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I am laying vinyl plank flooring, and have ended up with the skinny strip problem at the end of the room. I don't want to tear the whole thing up and start again (economically impractical, apart from anything).

Before anyone gets on me, I WAS aware of this possible problem and I did measure before I began, but I am filling an awkward open plan area involving three spaces, and it was continuity that got me in the end. There was no straightforward way not to end up with a skinny strip somewhere.

I would like to know my options at this point.

  • A super wide skirting shoe is surely going to look weird.
  • Will such a thin strip lie properly if it is secured under quarter round?
  • Will it also need to be glued down and will it impact the rest of the floor since it is floating?
  • Are there other options?

skinny strip...sunglasses for scale, not because I think the floor looks cool wearing them

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  • You can check the answers here for some help: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/41126/… -- that question is dealing with wood flooring, whereas you've got vinyl, but the concepts are similar. Personally I'd just put in the narrow strip and see how it holds up. Jun 8, 2017 at 18:51
  • This is is tongue-and-groove flooring, right?
    – isherwood
    Jun 8, 2017 at 20:57
  • Shoe molding should be removed before installing any sort of wall-to-wall flooring. Jun 24, 2017 at 19:07
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    Did you ever get this resolved? If so, please give a check-mark to the answer that helped you the most, or write up your own answer explaining what you did to get it fixed and give yourself a check mark. That will help others with this kind of problem know that this has a resolution and is a good place to look for their answer.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 3, 2020 at 15:51

4 Answers 4

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Assuming that this is a locking tongue-and-groove product... Rip the strip and install it as normal. There's no reason at all not to, and it happens on almost every flooring install in one place or another. Your shoe will help secure it and it won't look like some sort of hack.

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Of course, don't tear up the whole thing. But you should consider tearing up just the last full board, and reducing the width of the last two courses:

flooring finish plan

The last board will have to be glued or screwed down, but it will be wide enough so that it won't warp or capsize the way a skinny strip would.

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    I wouldn't ever rigidly fasten a portion of what's essentially a floating floor.
    – isherwood
    Jun 8, 2017 at 20:56
  • @isherwood: On reflection I think you are right. - Diyhopeful's question is "Will such a thin strip lie properly if it is secured under quarter round?" and the best answer is "Yes, if is is ripped from the same interlocking stock." - I got off track because I read diy.stackexchange.com/questions/41126/… and fixated on ripping the narrow strips from fewer boards. Jun 8, 2017 at 21:36
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You can always just glue the narrow srip to the adjacent full plank and make it an 'oversized' plank. The plank will expand and contract normally and be fully floating. oversized plank

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  • What kind of glue would be used?
    – Jane Panda
    Nov 24, 2023 at 19:19
  • FWIW I did this with PL Premium and a qtip to thin it out so the pieces can still lock
    – Jane Panda
    Dec 1, 2023 at 2:01
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How narrow will the strip be? I've read that 2" should be the minimum, although some places say 3". I've just recently run into the same problem and I'm doing a strip that is 2.5". Is that baseboard on the wall? Can you take up the baseboard so that you can install a bit wider piece then install the baseboard and quarter round over the strip? Or alternatively undercut the baseboard so that you could slip the piece under it like you would under doorjambs, etc. and at least you might gain an extra 1/2"?

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  • The minimum width depends on the thickness and stiffness of the bas material. Each manufacturer will specify a minimum width. This does not apply to my suggestion about making an 'oversized' plank. There you only need to have the locking mechanism intact. Less than 1" is entirely feasible.
    – HR Myler
    Apr 22, 2022 at 21:36

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