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floating timber floors in the kitchen

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Trav's Avatar
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    Default floating timber floors in the kitchen

    I'm getting a new kitchen installed in a few months and I'm planning on laying a floating timber floor in my kitchen/lounge/dining room. However, I'm concerned about how I edge the floors at the base of the kitchen cabinets.

    The kitchen company, who use a plinth base for the cupbaords, suggested that I should use a beading, but with an aluminium kickboard, it will look terrible. I'm going to lift up all the skirting boards in the other rooms before I lay the flooring, so I will get a neat finish without having to use beading.

    My questions are:

    1. Can I lay the floating floor under kitchen cabinets? I don't really think it would be wise, but I'm happy to be wrong.

    2. can anyone else think of a good way to conceal the edges of the floor where it meets the kickboards? I was thinking of getting them to make another set of kickboards a few cm shorter than the plinth to give enough room to slip the floating floor under.

    3. how hard it is to lay solid timber floors myself?

    Thanks

    Trav

  2. #2
    Pretend my avatar moves! bitingmidge's Avatar
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    Trav,

    1) Don't install a kitchen over a floating floor under any circumstances: you'll stop it "floating", and there is a lot of movement in a typical floor.

    2) The Bead is not as bad as it sounds. I struggled with the same question for a while, then ran a 12mm x 7mm splayed mould, layed on the flat side see pic. (Aluminium Skirt and all!) The gap under the bead looks huge, but when you consider the leading edge of the mould is 3mm, it's really a paper thin crack, and can't be seen from a standing position.

    3) If by solid timber you mean a floating floor system...not too hard, but if you haven't had any "tool" experience I do it at someone else's place first! . If you expand on the question, I am sure we can expand on the answer!

    Cheers,

    P
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails skirting.jpg  

  3. #3
    Senior Member Trav's Avatar
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    thanks midge

    I was really keen to go for the clean look of no bead - but your photo doesn't look too bad. Perhaps I should re-think. Another solution that my SWMBO suggested was to get some 15x10mm aluminium or similar and use this as a bead in the kitchen. I'm kind of leaning towards this option at the moment - but I don't know how I'd go around some of the more tricky bits of the kitchen. Hmmm.

    As for my last question, I was thinking of a real, solid floor, tongue and groove, secret-nailed style, not a floating floor. Never having done this before, I was interested in other people's views on how tricky it is. I have to do about 60sq metres in the lounge/dining/kitchen and hallway.

    Trav

  4. #4
    Pretend my avatar moves! bitingmidge's Avatar
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    Trav,

    I am assuming that you have an existing concrete floor, and you are fixing timber over it..if not ignore the following!

    My experiences for what they are worth:

    Daughter's flat: bottom shelf el cheapo melamine on mdf click floor
    Layed floating style on vapour barrier and foam underlay. HUGE movement due to temperature and humidity variations. If I was doing it again I wouldn't stop at night, just get the whole thing down in one hit....needed every bit of the 20mm expansion joints around the perimeter..amazing!

    Also glued the joins in the kitchen and near the bathroom to try to keep water out of the joint..(2 years so far so good). Some joints opened up visibly but not too badly, a characteristic of pre-finished flooring that I dislike!

    Home of the Biting Midge: Close to top shelf ply boards from Big River Timbers Direct Stick (this method not shown on website, but is approved.) You will need to screw/ shoot blocks onto the slab as you go to wedge the boards up tight, and occasionally may have to screw one through the centre to keep it down, but it won't be apparent after sanding.

    Advantages of the ply boards are: very little (if any) movement. Disadvantage: not much room for error if you need to sand a bit deeper!
    The ply is a rotary veneer, so can be a bit hungry, but the guys finishing it for us did a sterling job: fine sanded FIRST to get some wood dust, then made a filler brew which they trowelled over the whole floor before sanding; Great trick!.

    I would be wary using any "real" timber unless it was fixed over battens and you have a fair dinkum moisture barrier under it....movement is the killer.

    With direct stick or battens, I would have no problems with installing the kitchen over the floor though.

    Don't know if that's of any use, but good luck anyway!
    Cheers,

    P

    Post Script (after reading Mick's post below)
    If you go the stick-down route....make sure that the glue is waterproof. There are some brands that manufacture a glue/waterproof compound, and others that need a waterproofing applied first. Finally don't mix systems or you could have an ugly warranty claim on both parties!
    Last edited by bitingmidge; 7th Jun 2004 at 10:46 PM. Reason: Thought of something else!!

  5. #5
    1K Club Member journeyman Mick's Avatar
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    I've got a Boral brochure somwhere which details their approved method for installing their 90 x 19 mm T&G flooring on a bed of glue directly to a concrete slab. It is more than a few years old however and the work had to be carried out by a licensed installer.

    Mick
    "If you need a machine today and don't buy it,

    tomorrow you will have paid for it and not have it."

    - Henry Ford 1938

  6. #6
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    Hi Trav,

    I have just jumped through the same hoops myself, and there are a few things to know.

