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I want to install laminate flooring in a family room that has a brick fireplace. Part of the laminate would be directly next to the brick base of the fireplace. What kind of base-board or base-piece would I use to secure the edge of the laminate against the fireplace?

-M

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4 Answers 4

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One way of accomplishing this is to undercut the brick and slide the flooring in underneath. Two advantages are that the brick ends up holding down your floating floor, and you end up with a very clean looking transition between the brick and laminate.

To do this, you'd of course need something that can cut brick. You could potentially use an angle grinder or jamb saw with a diamond blade, but either of those would be pretty dusty. To cut down on the dust somewhat (or at least reduce the degree to which it gets blown around the room), I'd recommend a multifunction oscillating tool. Fein makes the original one but it's pricey at ~$300. I have a kit from Rockwell that's about half that and love it, and you can get a version from Harbor Freight for about $35 but it's got some iffy reviews and it doesn't appear to come with a diamond stone-cutting blade. As an added bonus this is an incredibly useful tool that would almost certainly come in handy in other parts of your flooring job (trimming jambs, etc) and in other projects as well.

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Thanks. Of all the options, I think I like this one the best because it would look clean. –  Mike B Sep 7 '10 at 4:26
    
This worked great on my fireplace mantle. I used a 4.5" Milwaukee angle grinder with the guard left on to use as a height gauge. I used a 4.5" diamond blade spaced out on the mandrel using an old grinding wheel that was just about down to the nub. This gave me a perfect 3/8" gap after I used a 3/8" cold chisel to clean out between the floor and the brick. Caution, chip towards the center of the brick mass, not outwards on a corner brick. Don't ask. –  TomC Aug 7 '12 at 17:49

When we did this, we purchased edging to match the laminate. The edging snaps into a channel, which can be attached to the floor - either glued or screwed, depending on the sub floor.

I found after a couple of years the edging came up a bit, but a bit of glue in the channel fixed that.

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Interesting info, thanks! –  Mike B Sep 7 '10 at 4:27

If it's a floating laminate floor (i.e. it isn't glued to the floor, but just rests on a foam underlay or padding) then you shouldn't attach the flooring to the walls at any point. You can cover the spaces around the edges of the walls with baseboard, but this should just rest on the floor, not be connected to it in any way. This is because a floating floor may expand, contract, or shift slightly due to changes in temperature or humidity, and if it's attached at any point the laminate flooring pieces may separate due to the strain.

When I put my flooring down, there were gaps around the fireplace and near the door leading outside, so I simply used some tinted caulk to fill the gaps. You can usually find caulk tinted to match different wood colors, so it should blend with the floor easily. And since the caulk will expand and contract a bit, it works fine with a floating floor.

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Oh! Thanks for the heads up... the Lowes installation video I watched on youtube mentioned attaching baseboards to the wall but didn't explain why. –  Mike B Sep 7 '10 at 4:34

A very easy and inexpensive solution is to attach 1/4 round or bed molding directly to the brick, but resting on the flooring. You can use a good grade construction adhesive to attach the trim to the brick, I prefer PL for masonry in a case like yours, but any good urethane based adhesive will do. Glue any mitered corners of the trim with Titebond II wood glue. Good luck

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