Laminate / Tile: changing threshold location

Discussion in 'Ceramic and Stone Q&A' started by oneway, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. oneway

    oneway Member

    I've replaced the laminate flooring in my house, and now notice that some threshold locations between laminate and tile flooring seems to be wrong.

    It looks like I'll have to cut back some tile and replace some laminate planks with longer sections. I will also have to put down some floor patch where the tile was to level it with the laminate side.

    Threshold A looks fairly straightforward:


    - remove laminate side
    - cut and remove excess tile
    - patch floor
    - put down new, longer laminate planks

    Threshold B has some problems:


    - the adjoining laminate runs parallel to the threshold, and I have cut off the tongue/grooves along this edge of the laminate. There would be nothing to attach a new section of plank to.

    - this edge is where I started putting down laminate, so it looks like I would have to take up the laminate from the entire room to remove these planks.

    - I don't know how I would sqeeze in a section of laminate under the door jambs here.

    Threshold C is in an opening without a door. Would I center the threshold in this situation?


    There is one other factor for all these thresholds: The concrete floor in this house was not poured evenly, and it looks like no attempt was made to level it when the tile was put down. Rather than try to match the tile, I decided to truly level the floor under the laminate, with the intention of removing and fixing the tile at some point in the future. So there is considerable variation in height between laminate and tile, and the variation is not fixed for any given threshold (a single threshold will have slight variation on one end and large variation on the other). I'm guessing my only option here is to buy a best-match threshold piece and work it until it is shaped to conform to the height variations?

    Are there any other potential problems I haven't thought of?

    How about alternative solutions I haven't considered?

  2. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    you have essentially summed up everything i hate about raw edge tile and wood/woodalike floors
  3. Chris 45

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

    Man that’s a can of worms.
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    All those details should’ve been taken care of prior to laminate going in. It’s a detail a lot of people miss. We remove flooring so it’s addressed continuously. Usually I cut 1/4-3/8” into the closed door position. This allows an overlap for T- mold to rest on. A marble threshold, tackstrip for carpet.

    4” diamond blade and dremel with 1” diamond blade to cut ends very cautiously and as far through as possible finishing the curvature of the 4” disc and sometimes ill cut into the vertical doorjamb and fill small blade cut with caulk.

    B - would be to put a joint in the laminate close to the hinge side. You would trim just the offset on the tongue of the end joint whereas the remainder of tomgue(straight part ) has material to glue into side piece. You may have to trim long joint as well to glue it as well. The previous cut piece in field would be removed.

    All of the mess ups if I were to come in and you asked me to do this best way possible would be adjusted by a dollar amount.

    C - not sure about varying heights the transition would need to be flexible vertically. I have removed the leg on a laminate piece and siliconed it in. May have to visit salon to see if it held few years ago. The varying height will be an issue to address. PL Urethane sets hard, silicone sets soft, I have used accordingly to what needs to occur. For example the leg of T mold doesn’t reach the substrate. Hard Urethane would be placed under that portion to isolate the pressure and not put it on the top of T so it won’t split the top as heavy weight would be applied to the width and down like a bridge.
  5. oneway

    oneway Member

    I sure regret not having been aware of this before replacing the flooring.

    Can you elaborate on this? I'm trying to "do right" by this house as much as possible. You mean you might do different things given more or less available cash?
  6. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I’d have to figure out the time to correct everything if you hired me. Those details are not easy after the fact. So it looks easy, not much footage, but time consuming.

    For you, time is not so much a factor. I’m painting my house (shed too)?and it’s taking forever. The details are killing me. So if you have time/tools you would save money,

    My wife’s cousin did some remodeling, I believe they made the house unsellsble with the atrocious craftsmanship. To me, details matter, my house people will notice if I can get it ready before the wife sells it on me.

    So in reality we demo tile, sometimes I ask my brother if it’s not my job what to do at the doorways. Sometimes I assume which is not good but I get frustrated with common sense stuff to have to get clarified. 1/4” under door 95% of time it works.

    Some people I hear do not use transition, just one tile to another. I don’t like that but they get it, as neatly as possible minimizing chips!

    Narrow questions down if I’m not clear or ask specific per door/way or any question.
  7. oneway

    oneway Member

    I plan to do it myself. I've been working on the floor off and on since this past summer, so I'm OK with it being a long-term project. I've been learning as I go - sometimes too late, which has meant undoing something and doing it again until it's right.

    My biggest regret is hiring the wrong floor guy at the beginning of this process. I wrote check after check as he attempted to level the subfloor: each evening after he left, I'd put down a straight-edge and it would still be way off. I didn't know yet that his problem was reluctance to invest in screeds. Eventually the cost just became ridiculous as he tried again and again to level the same rooms. I told him I was going to give DIY a shot and might call on him to bail me out at some point. I was having terrible results too until I spent a couple hundred bucks on screeds, and committed to grinding the high spots. Now the subfloor is LEVEL and rock-solid.

    Why wouldn't he invest the 200 bucks? It's not like he'd only use them once.

    I also don't get why he never mentioned to me the problem with the thresholds. I could sense something wasn't right but didn't know exactly what yet. If he'd have mentioned it, I'd have paid him to do it right. He usually works with tile so he must have had the tools necessary. Now that I do know what the problem is, I'm pulling up laminate for the third time to get it right.

    OK, that's my bitch-and-moan about my customer experience. Live and learn.

    For doorways A and C, I will be removing the laminate, cutting the tile back, and putting down longer laminate in those spots. My big concern there is making sure I don't damage the tile. I have an angle grinder, I'm guessing that would be my first step, to cut through the tile and the mortar underneath. You suggested a 1" dremel to cut the ends of the tile. I guess if necessary I could cut into the door jambs a bit and patch up the cuts afterward, to make sure the cut goes all the way through.

    Doorway B is the master bath. I'm actually wondering if a case could be made to leave that tile extended out, since that floor sees the most water of any other place in the house. If that isn't a reasonable rationale, I'm wondering if I can (as you suggested) cut a piece to fit, cut that into two, slide in one piece under the door jamb, then slide in the other, then pull them together and glue them or something, and also glue their edges to the piece of laminate next to them.

    The other issue is the mismatched (and uneven) heights between tile and laminate. I will follow your suggestion of using construction adhesive to support those areas where the threshold does not reach the tile (or vice versa).
  8. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I have seen someone cut through the doorjambs, just couldn’t do it myself. But you can put two coats of caulk with a putty knife or even Durham’s wood filler paste.

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