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When Do I Need to Use a Transition Molding?

When Do I Need to Use a Transition Molding?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I have my living room and kitchen together that is 45 feet wide and 30 feet long. This goes into the foyer and hallway to multiple doorways to bedrooms. The laminate flooring box states that every 40 feet I need to place a transition molding. My friends tell me I won’t need one because the surrounding walls, cabinets and doorway, but I have an installer who tells me I need to break it and place a transition piece in 2 different areas. I really prefer not to do it, but what is the correct way?

Dear Randy,

This is a great question. The need for a transition piece can be confusing in rooms with unique sizes and shapes.

As a rule, we recommend using transitional molding in any room that is larger than 30 feet in width without any obstructions. Without this, the stability and strength of your floors are in jeopardy.

You are installing a floating floor, so joint stability is something to keep in mind. A smaller room will have more stability due to the shorter length from wall to wall. Also, if any type of flooding or moisture sneaks into your floors, the chances of them buckling due to increased pressure is much higher.

What About Cabinetry?

However, the fact that you have cabinetry in your kitchen brings in other considerations. If at any point in the room, the laminate row is 30 feet or more in width or length, a transition needs to be placed. You will need to take into consideration the way in which your flooring is laid as well.

We agree with your installer. The transition pieces at the doorways are important to protect the integrity of your floors in such a large space, even if a cabinet or island protrudes into the installation.

Your Warranty

Another important factor to take into consideration is your flooring warranty. This will not cover any type of installation that does not follow the instructions. If your floors do become damaged without the transition pieces, your company may not approve your claim.

It’s not worth the risk. Transition pieces are made to blend in so you might be pleasantly surprised by the appearance, especially in doorways. Use them and sleep better at night knowing your floors are as strong as possible.

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