Guidance on starting position and need for T-molding

Discussion in 'Laminate Flooring Q&A' started by Gus Shearer, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. Gus Shearer

    Gus Shearer New Member

    12 year old house - ripping out carpet and installing laminate on whole 1st floor apart from bathrooms - still deciding brand but probably a 10mm cheepo from Home Depot. Floors are good and flat, Advantech flooring - I don't see any issues there.

    I am getting conflicting info from neighbors (and folk selling the material) on the need for T-molding and my starting position. Some say I absolutely need T-molding on the doorway to the large room, other say the ~40ft span is fine. I also have a similar span from one bedroom across the hall to the other small bedroom.

    Appreciate any thoughts, and also on a suitable starting position - I was planning on trying to mark out close to equal board cuts on either side of the hall, and measuring back to start in the front bedroom so I can work forward (north in the pic). It certainly would be easier to just have T-moldings on each or some doors, but trying to keep the missus happy - so at least have to ask.


  2. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    T mould really is one of those things you really should have.... but probably more than likely will get away without. More and more we delete them and throw caution to the wind because clients beg and plead.... which of course always comes just after I tell them why they need them and the consequences of not using them. I don't hear much about it which means that they swallow their pride or its going ok
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Not all floating floors are created equal. Some call for T-molds and some don’t. I can’t advise you without knowing which specific product you will be using. You mention ‘CHEAPO’ from HD, that sounds like T-molds to me.

    Often times it takes a couple years for the floor to really show whether not using T-molds was a good idea or not.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Gus Shearer

    Gus Shearer New Member

    Thanks, the floor colors we like right now are the 'Home Decorators Collection - 12mm Greystone Oak' or 'Trafficmaster -7mm Anniston Oak' both of Home Depot - which are both under $2/ft2 so I refer to as cheap own brand.

    I cant find maximum run length in the install files (attached).

    In any case it sounds like I would be best to plan for T's, so I can at least convince my missus I've done my homework.

    If you were looking at the floor layout - where would you put them - at every doorway?


    Attached Files:

  5. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    You mention traffic master and home decorators but attached instructions for Lifeproof which is actually made by Home Legend. :hmmm: Anyway, I’m not a fan of traffic master anything because I’ve dealt with too much crap (LVP) that had traffic master on the box so I just avoid it all together now but your experience may be different since you’re looking at laminate. Home decorators isn’t bad. It clicks together nicely and I haven’t had complaints or call backs from the jobs I’ve done with it so that’s a decent floor by my standards.

    Most laminates will have a maximum run before you need to break things up with a T-mold as well as minimum opening measurements (doorways) that will require a T-mold as well. FWIW it used to be anything 4’ or under that got a T-mold but as of the past couple years I’ve noticed that has increased to 5’ for some laminates. Are they cheaper laminates or are the manufacturers just covering their asses a little bit more? Don’t know. Probably both.

    I would feel comfortable enough to do Home Decorators laminate with just one T-mold to the master on the left with the caveat that more may need to be installed later should an issue arise. It can and occasionally does happen. Just make sure you have ample expansion space if you’re going to not use T-molds and know that you’re delving into the custom work category. When undercutting door jambs, take a piece of your laminate and actually slide it under the door jamb to verify that there is no crud under there that will limit your expansion space as well as verifying that you have ample expansion space.

    Lastly, you need to be prepared for the dust. Real fine sawdust from the laminate as well as just regular ol dust from doing the installation itself. Even with your saws set up outside, a fine cloud of dust will want to follow you back inside. And wear a dust mask unless you have all kinds of fancy dust containment toys. That sawdust will mess up your sinuses for a couple days.

    Now if you were to consider Lifeproof LVP, that’s a whole different game. No T-molds anywhere, 1/4” expansion space and you wouldn’t have to worry about jack squat because you wouldn’t be voiding your warranty. Just sayin.
  6. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    The Home Decorators product mentioned at The Home Depot is actually a LifeProof product. The TrafficMaster product installation guide is attached to this post below.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Gus Shearer

    Gus Shearer New Member

    Thanks for all the guidance. I see the TrafficMaster has 30ft longest span, so would absolutely need T's, and appreciate the feedback on the quality of that product.

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