If you’re planning on installing laminate flooring in your home, you’ll inevitably need to deal with doorways. Whether you’re rejuvenating your floors in one room or your entire house, installing laminate flooring around exterior and interior doorways requires a few extra steps. Here’s what you need to know.
Step One: Trim the Door Jamb
Before you install your laminate of choice, you’ll first want to trim your existing door jamb to make room for your new floor. If you’re removing old flooring, the door jamb may already have enough clearance for your new laminate. If not, you’ll need an undercut saw to trim your door jamb neatly and accurately.
First, butt a piece of laminate against the bottom of the door jamb and draw a line where the top of the laminate meets the door jamb. This line will be your cut mark. Using the undercut saw and a scrap piece of laminate for backing, cut the door jamb and adjoining trim away. If your new flooring doesn’t come with pre-installed underlayment, make sure you take the underlayment thickness into account when measuring your cut.
Step Two: Measure and Mark Threshold Flooring Pieces
Once you trim the door jamb to the proper clearance, you’ll want to measure and mark the piece or pieces of laminate going through the threshold. If your flooring runs parallel with the door, you’ll likely have only one piece of laminate to trim.
Using a framing square, measure the depth of your door jamb by sliding the square under the newly cut gap until the tool hits the door frame or stud. Measure on the inner jamb as well as both sides of the door where the trim is located. Transfer these measurements to your laminate. If your laminate runs perpendicular to the door, you’ll have multiple pieces to measure and mark.
Now that you have the exact measurements of your door jamb gap outlined, cut your laminate to fit nicely under the gap. Since you’re cutting a notch, you’ll want to use a jigsaw with a low-profile blade. A manual coping saw will also work if you’re not comfortable using the jigsaw.
Before you make any cuts, make sure the visible side or good side of the laminate is facing down. Coping saws, jigsaws, and even circular saws cut on the upstroke, so the cleanest side of the cut will remain on the visible side of the laminate when cutting face down.
Step Four: Install the Notched Laminate
Now install the notched laminate planks in the doorway. Since most new laminate flooring uses a click-lock tongue-and-groove system, you’ll have to trim off with your saw the upper groove of the laminate plank that comes before the notched piece.
You can use a planer or a power sander to make your installation. Once you remove the joining plank’s groove, slide the notched piece under the trimmed door jamb and press the piece into place. Since you removed the adjoining groove, you’ll want to use a PVA Type 2 glue on this joint only.
Think you’re ready to tackle your own laminate floor installation around doors? If you follow our step-by-step guide above, you won’t let those doorways slow you down.
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