Forum Title: Stepdown Bullnose Installation
I'd welcome advice on how to install a stepdown bullnose to complete a wood floor installation in my kitchen and breakfast area. Because of other issues I had to start in the middle of the floor and work in both directions. The floor is 4wide, 3/4 prefinished hickory that is attached with staples over a vinyl floor over 1/4 luan over 1 nominal OSB. A full unfinished basement is below. The bullnose molding is 3-1/2 wide, 3/4 thick hickory with a 1' thick bullnose and a groove in its back edge. The bullnose molding needs to be installed on two adjoining edges: one is 10' long and parallel to the floor boards, the other 5' long at a 45 degree angle to the parallel edge. This will result in an inside mitered corner for the bullnose. On the 10' length the groove of the molding will connect to the tongue of the parallel floor boards. On the 5' length the ends of the floor boards are cut at a 45 degree angle. I've chiseled a 4 long groove in the end of each one to accommodate a slip-tongue for connecting to the bullnose molding. The distance between the installed floor boards and the edge of the subfloor is 1-3/4. Add another inch+ for the actual thickness of the riser from the sunken floor to give a total distance to the outside edge of the riser of 2-7/8. The top of the riser is exactly 1/4 lower than the vinyl floor meaning that the main part of the bullnose molding will bear on the vinyl while 1/2 of the bullnose will rest on the riser. Now my questions: 1. I imagine I should glue the slip-tongues into the ends of the floor boards with Titebond or similar woodworking glue? Should I staple through the slip-tongue? 2. At the miter joint I was thinking of adding grooves and using a slip-tongue to keep the surfaces flush. Is that necessary? Should I also glue that joint? 3. What kind of adhesive, if any, should I use to glue the molding to the vinyl? If it won't adhere to the vinyl, what would you suggest? 4. Is there any way to have a solid installation without having to face nail? I'd love not to have to do that as the molding is very clear. But if I need to, what kind of fasteners would you suggest? I'd welcome your assessment of this plan and answers to any or all of these questions. Thanks! - Bernie
Category: Flooring Post By: GEORGE D (Seattle, WA), 03/19/2019

All edges should be gone over with a router to make a T+G engagement. You should glue the splines (I use titebond) and you may want to also nail them in with a 16g finish nailer. As far as the nose itself, I like to glue and screw it. Ill countersink the screws as well as use a little PL premium.

- THOMAS WILSON (Warwick, RI), 04/24/2019

Thanks for the quick reply, Ken. I had planned to route the grooves and even bought the bit. But then I realized the bearing nut would be on the vinyl and keep the cutting blade from getting low enough. That's why I had to go the chisel route, and dry fitting shows a good snug fit. On the mitered ends of the bullnose, however, I'll be able to use the router. I'll probably scarify the vinyl to improve adhesion. Is there a particular type of PL Premium you'd prefer over the others for this application? How likely is it that a glue-down-only installation will do fine (i.e., no nails or screws)? - Bernie

- BRAD BARKER (Dearborn, MI), 04/12/2019

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