Working Around Obstacles
Not every floor is obstacle free. You'll have to modify planks to fit
around obstacles such as pipes and toilets. If you're lucky, you can
just drill holes in the plank then slip it over the obstacle, but you're
more likely to have to cut it. Whenever you can, remove the object, install
flooring under it, and replace it. If you can cut the flooring
to fit around the obstacle, always leave a 1/4" gap for expansion.
Fill these expansion gaps with silicone caulk once the flooring glue has
dried. Caulk keeps moisture from seeping into the core of the planks.
It's especially important in a bathroom or kitchen.
|Dividing the plank
On the back of the plank, draw a line through the center of the drill
holes. Lay the plank on a piece of plywood on a work bench and
clamp it in place. Using a straight 1x3 as a guide, cut along the
marked line with a circular saw fitted with a carbide-tipped blade.
||Installing the pieces
Place a pair of spacers against he wall behind the pipes. Position
and glue the larger of the cut pieces to its neighbors. Fill the
groove3 and cut edge of the smaller piece with glue. Then slip the
smaller piece between the spacer and the larger piece. With a pull
bar and hammer, tap the pieces together and against the neighboring
plank. Wipe away excess glue.
Getting Around Larger Obstacles
Toilets and bathtubs are common
larger obstacles. (Some manufacturers advise against installing
laminate in bathrooms.)
- To fit flooring around a toilet, first remove the toilet and plug the
drainpipe with a damp cloth to block toxic sewer gases. Scrape the
old wax seal off the flange. Dry-lay flooring up to the flange.
With a combination square, draw a box to indicate the out edges of the
flange on the plank. Use the same method for marking pipes.
Bend a flexi-curve to the shape of the flange (below left). Place
the flexi-curve on the plank so its inside edges touch the box.
Trace around the outside to lay out a hole with the proper size expansion
gap. Cut along the inside of the marked circle with a saber saw.
(The thickness of the flexi-curve creates the expansion gap.) Cut
and fit the planks as for another obstacles. Seal around the flange
with silicone caulk. When the floor dries, reconnect the toilet.
- Treat immovable objects like tubs as you would a normal wall.
Start the first row at the tub's edge. Fill the expansion space with
silicone sealant (below right) . Smooth it with a wet finger.
Dividing a plank
Installing the pieces