How to Edge a Laminate Floor

Laminate floors are installed using a floating floor method, which requires a minimum of 1/4-inch expansion space around all vertical objects in the room where the laminate has been installed.

Installed laminate floorInstalled laminate floor
Because of this required space, it's imperative that a laminate floor be finished properly, so that the edges and expansion spaces are hidden from view. Once properly installed and finished, the edges and expansion gaps will be invisible and the laminate floor will still be able to move when the laminate expands and contracts.

Measure the perimeter of the room where the laminate floor meets the walls, noting the length of each wall and whether the wall ends in an inside corner or an outside corner. Measure each doorway where the laminate floor meets another flooring material, noting what type of flooring it meets and whether or not the floors are even in height.

Cut quarter-round molding to the wall measurements, using a miter box and saw to angle each end to either an inside or outside angle as needed.

Nail the molding into place, using finishing nails and taking care to angle the nails into the subfloor rather than the wall base molding or the laminate flooring.

Countersink the heads of the finishing nails, using a hammer and nail punch to drive the nail heads just below the surface of the molding.

Cover the sunken nails with finishing putty, taking care to smooth the surface of each patch so that it is uniform with the rest of the molding.

Cut each transition piece and its metal frame to the measurement of the doorway where it will be laid, using a miter box and saw for the transition and a hacksaw for the metal frame.

Install the metal frame in the doorway, according to the specifications of the brand of laminate you have purchased. Typically, the metal is installed 1/4 inch from the edge of the laminate floor; if the laminate is meeting a hardwood floor or another laminate floor there should be another 1/4-inch gap between the metal frame piece and the second floor as well. Screw the frame into place with the screws provided in the transition kit.

Snap the transition piece into the metal frame by pressing one side into the frame and then pushing down evenly along the transition until it is fully seated. Your laminate floor is now fully edged.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Quarter-round molding, length to match perimeter of room and finished as desired
  • Finish nails
  • Hammer
  • Nail punch
  • Finishing putty to match color of molding
  • Transitional pieces as needed
  • Miter box and saw
  • Hacksaw
  • Screwdriver

Tips

  • Vertical obstacles should be trimmed the same as walls.
  • Transition pieces used depend on the type of floor that the laminate is being joined to. For example, T-molding will join two laminates, hardwood or tile that is at the same level as the new floor. Carpet reducer is used when meeting carpet, and reducer molding is used when meeting a hard surface that is lower than the laminate. Thresholds are used when the laminate ends at an exterior door.

Warning

  • Always follow the laminate manufacturer's instructions when edging a laminate installation.

About the Author

Robin Hewitt began her writing career in 2008. She is the coauthor of several books, including "The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting," which covers the nutritional and fitness needs of both grandchildren and grandparents.