I'm installing laminate flooring in a bedroom next to a tiled hallway. I'm planning to have a standard expansion gap all the way around the room, but I'm stuck on how to do the doorway. I know the standard approach is to use T-moulding, but whoever did the original floors in my house just used a thin metal divider between the engineered hardwood floors and the tile. I'd like to be able to install the laminate the same way without a gap for just the length of the doorway. The room is 10' x 11'. Am I going to run into problems?

I haven't noticed any expansion issues with the engineered hardwood floors, and they seem to be blocked in on several sides by these transitions. The living room has a 17' wide section with no expansion gap between doorways on either side. If it matters, the house is on a slab.

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3 Answers 3


Manufacturers require expansion around the entire perimeter of your floating floor. Depends on whether or not you want to maintain your warranty. If you don't care, fly at er. You may or may not end up with issues. Depending on the height of the tile, I like to use an Edge Mold which butts up to the tile instead of overlapping it. It still overlaps the laminate, offering a warranty approved solution. Last week I had to deny a warranty claim by a builder who butted all his floating engineered hardwood tight to tile. The flooring started to squeak a couple months after completion. Badly. Sorry "builder". He was out a substantial sum. Your 10x11 room may survive unscathed.

  • I've also seen tiles pop from the pressure of the wood expanding. Your best off to do it properly. Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 2:35
  • Very good point about the manufacturer warranty! It's something I hadn't considered, but I ultimately decided to accept the small risk of buckling. I figure I can always shave off a bit of the first plank and install a T molding if it does buckle. I was planning on uploading an answer after a year of issue-free installation, since the most expansion I'll see will probably occur in the summer.
    – Doresoom
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 16:26

You could leave a very small expansion gap.. 1/8, then fill that with a color matched flexible caulk, pergo makes color matches to each floor they sell, I'm sure other brands do aswell.. then you can avoid transitions, and still leave expansion gap, however your still going to void warranty, the gap won't be enough to honor the warranty, but it's enough to avoid problems in the future (in my opinion) I'm sure your project is done, but maybe this can help others in future projects (for the record, I would always recommend transitions)

  • I'll probably use this method in the future, for rooms that are similarly sized. It just adds a bit more "insurance" over just butting up to the tile. For the record if anyone's wondering, I installed the flooring in January, and it's been 6 months with no problems. The rest of the room has a 3/8" gap all the way around it though.
    – Doresoom
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 14:34

Well, it's been over a year with no expansion issues or buckling at all, so it looks like I got away with no expansion gap in front of the door. Note that this may not be the case for all installations, but it was for mine.

Some other factors that I imagine played a role:

  • The annual humidity extremes in my city are 90%/66% morning/afternoon during August, and 78%/62% during March. I installed at the beginning of January, which averages 81%/69%.
  • The instructions on the flooring said the maximum width I could install without an expansion gap was 20'. Since my span was only 10', I could easily get away without an expansion gap on one side.
  • I was very careful to leave the full recommended 3/8" gap on the far side of the room opposite the door.

As RossInstalls mentioned, I did void my warranty by installing this manner, but I was fairly confident I wouldn't run into problems, mainly due to the middle point I list above.

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