Laying vinyl plank flooring, and have ended up with the skinny strip problem at the end of the room. 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. Anyway, 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? (the rest of the floor is floating). Are there other options? Many thanks. skinny strip...sunglasses for scale, not because I think the floor looks cool wearing them

  • 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. – Robert Nubel Jun 8 '17 at 18:51
  • This is is tongue-and-groove flooring, right? – isherwood Jun 8 '17 at 20:57
  • Shoe molding should be removed before installing any sort of wall-to-wall flooring. – James Olson Jun 24 '17 at 19:07
  • 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 '20 at 15:51

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.


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.

  • 3
    I wouldn't ever rigidly fasten a portion of what's essentially a floating floor. – isherwood Jun 8 '17 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. – A. I. Breveleri Jun 8 '17 at 21:36

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"?


We just had the same issue and we did measure three times and followed the instructions to divide by 7", (the manufacturer's given plank width).

We should have had to rip a 6" width for last row, but ended up with 2". THE PROBLEM WAS THAT THE ACTUAL WIDTH OF PLANK IS 7-3/16", which obviously made a BIG difference over all the installed rows. We have decided to glue the thin course to the second last row and install.

My advice to anyone doing this is to: Measure the plank width, then measure the wall lengths and then figure out which way to lay plank, and cut first row if needed.

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