Changing transition between floor areas during new installation


Old 04-19-18, 01:04 PM
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Question Changing transition between floor areas during new installation

I hope the title of my discussion topic seems appropriate for the content of my topic.

I am engaged in removal of old carpet and installing engineered wood. In the photo, you can see the exposed sub-floor to the right where carpet has been removed. The vinyl flooring in the upper part of the photo is the kitchen floor. The cabinet on the right side of the photo is part of an eating bar. The builder of this residence, made the transition between kitchen and living room the diagonal line, going from one corner (on the right) to another corner (the corner on the cabinet/eating bar). So, the corner to corner approach resulted in the diagonal transition.

To replace the carpeting with wood flooring and maintain that diagonal transition, I will obviously need to take careful measurements and make diagonal cuts on boards, with the objective of creating a fairly precise transition. I would use some type of transition strip between the vinyl flooring and the wood flooring, to cover the gap between them.

Just today, I had a thought about changing the transition from the diagonal pattern to a straight-across pattern. See the red line drawn on the photo for an illustration of my idea.

So, eliminating the diagonal transition would simplify the installing of the wood flooring there but would require trimming away of a triangular section of the vinyl flooring. I am not sure how I can do that in a way that would produce a professional looking outcome. In other words, how would I cut the vinyl with it laying in its installed position? Note: the vinyl flooring is thick; it is not the original thin sheet vinyl; it is vinyl planks with a grip-strip for connecting pieces together and it is a floating floor on top of the original sheet vinyl.

So, I am interested in feedback on two points: 1) would a straight-across transition instead of the diagonal transition look OK, and 2) can a triangular section of the vinyl flooring be neatly removed?
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Old 04-19-18, 02:31 PM
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You can do either, leave the diagonal or make the transition to a straight cut. You will need a heavy duty utility knife and some good blades. Make multiple passes through the vinyl with a metal straightedge as a guide and eventually you will break through. Also, most likely there is a 1/4" of underlayment under the vinyl that will also need to come up. Dedication and persistence with your utility knife should allow you to cut all the way through this. 10 to 15 hard passes. If not, an oscillating tool will make quick work of it.

Either way, you can make a better cut on the transition strip than the builder did. There are gauges to help you get the correct angle that you can transfer to your wood to make the install easier if leaving it as is. Definitely get a new transition piece and cut the ends to match the contour of both walls and cabinets.
Old 04-19-18, 05:34 PM
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Definitely the non-diagonal transition is the way to go. In fact I would suggest replacing everything so that there is no transition!
Old 04-20-18, 02:21 PM
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\Thanks for the replies.

czizzi, thanks for the tips on how to cut away the vinyl flooring and underlayment under it. And, yes, it has 1/4" of underlayment under it. Can you give an example of an "oscillating tool"? I imagine a wood chisel might also be useful in removing the underlayment.

The transition strip shown in the photo is not the original transition strip. I installed the one in the photo when I installed the vinyl flooring. I agree it looks like a shoddy installation on the ends of the strip. The strip was 3' long when purchased and was not quite long enough to span the diagonal transition, and, at that time, I did not want to buy two of them and construct a longer transition strip.

Marq1, my son suggested putting some flooring boards down over that triangular area as "dry run" to get a sort of preview of how a non-diagonal transition will look. I think I'll try that. But anyway, I think I'm leaning toward the non-diagonal transition. Regarding your suggestion of replacing everything, I think not. The vinyl was installed just 2 or 3 years ago. It required a lot of measuring and cutting to make the floor conform to appliances, cabinets, and a heat vent in the floor. Also, I believe the vinyl has some advantages over wood for kitchen flooring. Perhaps, if I had been planning both flooring replacements at the same time, I might have considered installing wood over the whole area, as you suggested. On the other hand, the builder installed the 1/4" kitchen underlayment under the cabinets. So, removing it would be a nightmare.
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