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After putting laminate flooring in the apartment, I need to install floor transitions under the doors/room connections.

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Since in a couple of places, there is ~2mm difference in height, I decided to fix the transitions tightly and bought the transitions that require holes in the floor concrete.

But now I realize that I should be worried about accidentally drilling a pipe or wires in the floor. At one place I do know that hot water pipes are running as the floor is warmer.

Other than that I cannot guess where are the dangerous zones. I don't have the full info about the wire/pipe placement in the apartment as I am renting it.

I wonder if there are some rules on how pipes and wires should travel from one room to another? (I am living in the Netherlands)

I have heard that electricity wires usually go vertical or horizontal but in my apartment, I have seen the wires going diagonally in the ceiling, or the pipe probably going diagonally under the floor (based on the patch on the concrete before covering it with the laminate).

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    Contact your landlord, you shouldn't make permanent changes in the rented space without his/her permission.
    – r13
    Sep 20, 2021 at 2:29
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    @r13 While that's strictly speaking true, note that in the Netherlands, most rentals come pretty bare-bones (e.g. bare concrete on the floor, wires sticking out of the ceiling), so the first thing a tenant needs to do is laying their own flooring and installing light fixtures. And when you already have to do your own floors, it would be unreasonable to think you can't put in some transition strips as well. Any modifications that can be undone without significant expense aren't considered "permanent" in Dutch rental law.
    – TooTea
    Sep 20, 2021 at 6:49
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    Very interesting info, @TooTea, and very odd to American ears! Thanks for providing some background.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 20, 2021 at 11:58
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    Can you ask the landlord if they have a "map" of where plumbing & electrical have been run? Alternatively, consider returning the transition strips you purchased and get some that attach with glue or tape.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 20, 2021 at 11:59
  • Yes, I am going to ask the rental agency (though my first guess is that they won't be of any help) and as a last resort, I will exchange the screw-based transitions into self-adhesive ones. Sep 21, 2021 at 0:32

1 Answer 1

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I note that you asked for the Netherlands.

Usually wires run vertical in the walls, but sometimes they can run under an angle too. Same thing for ceilings, they run parallel to the wall, but not always. And if you live in an "upstairs" you never know what's in your floor.

Typically drilling 1cm or maybe 2cm deep is not an issue for wires, but this cannot be counted on.

The best way is to chisel the concrete, confirm there is no wiring or piping, fill it again, then drill into the filling to insert screws or plugs.

Wires run in PVC conduits embedded in the cement/brick/concrete, so if you're careful you'll likely not cause damage while chiseling.

Without this you'll need a "leiding detector" or wire finder.

For heating pipes the trick is to spray the floor while the heater is on, and determine from the moisture pattern where the pipes run. Then simply stay away from those areas no matter how deep you'll drill.

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  • Thank you for your reply. Chiselling sounds the most complete approach but not easily applicable to my case as I only have max 2cm gaps between the laminates, and chiselling in between and filling later will be difficult (and my below neighbour would probably go crazy :)). I should have thought more carefully about transitions before putting the laminate floor. Sep 21, 2021 at 0:27
  • @FiboKowalsky If using adhesive, as you propose, make sure the concrete is clean and roughed up. You can even drill several 1cm holes. You should have no problems then. Success ermee!
    – P2000
    Sep 21, 2021 at 2:21
  • but the self-adhesive transition profiles don't require any drilling or any contact with the concrete floor as shown here: hornbach.nl/shop/… Sep 22, 2021 at 18:38
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    yes that one seems to be glued on both sides. I use the T shaped ones (top right in your pic) and sometimes I need to hold the floor down if it lifts here, and glue the bottom of the T to concrete. If you are transitioning between two floating floors, it could put a lot of stress on the transition as the floor expands/contracts with temperature (sun/ heater, and air humidity) and so usually one side is left unglued.
    – P2000
    Sep 23, 2021 at 18:23

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