Laminate floor and baseboards - to caulk or not to caulk?

Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 12:30 pm
OK, I've installed laminate flooring in the girls' playroom, and I was able to re-use the baseboards that we had in there.

The laminate floor is a floating floor; it is laid up to the wall, but with a slight expansion gap. The baseboards are then mounted so that they sit on top of the laminate floor to hide the gap.

I've re-mounted the baseboards and the problem I'm trying solve is that there is a slight gap in places between the baseboards and the flooring.

My options seem to be:

1. Leave the gaps. They're not really unsightly, but I'm worried about drafts and dirt.
2. Put quarter-round all around the room. I really don't want to do this for the following reasons: a) I'd probably still have a gap, b) I don't like how quarter-round looks, and c) the room has some odd corners, and I'm not certain of my skills cutting the miters.
3. Caulk the gap. I'm worried that this will look bad, since the bead of caulk will be partly on the floor.
4. Squirt in some expanding foam, wipe up the excess and be done.
5. ??? - other suggestions?
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 01:32 pm
don't caulk. this will interfere with your expansion.

quarter round should not leave gaps unless your floors are really uneven, it's more flexible than base board.

or look somewhere else while you are in the playroom...
0 Replies
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 02:49 pm
I think that you've said it yourself, DD, They're not really unsightly.

I can assure you that you'll never hear a word of complaint from either the baseboard or the laminate about dirt or drafts.

If you do have what you consider as too big a gap along a particular portion, and you don't want your marbles to roll into the gap, use a hi-grade CLEAR silicone; just cut the tip off to create a small orifice, fill the gap almost full and use your finger to create a slightly recessed cove just behind the front face of the baseboard.

For further reference; to get a tight inside corner joint, don't use a miter, use a cope. They are actually very easy to cut. Also, to ensure that the cope seats tightly, cut the section of whatever trim it is just a c-hair longer than the actual length needed so you are in essence, "wedging" that piece of trim into place.
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 02:54 pm
Ah, clear silicone. That makes sense.
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Reply Mon 5 Mar, 2012 05:38 am
Climate control is a must for laminate flooring. Fluctuations in humidity and temperature, will cause failure. I would think some clear silicon caulk would be ok
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David Anderson
Reply Tue 6 Mar, 2012 07:18 am
What is the amount of gap? Are we talking about 1/8" or 3/8" or 3/4"? If it's small, a good job of caulk will sooth all ills - if someone is decently talented at caulk. If it's large that's going to mean you'll need more adjustment to the layout.
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Reply Sun 15 Dec, 2013 10:32 am
My research is coming up short. Caulking is flexible and should also allow for movement within the floor. In my industry (orthotic and Prosthetic) we use numerous materials and designs. **What about using a thin layer of vaseline on the flooring and than will with caulking. This will provide a median to prevent the caulking from adhering to the flooring.** braceguy
0 Replies

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