Home Laminate Flooring When Do I Need to Use a Transition Molding?

When Do I Need to Use a Transition Molding?

by Bob and Betsy
Published: Updated: 2 comments 5 minutes read

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. We have compiled more information for you to help to decide what’s best for you. Cheers! Bob & Betsy

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. A kitchen cabinet will act as a “wall”, meaning the floor will have an end point. This may only account for some of the flooring rows, so keep that in mind.

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.

Where Should I Add Transition Moldings?

Transition moldings are most commonly seen in doorways between rooms. We’d recommend using a transition molding throughout the doorways to help lessen the large footprint of the installation and protect the integrity of the flooring. This will look uniformed and typical in a home.

Your Laminate Flooring 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.

Flooring Options for Large Spaces

If you’re not set on laminate, there are other flooring options that glue down, which will not need the same dimensionally stability practices. Options like glue down vinyl or glue-down engineered hardwood could be a great alternative to a large space. You will have less worry about joint stability and movement with a glue-down flooring option.

Shop Glue Down Vinyl Flooring From Bestlaminate

All in all, it’s not worth the risk to skip the transition moldings! 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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EDWARD J BRICKER February 4, 2019 - 9:10 pm

I’m installing vinyl flooring. It’s a floating floor. It will be continuous. Kitchen , hallway, dinningroom and livingroom. Can I do it without transition pieces?

Alana Kane February 5, 2019 - 12:05 pm

Hi Edward, thanks for the question! The general rule of thumb is you will need a transition piece every 30′ of continuous flooring. It will all depend on your home floor plan.


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