it. If your new flooring is running parallel to your aluminum edge, you may be able to just butt up against it without a gap but this depends on the size of the area you are butting up against. If it's a doorway, a gap is not really necessary if the rest of the floor has some spacing around its perimeter.
The reason why I'm fairly certain I need to remove it, is the top of the lip sits 3mm higher then the tile. If I were to install the t molding over the lip, I'm assuming I will find that the bottom of the t molding and the tile will have a 3mm gap.

This is opening is 79" long, with another 69" opening at the other end of the same wall. (Living room to kitchen and hallway transitions).
Sr. Member
Jul 2, 2013
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Aurora
You need to install the T mold flat on the tile and this may require shimming the T mold bracket a bit. This will create a small gap above the laminate but you can gradually slope the new floor so the T mold sits flush on both surfaces.
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Hamilton
lehmanr wrote: You need to install the T mold flat on the tile and this may require shimming the T mold bracket a bit. This will create a small gap above the laminate but you can gradually slope the new floor so the T mold sits flush on both surfaces.
I can't picture what your explaining. Can you find any examples?
Sr. Member
Jul 2, 2013
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Aurora
adblink182 wrote: the top of the lip sits 3mm higher then the tile.
You need to explain this in more detail. I guess I am not quite following you.
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Hamilton
lehmanr wrote: You need to explain this in more detail. I guess I am not quite following you.
See the attached photo, it may help. Basically just showing that the metal molding is higher then the tile. So if we pretend that the square in the photo was actually the t-molding, I would assume it would stick out over the tile and have the same 3mm approx gap.
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  • IMG_20180211_1333015.jpg
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Jan 8, 2009
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Ontario
lehmanr wrote: You need to install the T mold flat on the tile and this may require shimming the T mold bracket a bit. This will create a small gap above the laminate but you can gradually slope the new floor so the T mold sits flush on both surfaces.
Either this way or cut a 3mm slot in the T mould using a router to recess the top 3mm, assuming there is ample depth/structure in the T mould to accommodate this. There are also transitions available that allow for different levels each side. In theory the laminate should be held down without being laterally restrained but the Costco product is a thicK one and should be OK just sitting there, however if you have a longitudinal cut the edge will have to be cut neatly and the cut fibreboard edge sealed from moisture from washing tile floor.Also a good idea to set out so that there is a substantial width of board at the transition.

There are also 10 foot metal transition strips available at Rona which have screw holes to allow the strip to be screwed with screws up against the metal strip. This is the cheapest and most secure way to do the job if you are OK with looks. The way the strip is profiles it can be fixed across two products at different levels. They look better at laminate/tile transitions than laminate/laminate transitions. They are available in brushed stainless look and in a more grey/slightly gunmetal look.
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Hamilton
thats not a bad idea, the t-molding is going to be made out of hardware, not laminate so it might be able to hold up. Leave the metal lip where it is, and just hid it in a slot under the t-molding so it sits flush on the tile side. Good idea.

I thought about the metal transition but I think it would look too industrial/commercial in a living room/kitchen setting.
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Oct 7, 2007
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Rider Nation
Would it not be easier to use a transition reducer strip made for the floors being uneven. Not a T molding.
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Hamilton
Looking at the profile of the reducer molding, I don't see how it would work in my situation. Remember the 2 flooring types will be level, its just the metal strip in between them will be 3mm taller then both floors.

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For the transition where the planks run parallel to the metal strip, I wouldn't put any molding or strip and just put the laminate up flush against the metal strip (no gap). Cleaner look.
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Hamilton
anom wrote: For the transition where the planks run parallel to the metal strip, I wouldn't put any molding or strip and just put the laminate up flush against the metal strip (no gap). Cleaner look.
Oh trust me, a part of me definitely wants to do that but its a wide opening, almost 6.5FT and the wall is 17FT so not a standard door opening by any means. So naturally I'm worried what the lack of expansion joint on that side will do.

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