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Fireguy5674 03-28-2013 10:00 AM

Looking for Ideas
I have just put down a new hardwood floor and I am looking for ideas to compensate for floor height differences. Our house was built in stages between 1900 and 1940. For some reason the two sections have a different floor height. The floor I just installed is approximately 1 1/2" lower than the floor in the next room. The door opening is just over 4' wide. I proposed using a stair nose and leaving a slight step down. The "boss" said she believed it would be better to create a smooth transition between the two heights so when our elderly parents and young granchildren come over things are easier for them. I am debating trying to use a 1 x 8 oak and shape it with a power planer to create a slope between the floors. The new floor is also about 5/8" lower than the kitchen tile floor where I removed a wall. That lenght is about 15'. (Eventally the kitchen tile and the four layers of vinyl and underlayment will go.) But for now I am looking for creative solutions. Sometimes I get something stuck in my head and fail to see the obvious better choice until much later.
Hit me with your best shot!

CallMeVilla 03-28-2013 10:08 AM

Not be be Captain Obvious, but I would have tried to resolve these variations BEFORE laying the new floor. A new subfloor (5/8") would have minimized these issues in advance. Don't tell The Boss but I just can't think of an attractive and easy way to fix this now that your beautiful new floor is installed.

Sorry. :(

nealtw 03-28-2013 10:16 AM

You,re in a no win place here, neither will make it safe. Did you look at raising the hardwood before you did it.
Now you have to consider who will have trouble with it. Do they use a walker Shuffle their feet, wear glasses. If your biggest worry is the parents, ask them what they would like you to do. The more people talk about it, the more they are aware of it and may produce less problems.

bud16415 03-28-2013 10:52 AM

I had a similar problem but not quite as big of a step as you and I did the oak transition. I had the small step for a bit and do not do that. It will be a trip point for sure. I didn’t make the transition just over the width of the door jamb but I made the filler piece wrap around the corners of the jamb in 4 places. The floor was yellow pine in the one room but I made the transition out of red oak as the flooring in the other room was a darker floor. I first milled the taper on the piece and then hand worked the wrap around parts to blend in both directions with a sanding disc. I screwed it down and plugged the holes with dowels. By not trying to hide the piece I kind of set it off as a bit of fancy woodwork and have had complements on the threshold saying it looks so much better than the cheap T strips you see everyplace these days. The trick is to not try and angle it too much. I know people say why didn’t you just add a underlayment but in my case I had a half dozen other problems that would have caused in other doorways etc.

Fireguy5674 03-28-2013 11:40 AM

I considered alot of options before putting the floor down. I did not want to raise the entire floor of my 13 x 15 living room for a lot of reasons but mostly because when I redo the kitchen and its floor they should be roughly the same height. That is the biggest area where the 2 floors meet and the sub floor is the same height there. The 4foot doorway is the only spot where I have the 1 1/2' difference. I also forgot to mention the door frame is almost 8" wide because there are two indepedent walls built back to back. These guys had an interesting way of doing things. 70 years later, I wonder why they built the floors different heights to begin with? I may try going wider than 8" and doing something like Bud suggested. Although my door is right next to the tile floor of the kitchen so it will be hard to flare it to the right.

bud16415 03-28-2013 11:50 AM

What I did was cut my red oak to fit the doorways and into the rooms as required. I set it down into the opening and then took a pencil and marked it around the outside to represent the floor heights. Then picked the point where I wanted the major taper to start and figured in my slope and cut that. Having the guide lines then I marked the top how far I wanted the flair area to be and the rest was hand work. You may not want to cut back into the tiles so you will have to live with a bit of a step there if it’s not a trip point. Old houses sure are fun. My doorways are also 8” thick but that’s how thick they built them back in the day of rough sawed lumber and horse hair.

CallMeVilla 03-28-2013 12:26 PM

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WOO HOO ... now you have an excuse to re-do the kitchen! Tell The Boss it will be necessary to make it safer for the dottering In-Laws!

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