The Home Improvement Q&A Thread

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by puma1552, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #1
    Being a new homeowner, thought this might be a good idea to have a thread where anyone can post questions and answers to members' questions regarding home repair or improvement.

    So I'll start.

    Wife and I are doing a laminate hardwood floor in three bedrooms and the landing area at the top of our stairs. We assumed that we could have a free flowing laminate hardwood floor for the entire three rooms/landing area, but the store is telling us we MUST have T-bar transitions/seams in each doorway, and that it can NOT be free flowing due to the need for the floor to expand/contract.

    I understand laminate needs room to expand and contract, and surely there will be a quarter inch gap along every wall and all around the perimeter of every room for this (covered with a shoe molding), so I don't understand why the lousy three foot doorways are critical to have a T-bar for more expansion, because in either direction out from any doorway, ultimately you're going to hit a wall perimeter where there's going to be a 1/4" gap anyway, just as if it were a really large room with no doorways. I don't understand why the doorways can't be free flowing and just use the perimeter gap in either outward direction for expansion/contraction? I think it's pretty stupid to have seams between rooms and a bunch of extra plank cuts when you have the same floor throughout a given area. The guy at the store couldn't really explain it so here I am.
     
  2. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #2
    Well, I put a laminate floor in our bedroom (concrete slab with vapor barrier material under it, and did not think twice about running it out the doorway into a short hall, and into a walk-in closet, and the hall way closet... all without threshold seams. Did this 3 years ago and have no issue whatsoever. I live in Houston, have Heat/AC and the house temp varies between 76°-62°. I've noticed nothing. You know, even though the stuff "floats" when you load it up with furniture, I don't really see it going anywhere as far as expanding/contracting.

    In the Family room, I took the floor into a hallway and wrapped it around down another hall. So far no issues and no threshold seams.
     
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #3
    I've made it free flowing in a house I used to own with no issues. I had heard the same thing from the store though. Maybe they are just trying to make you buy an expensive T bar for each door?
     
  4. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #4
    Thanks, I just can't see why it couldn't be free flowing, especially since the longest stretch of floor would only be 20 feet long or less when going from the bedroom out to the landing area. The guy at the store says the vendor (Pergo) won't warranty it unless I have the seams. I think I'm going to talk to the installers and tell them I don't really care about the warranty but to just install it the way I want, being I'm the homeowner and I paid for it and I'll assume any risk.
     
  5. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #5
    The warranty would apply for material surface breakdown before a certain number of years, but if you had warping issue maybe not in the specific area where it warped. But as you said though, a gap is/should be left along the edge of each wall, covered by molding that will allow for a small amount of expansion. I've ignored this "rule" about threshold seams and have not noticed an issue resulting from it. For reference, my bedroom is approx 17x17, went through a doorway into a walk-in closet 7x10, went out a different bedroom doorway into a short hall, then into another small closet 3x2.

    In fact, putting down this kind of floor yourself is incredibly easy (hint hint). :D
     
  6. dwfaust macrumors 68040

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
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    I am here => [•]
    #6
    We have laminate flooring that flows from room to room. The only place we have the T-molding is where the flooring changes from one material (wood) to another (tile). The flooring has been in place for over 5 years and we've experienced NO issues with expansion/contraction. No signs of any buckling or similar problems. In my experience, the store is simply incorrect.
     
  7. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #7
    Right, so each room can move 1/4" between the floor and the walls. With the rooms connected, if a room expands (and moves), that means the planks in the doorways connecting the rooms also have to move.

    So those planks in the doorway are responsible for shifting the movement from room to room. i.e. all of the pressure of the moving two rooms of several hundred square feet of product hinges two or less single planks that have usually been whittled down to some odd shape to fit in a door.

    Wonder if Pergo has seen situations where if the doorway planks are less than 4', those planks fail (i.e. seams get ripped up, etc) from the pressure?
     
  8. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #8
    Or based on some isolated occurance, Pergo has included such a stipulation into their warranty. I think the flow of of flooring through doorways without threshold seams, greatly improves the appearance.
     
  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #9
    FWIW, the store seems to simply be repeating what's in the Pergo instruction manuals:

    https://na.pergo.com/pdfs/installation/max_securelock_install.pdf
     
  10. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #10
    It would be interesting to know if in a situation with expansion, if the majority of the expansion is lateral, longitudinal or both?
     
  11. dwfaust macrumors 68040

    dwfaust

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    I am here => [•]
    #11
    Fair enough, I supposed. My experience is that it won't be a problem. Maybe location/climate factors in. I live in Arizona where the humidity is very low most of the time, and with A/C, the temperature is pretty constant. Apparently, YMMV.
     