    Firstly a kitchen installer will always recommend that you put the floor in after the kitchen, this means that he won't have to scribe the kickboard to the floor and makes his life easier.

    Second, a good flooring installer could get the flooring in after the kitchen with no noticable gap, but this is a real knack and not an option for mere mortals like us.

    I used an 8mm click together laminate floor. It is not real wood, but to my mind looks just as good, does not scratch (I have two dogs), does not move, is easy to lay and comes with a 10 year warranty. From memory it was about $35 or $40 / sq metre.

    So, using this product, the floor can go down first, the kitchen guy has to earn his cheque and there's no gap to worry about.

    If you are using timber flooring, or are worried about the movement issue, I offer this solution - although it is not one that I have tried. Find out if the kitchen will be mounted on legs (ie the kick board is not attached to or part of a structural plinth) and if so (normal these days with all but the most expensive kitchens) lay the flooring first so that the boards will sit under the kickboard, but not so far under that the legs will sit on it. I realise that this could be tricky as often the kickboards are attached to the legs themselves, usually with silicon or a flexable adhesive. You would have to consult with the kitchen people

    My two bobs worth anyway - Good Luck
    Bite off more than you can chew... then chew like hell!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Markw's Avatar
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    Have just had a new kitchen installed and the brushed alloy kickboard is actually a laminex product - doesn't corrode like real alloy does (coated product)

    With this material in mind, why not install a second 10mm kickboad out from the original board - glued in place, to cover the flooring gap.
    ______________
    Mark
    They only call it a rort if they're not in on it

  8. #8
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    I installed a kitchen and laminate floor as snoopy suggested.

    The base units all had legs, which the kickboards were attached to by a couple of snap on brackets.

    Anyway I installed the kitchen first and left the kickboards off. I then installed the floor. it was alot easier around the cupboards as your cuts didnt need to be all that accurate as you wouldnt see the ends once the kickboards went on. I then trimmed the kickboards through the saw and then the router table to clean them up and installed them. I left a slight gap to allow the boards to flex up.

    they all fitted quite easily and neatly.

    Its a rental so I'm afraid I cant post any pictures

  9. #9
    Senior Member Trav's Avatar
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    thanks everyone for the replies.

    The kitchen will be a solid plinth base, not those extendable legs, so it is not an option to put the kickboard on after the flooring. Unless of course, I take MarkW's advice and add another, false kickbaord after the kitchen is in and the flooring is laid. I ran this past the kitchen place when I last talked to them - they were not too keen. I guess it means that they need to come back to put in the kickboards once they have finished.

    The house is actually on stumps, with particleboard sheeting over joists and bearers. So, laying a solid tongue and groove floor is something I am seriously considering.

    I'm no mug with tools, but I'm not all that confidence that I can lay a top-notch floor (ie no gaps). Has anyone laid a normal t&g floor over particleboard? Is it easy, or should I leave it to the professionals?

    Trav

  10. #10
    Broken down Hydrographer AlexS's Avatar
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    Trav,
    I've just laid a floating kitchen floor - the one thats like thick T&G 3-ply strips. I had the kitchen put in first, on the recommendation of both the kitchen supplier and the flooring supplier. I added mouldings (50x12) painted gloss black to match the kickboards. Lifted & replaced the skirtings.

    If you follow the instructions it's pretty straight forward. I used the existing masonite under - I put a couple of patches in before the kitchen went in. I glued all joints as per the instructions, and used the installation kit & a big hammer to close up the joints. The glue gives you a bit of time to work - but don't push it.

    At the doors, you may have differences in level with other floor coverings. Check out a specialist flooring place - there are mouldings to fit most circumstances.

    Good luck - hope it turns out as you wish.
    Visit my website

  11. #11
    2K Club Member seriph1's Avatar
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    ... or you could remove the particleboard and lay your solid timber floor

    the secondary kickboards would work too.... and it would be a straightforwad DIY job IMHO
    Steve
    Kilmore (Melbourne-ish)
    Australia

    ....catchy phrase here

  12. #12
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    Default Kitchen Kickers

    Gidday
    I install kitchens for a living so will just make a few comments relating to what I've done/seen done.
    Any kitchen (with solid fixed kicks (plinths) should be laid before the floating floor is put down. (or so I've been led to believe!!)
    When building/installing kitchens that will have a floating floor fitted, I normally allow an extra 20mm kick set back (from the front carcase edge) Then I apply another false kick over the existing kicker after the floor is laid. For the false kick panel I use 18mm ply with the laminex stuck to it. This allows the floor layer to leave about 10 -15 mm expansion gap between the floor boards and the fixed kick.
    Yes it is a bit of a pain scribing the extra kick panel to the floor so it will fit under the carcase overhang but any small gaps can be left at the top of the kicker (under the carcase overhang) where it is very difficult to see. Also most newly laid timber floors are fairly flat which makes it easier.
    On all other new floors (especially tiles) I always make sure that the floor is laid first and then I scribe the kicker to the floor. This means that there is no deep area for water to sit if plumbing leaks etc occur. It also allows you to change the kitchen plan in later years without needing to retile.
    I also seal my kickers to the floor with a thin bead of clear silicon to help reduce any water getting under them.
    Hope this makes sense and is of help to someone!
    Regards
    Simon

  13. #13
    Senior Member soundman's Avatar
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    can I lay T&G floring over chipboard???

