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New floating floor - but now the front door doesn't open!

March 12, 2015

The problem is that I live in a condo with strict regulations. The original flooring was an 8mm think laminate flooring. I could not find an 8mm floor I liked, so I put in a 10mm. I installed it over the original subflooring mat, a thick rubber required by the condo regulations. However as I got to the front door (the last area), I realized the new floor was too high for the front door!

The only way to lower the flooring so that I could open and close the front door was to take out the subflooring in that area.

I tried a thinner foam subflooring, but it was still too high.

So I had to put the planks directly on the concrete, which is not only totally against the condo regulations, but also pretty obvious that the floor dips and feels different in that area. This is a pretty high traffic area, not only because it's where the front door opens, but it's also the entrance to the bathroom. (Luckily the bathroom door opens the other way, into the bathroom, so that door does't matter).

What is the thinnest material I can put under a floating floor? I'm seriously considering paper towel lol. So how do I lift the front door? It's a big heavy door, and it doesn't look like it has any room to be adjusted...

I don't know what to do??!!!

Comments (15)
  • nansdrew
    You can cut a slice off the bottom of the door and make it work. That's what our contractor did for our doors to fit perfectly. Good luck!
  • ninigret

    before you slice the door, is the dip noticeable with a thin woven rug in the area? or is nothing so thin that the door can clear it?

  • PRO
    Cancork Floor Inc.

    Shaving down the door is the best solution. The laminate floor CANNOT handle a dip like that for very long. It will rip itself appart inside of a 4-6 months. The only way you can LEAVE the dip = remove the underlay. Cut the planks and leave a gap between the "no underlay" area and the "underlay" area. Using an uneven transition you would then have an "entranceway" area (lower with wood transition strips around 3 sides) and the "living space" are = higher with appropriate underlay.

    Personally the shaving the door down is the professional and APPROPRIATE way of doing this. If you leave this "slope" you will ruin the floor/planks inside of a year. Either transition this properly (pretend it is tile and put a transition around the area) OR remove the door, shave it down and rehang.

  • viennah

    I'm not sure shaving the door is an option. This is the FRONT door, as in the door that separates my unit from the building's hallway. It's a heavy door, it's not just a regular wood door like you would have inside a house. The door has a large metal grove all along the bottom, I'd had to shave off the metal. And I'm pretty sure the condo association would NEVER give me permission to do that! There are cameras in the hallway, it's not something I could do without getting caught!

    I'm not sure I understand how a woven rug would work...? You mean to replace the flooring planks entirely with a rug?

    I guess I just have to find the absolute thinnest underlaying layer I can find... ?

    What about sanding down the concrete subfloor? is that possible? (without getting caught by the condo association...?)

  • marilynellis
    Trim the bottom of the door in this case you raise the bridge rather than lowering the water. Happens all the time. Easy fix.
  • nansdrew
    Front doors can be cut like all other doors. I think the metal you are talking about is the weather stripping frame that is screwed to the bottom of the door, right? That can be taken off then reattached after door is sliced. A contractor or carpenter can do this. Your condo association shouldn't have any problems with this whatsoever.
  • PRO
    Cancork Floor Inc.

    The obvious answer is install tile. Doors can be trimmed. A professional can remove the bottom metal of the door, shave it and then rehang the thing. If you feel this is not an option you need to REMOVE the floor and install something like tile in that small space (3ft x 3ft is common enough).

    Changing out underlay may not be an option either. The previous owner had to have all those layers PRE-APPROVED...which means you have to replace "like with like" in a Condo situation.

    DO NOT SHAVE THE CONCRETE! You don't own the "envelope" of the building you own the space inside the building and the walls separating your space. The concrete under the floor and the outside walls are owned by the collective. Grinding would get you into more trouble because SOMEONE is going to hear it...3 floors in each direction!

    A professional can handle everything you are saying. A DIYer may not be able to deal with this. You may have to pick up the phone and call someone. The building maintenance people will have a great network of people who can do this (shaving the door). You will have to pay for it...but that's the beauty of owning your own home.

  • Victoria
    Take up the floor and set a doormat in a mat well, that can be a little lower than the tile and your door will still open over it.
  • PRO
    Yes remove the bottom weatherstripping cut the door reinstall weather stripping.
  • Jeff H

    If you have a metal front door I would not advise trimming the bottom, check with your association and see if the will allow you to raise the door, ideally you would like 3/4". When building new homes we always set exterior doors 1/2"-3/4" higher depending on the material used for flooring. If you don't you will run In to problems like you have encountered or door functions properly but when you place a rug at the door then the door will not clear the rug. Then again you only own a box of air so only choice maybe the tile. Good luck:)

  • PRO
    Use a metal cutting blade on the circular saw. Any/all doors can be trimmed.
  • Jeff H

    This a very true statement in regards to interior doors however this is a exterior metal door to a condo. The exterior metal clad is formed back into the wood at the edges as to help keep the metal form to the wood core of the door. So by cutting the bottom of the exterior door you no longer have the metal keeping its form you are depending on the glue and over time it too will loose this ability to hold the metal tight to the wood form. Its not a debate of "can it be done" its is regards to the ramifications of right and wrong.

  • PRO
    Cindy Sherman, AKBD
    Why not install a transition piece ending the laminate in a desired size (say 3x3 for example) at the entry. Then install a different material, I would recommend Neolith because it's a super thin, porcelain tile. With any tile you install you need to account for the mud -- so you can't just install "tile" you are working with only 1/4 of an inch .. usually tile and mud equal around 3/4". There are so many flooring options, visit a flooring showroom before shaving off your door.
  • viennah

    This is the best photo I could find that resembles the door. See why shaving it would be complicated? It's also that groove and the metal part in it that all needs to be changed. Or taken out all together.

    This is what the entrance looked like with the older floor, by the way... The front door is the one to the left, the one to the right is the bathroom.

  • viennah

    BTW, I'm the first owner of the condo (well technically my father is, but I bought the condo from him). The floor I've taken out (pictured above) was the original when the condo was delivered. I'm aware that the underlay has to be approved (I went through this when I changed the bedroom carpet for laminate floor). But when I had changed the floor in the bedroom there was a different superintendent, and all he told me was to make sure I got the right underlay at a specific store (he gave me he info) and then I had to put the carpet outside in the oversized trash area. He didn't say anything about getting approval or anything like that.

    But I since then, I moved out of my condo to go to grad school and rented it out while I was gone. When I returned, the floor in the living room was totally damaged, I could tell it was water damage, and I started lifting out the planks to see the extent of it, if it was still wet, where it came from, etc. But when I and my dad threw out the old, water-damaged planks in the trash, a very angry superintended, a new person I had never met before, saw us on the cameras and basically started a fight with my dad because apparently we weren't allowed to put the planks in the trash, not even in the oversized trash area, I had to pile them into my dad's car! (And I've seen other people throw out their old flooring there before too, btw!)

    Then the superintendent sent us a 500$ fine for doing a "major renovation" without prior approval. I had no idea taking out the damaged planks would be such a problem since I had changed the floor a couple years earlier with the knowledge of the previous superintendent and it was no problem at all! I didn't need "approval" from anyone...

    Anyway, the superintendent now hates us, he ain't gonna be doing me any favors... so the more I can avoid talking to him and getting approval for stuff (the guy seems like such a jerk I'm afraid he won't give us approval, or take weeks before approving it) the better.

    I just want to get this project over with already and move in! the whole floor is done, I just don't have underlay in this one small little area.

    Is it better to put in an un-approved underlay in the entrance? No one will know, unless the neighbours downstairs complain, and I highly doubt they would....

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