  12. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #12
    This seems like it must be it - that if one room expands/contracts and is free flowing, then the free flowing doorway planks will expand too, and then bear the force of trying to drag (for rooms where the planks go longitudinally through the doorway) or push (for rooms where the planks go crosswise with the width of the doorway) the non-expanding planks in the adjacent room with them? The only thing here that seems odd to me is that I can't imagine a situation where one room is expanding like hell and the other rooms aren't, one would assume all three bedrooms and the landing area would expand/contract at the same rate. I guess the landing might expand or contract slightly more or less since it's not along an exterior wall whereas the three bedrooms are, but still - the house is maintained at the same temp year round, AC in the summer and heat all winter (house is in MN).

    Maybe all I can really do here is talk to the installers and just go with the seams if they deem necessary.
     
  13. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #13
    We did, the living room, dining room, two bedrooms, service porch, and kitchen all with the same free flowing floor layout. We did make sure that when we went through the door ways and also through the hallways, there was a 1/4 inch clearance. Doing strategic cuts in the door ways and then covering it base boards or the door framing. We have had no issues what so ever. Did this about seven plus years ago.

    Did my mothers and in-laws the same way. Just need to make sure there is clearance in the hallways under the door jams and from the walls.

    Measure twice, or in my case three to four times and cut once! :D
     
  14. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #14
    Updating this thread with a post about what a disaster this flooring situation has become.

    So I ripped my floors out at the end of May. I had Home Depot come over and do a measurement at the very beginning of June, when the floors were already gone.

    I had one piece of that crap-ass flaky particleboard, and I asked the measurement guy if that was ok. He said no problem. He saw the entire subfloor, as I had already ripped out the old floor.

    I then ordered the floor on June 7th where the store associate was pretty much a condescending douchebag who was trying to hurry me out and making me feel stupid about my questions regarding the free-flowing installation. He also saw the pictures of the subfloor that the measuring guy took at the time I did the order, and I know this for a fact because I asked him if there was a pic of the stairs since I had a question and he said there was not. He saw the pics of the subfloor.

    The floor was backordered (of course) and finally was delivered to the store last Wednesday. I got my dad's SUV and went and picked it up, 25 boxes and all the shoe mouldings and trim pieces. Hauled them into my house and up the stairs box by box. It's been acclimating in my house for a week now.

    I made numerous calls and left numerous messages with the installation company to schedule the installation. Never received a call back from anyone, but eventually got a hold of a manager and scheduled the installation last Friday afternoon. He saw my file with all the info about the order and what was to be done, so he presumably saw the pictures of my subfloor as well. Presumably this is the third person who has seen my subfloor, for sure two have seen it at this point.

    I have (had?) an installation scheduled for July 14th-15th which is way further out than I wanted as I've had no floor for far too long at this point, but it was the earliest they could do so I took it.

    I get a call this morning from the store idiot that said the installer called them and told them they cannot and will not install my floor because apparently my entire subfloor is particle board, not plywood, and the manufacturer will not warranty it over particle board as they claim it is not a suitable hard substrate. I am not so sure my floor is particle board, besides the one piece which I clearly and explicitly asked about.

    I mean is this a ****ing joke? I have three people look at my floor over a 5 week period and only when I get to the final step of having an installation on the horizon they tell me flat out they won't install it? I called the installer and left a message with the manager again but haven't had a call back yet.

    The store offered to come pick the **** up and refund my card (they'd need to do a lot more than that to make up for their several mistakes and all my wasted time without a floor in my house) but I'm going to push them to install it. Why do they give a rat's butt what the manufacturer says? I'm the homeowner, I'm paying for it, and I'll assume all the risk - just install the ***** crap the way I say. Want me to sign a waiver? I'll be happy to do so.

    So now I'm sitting here feeling pretty screwed on my floor and what we are going to do. WTF?
     
  15. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #15
    What about changing out the one or two pieces of particle board?
     
  16. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #16
    According to them the entire subfloor is apparently particle board.
     
  17. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #17
    Yikes, just going off one or two pictures.

    Have you asked them to come out and do a site survey so they can see the rest of the sub-flooring?
     
  18. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #18
    @puma1552, sorry this has been such a hassle friend. I think like rhett says you are going to have to have someone who does installation come out and look at it in person. From the tone of the OP and the thread I thought you were looking to put the floor down yourself. Is there any possibility of that? Several folks in this thread and others I've known in real life say that installing laminate is not overly difficult. Hope everything works out well and that the headache is over sometime soon. :)

    As far as other home repairs go, I replaced our kitchen sink garbage disposal this past weekend after the old one sprung a leak. Never had any experience with doing that before, but it was pretty straight forward.
     