    You bet ya.

    In fact for some it is the prefered method.

    In this day of "safety" & efficiency.
    Smart builders will not install "expensive" flooring untill the latest posible time to avoid damage.
    But working on a shell with no flooring is a big no no.

    so they will sheet the floor with chip or ply early then lay the real floor over at a later stage, gluing & nailing the floor down.

    you end up with a much firmer floor with less noise transmission & no possible squeaks

    And If you are not a fussy type you can shoot your nails anywhere.

    Icrawles under a stage once that was T&G over chip, let me tell you I kept my backside & head down. There were rows of nails pokeing thru all over the place I think about 3 nails actually hit a bearer.

    cheers

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    2K Club Member seriph1's Avatar
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    and being in Canberra, you need all the insulation you can get

    Steve
    Kilmore (Melbourne-ish)
    Australia

    ....catchy phrase here

  15. #15
    Senior Member Trav's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.

    I just spoke to a new kitchen place. When I explained the situation to him, he was perfectly OK with the idea of adding an extra kickboard once I ahve laid the floor. This sounds like the best bet to me (becuase it involves them doing the work, not me!)

    I'm still intrigued by the idea of laying a solind timber floor over the chipbaord, but given I can use a floating floor, I think this is the way to go now.

    Trav

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    Trav,
    we just put a real solid wood floor in the kitchen. My husband did it all himself and he said it was fiddly but easy. We ended up getting a new product from Brazil that is only 11 mm thick and is glued down over wood or concrete. It is already finished too. It cost $60 a sq metre. The result is absolutely wonderful! It was worth the hunting around to find it. Only one place has it, near the airport in Sydney. The only trick was to use solvent based glue. The rest was easy.
    Cassandra

  17. #17
    Senior Member Markw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cassandra
    Trav,
    Only one place has it, near the airport in Sydney. The only trick was to use solvent based glue. The rest was easy.
    Cassandra
    Cassandra,
    Could I have some more details of this product (is it a single timber or layers of timber, click together etc) and the retaillers location.

    with thanks
    ______________
    Mark
    They only call it a rort if they're not in on it

  18. #18
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    Talking

    The company is Indusfloor. Phone number is 9516-0733. Address is 20/2 Bishop St, St. Peters. Tell them you went to the home show and saw it there. They have permission to sell to the public under that condition but otherwise are wholesalers.
    We used 60 sq metres so far and have another 30 or so to go before done. The budget is tight so that room will have to wait.
    It is very thin, one range of colours comes in 8 mm thick and the others in 11 mm thick. We chose the 11, chestnut. It comes from plantations in Brazil. The only problem we had was using a water base glue first time then had to pull all that up and do it over again with new wood and solvent based glue. We have glued it to the wood floor and there is also a section that was concrete......about 2 sq mt. Glued to it too. We are extremely happy with it. No ledge into kitchen that is noticeable, already finished. Been down a month now and not a mark even though we have 2 dogs and 6 kids (all of whom are in their 20's, only 4 are ours, the other 2 are boarders).
    Hope that answers the questions.
    Cass

  19. #19
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    Wink

    Realised I didn't actually answer your question. It is solid wood with tongue and groves on all 4 sides. Easy to put together.
    Cass

  20. #20
    2K Club Member seriph1's Avatar
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    hi cassandra

    Does this product "click" together? Also .... any chance of a pic - of the floor, not the tribe

    Steve
    Kilmore (Melbourne-ish)
    Australia

    ....catchy phrase here

  21. #21
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    Red face

    It has little 'projections' coming out of the edges like a tongue and groove. They slot into the next piece. A bit tricky to get the gaps even, says hubby but he has done it all himself and it looks stunning!
    I'll get hubby to do the photo. I'm inept with those things still. He'll be back tomorrow. I'll include the ones of the kitchen. If you remember we have had a lot of discussion on what lights, floors, windows, etc to use. Kitchen is now done, except some little touch ups that'll get done before we move in 20 or so years...........lol.

  22. #22
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    here goes. Photo of floor and kitchen.
    Cass
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails kitchen-floor.jpg   kitchen-south.jpg  

  23. #23
    2K Club Member seriph1's Avatar
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    thanks heaps for the pics

    well done on the results! That timber looks like jarrah in the pic ..... is there a very slight bevel on each board to accentuate the joins?
    Steve
    Kilmore (Melbourne-ish)
    Australia

    ....catchy phrase here

  24. #24
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    Yes

  25. #25
    Senior Member Markw's Avatar
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    Many thanks Cassandra, this looks like something I might use
    ______________
    Mark
    They only call it a rort if they're not in on it


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