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Last Updated: , Created: Tuesday, December 30th, 2003

Flooring transitions from room to room for wheelchairs

Beth has a kid in a wheel chair and wants to know how to lay down a floating floor across two rooms without a bump in the doorway.

Good question Beth, because floating floors are designed to shift a bit with expansion and contraction. The first photo above shows the official transition piece that is supposed to be used between two rooms of floating floors. It is a 'T' shaped piece that is screwed to the sub-floor, and the floating floors on either side can shift a bit under the lip of the 'T'. But that is an annoyance for wheel chairs. I see two possible solutions.

You could lay the floating floor in the other direction as in the second photo, with the boards going right through the doorway. It is simply doing it as if you had a long narrow room, rather than two rooms. That would even put the strength of the boards in the direction of the most common rolling of the wheels of the wheelchair.

If you wanted the grain of the wood to go in the more traditional direction, you could use an engineered flooring as you see in the third photo, also a laminate but made out of real wood. This has plywood on the bottom and very little expansion and contraction. This type of flooring works well when glued directly to the stub-floor, which eliminates all movement, allowing for no transition piece between rooms.

Click here for more details on the different types of laminate flooring.

If you can't eleminate the bump across the door sill, then you can install a leveller on each side. Click here for accessibility details.

Keywords: Floors, Types, Wheels, Laminate, Sill, Handicap, Disabled, Adaptation, Techniques, Wheelchair, Accessibility

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