  19. Huntn, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #19
    Moisture where I don't want it.
    I live in a brick veneer one story house with a fairly new roof (2 years old). I'm replacing the veneer floor in our dining room and as I pull up the baseboard molding in one outside corner, I'm noticing not outright moisture as in wet, but the dust seems to be damp and the bottom edge of the molding seems darkish, like it was exposed to water, and exposed nails in the uncovered drywall seems to be rusted. However, the drywall feels like it's in good shape, not spongy, does not feel like it's been exposed to water, but who know what might be hidden? This makes me wonder how I should proceed and if I should be worried about mold growth behind the walls?

    If it's something that needs to be addressed, the difficult part would be to determine the source of this moisture, yes from outside, but coming in where? Unfortunately my guess it that it would require cutting out the drywall, to get a better view of the issue, but boy what a mess.

    And most aggravating, the yahoos in this house before in an attempt to cover up wall paper, applied a wall texture, which exists in all of the house, but I don't know for sure it is all used to cover wall paper. The problem in the dining room is that any drywall I replace will no longer match the texture of the existing walls, which leaves me in a position of either trying to match the wall texture on the other walls or replace all of the drywall in this room. This would be turning a simple floor upgrade to a much bigger project and headache. :( o_O

    Update: My wife, bless her heart, just suggested to me that with the hot weather outside (100°F, 75° inside) and the AC on, this moisture could be the result of condensation forming on the wall and migrating to the floor!! Definitely a possibility! We do see condensation on the windows all of the time. :)

    Thoughts? Thanks!
     
  20. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #20
    If there's no obvious signs of mold , it might just be condensation. You could get a dehumidifier. We use one for drying clothes inside the house in winter. Cheaper than running the dryer.
     
  21. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #21
    Thanks for the suggestion! Due to the central AC running frequently, the humidity is low in the house, but we do see condensation on the windo was but, hmm, that would be on the outside. Maybe I should get the hose out and spray the outside of the house in that area, to see if anything happens on the inside... There is a bay window in the vicinity with shingles on the bump out.
     
  22. MultiM macrumors 6502

    MultiM

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    TO. I've moved!
    #22
    I think the only way to determine the reality of a leak is to cut the drywall. Just spraying water on the exterior isn't enough as water likes to travel. It may be from the bay window bump out, especially if it's not original to the house.

    My wife and I purchased our current house last year. The former owners' mantra seemed to "good enough" When it came to home repairs and renos. The crown moulding doesn't match in a couple of corners, the laminate floor is poorly installed and the stairs to the raised deck had the run and rise reversed. Just to name a few. We've made the house ours with a lot of work and compromise but still find stupid things that had been done. I hate quarter round used to fix flooring and baseboard issues. It just says lazy to me.

    Moral of this story is have more than 3 days to buy a house when moving cross country. Oh well, next home will have a pool....
     
  23. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #23
    Well, there used to be a place down the road that sharpened circular saw carbide blades that sell new for around $30 for less than $10. An easy way to get more life out of a blade and save some money. That place is gone and there is no one around other than a saw place that wants to take my blade for a week.

    Looking around I found this Harbor Freight Circular Saw Blade Sharpener for $50. I watched a youtube video and took a chance and it was not that hard to accomplish. Once it's setup, it's pretty fast and easy. The blade is sharpened and I'm pleased with myself. :)
    Caution: This might not be for everyone. You have to fiddle with the setup to get it right.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #24
    So, I've been having some issues with our water heater lately, which is gas.

    Since winter started, I've had to turn the handle in the shower much further to the hot side of the spectrum to get a pretty warm shower. I haven't really been bothered by this, as long as the water has been hot enough to get a warm shower.

    However a couple different times now the water just doesn't get hot at all, and I've had to take cold showers. Not 100% ice cold, but definitely cold to the point you are freezing and are hurrying to get it over with as quick as possible. This just happened this morning. Water heater could not have been out of hot water, as my wife is out of town for a month and I hadn't used hot water since yesterday's shower, 24 hours prior.

    I turned my shower off and went to the upstairs bathroom to see if it was any better and it wasn't.

    Water heater is not that old, it was new in 2007 or 2008.

    I'll try running the shower again tonight and see if it's any better, but if it's not, do I just call a regular old plumber to come look at it/troubleshoot it? Or do I need to call a water heater specific place?

    I don't really get how it could sort of work, seems like the kind of thing that would either work completely or completely crap out with no inbetween.
     
  25. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    #25
    There are 2 things you should check:

    1. the temperature control knob. It's possible someone turned it to the lowest temperature.
    2. the pilot light. That's something an handy home owner can check himself and deal with himself. Most water heaters have the instructions on the heater itself.

    A plumbers can deal with water heater issues.
    [​IMG]
     

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