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How To Transition Hardwood To Carpet/Doors/Stairs/Concrete

If you are installing hardwood floor in your home, you may run into an area where you have to transition to a different type of floor. This could be to carpet, concrete, at a door, or at the top of the stairs.

Transitions from hardwood to other surfaces can be made with a transition strip. These strips are available in different shapes and sizes to fit almost any need or transition type. Once the transition strip is put in place, it will make for a smooth transition from the hardwood to any other surface.

Woman laying on the floor

The most important factor in using a transition strip for this purpose is to make it as seamless as possible. There are going to be a variety of options, including different colors and different types of materials, such as wood, metal, and plastic.

Since you are installing a high quality wood floor, you would want to make sure that you use a high quality transition strip. It will be the thing that most people notice if you don’t choose wisely.

How To Transition Hardwood To Carpet/Doors/Stairs/Concrete

Another important factor to consider is how you are going to attach the transition strip, if that is what you choose to use. This is different, depending on the type of subfloor in place.

If you have a standard plywood subfloor, you will not have a difficulty attaching these transition strips in place. There are some considerations for other types of subfloor, however, that can make a difference. Here are a few to consider.

Concrete – If you are installing a transition strip from hardwood to concrete, you will either have to use tap cons or you can predrill a hole, fill it with a piece of the dowel rod and use it to tack down the strip.

In some cases, you will need to choose because of what is visible on the surface. Some transition strips have a piece that is installed under the strip and then the strip is placed down in it in a tongue and groove fashion. Others are tacked directly from the top of the transition strip.

Vinyl/Laminate – If you are installing the transition strip through any type of floor that can expand or contract, it can be a problem. Nailing down through a transition strip and through this floor could cause the floor to buckle as it expands.

Sometimes, you need to cut small pieces of the floor so that you give it room to expand and contract. In other cases, you may need to glue down the transition strip.

How To Transition Hardwood To Carpet

Two woman fixing the carpet

Are you making the transition from hardwood to carpet? There is a method that makes for a beautiful finish.

The easiest way to seamlessly transition from hardwood to carpet is to use a ‘turn and tack’. This method is done by turning a short piece of carpeting at the transition under itself and then tacking the carpet in place directly against the edge of the wood floor. It makes for a seamless transition without using a strip.

One important factor to keep in mind is any height difference that may exist between the hardwood and the carpet. If the hardwood is significantly higher than the carpet, a tack strip may be necessary.

The tack strip lifts the carpet from the floor so there is not a lip of hardwood that is exposed at the transition. It also helps to hold the carpet in place, although the carpeting is also pinned in place.

When pinning the carpet, work the staple gun down through the nap so that you are pinning it directly to the backing. If a tack strip is used, pin the carpeting through the tack strip into the subfloor.

Have the Following Tools on Hand:

  • Carpet Kicker
  • Pneumatic Staple Gun
  • Razor Knife
  • Straight Edge (Optional)

How To Transition Hardwood To Doors

Hardwod floor in the living room

If you are installing a hardwood floor near a doorway, you may need to transition into another room. There are options that can make it look flawless.

When transitioning hardwood floor at a doorway, make it flow into the next room as seamlessly as possible. This can be done by continuing the hardwood floor into the next room without using any transition. If you are transitioning to another type of flooring, you can use a transition strip.

When making the transition from hardwood floor to any other type of flooring at a doorway, the most important thing to consider is the placement of the transition. It will always look best if the transition takes place in the center of the doorway.

Not only will the transition be hidden when the door is closed, but it also keeps the transition from looking lopsided.

If you are continuing the hardwood installation into the next room, simply undercut the door jam and continue to install the hardwood floor without any visible transition. It is typically best if you don’t change the direction of the floor at the doorway because it will look jumbled.

If you are making the transition to a floor that is either lower or higher, you should use a reducer transition strip. These are available to match almost any type of flooring or you can use a universal strip that will work for most transitions.

Have the Following Tools on Hand:

  • Door Jamb Saw
  • Tape Measure
  • Hammer
  • Rubber Mallet

How To Transition Hardwood To Stairs

Hardwood floor with stairs

When making the transition from hardwood to stairs, you can use a piece that is made specifically for that purpose.

Most hardwood floor manufacturers make a nose piece that makes the transition to stairs flawless. It works along with the hardwood floor you are installing and then you can use any material on the stairs, from hardwood floor to carpeting or even a different type of floor altogether.

The type of nose pieces are going to differ from one manufacturer to another. In some cases, it is going to include a piece of hardwood floor so that it is one continuous piece.

In other cases, the nose is going to be separate and you will have to install it by attaching it to the existing floor using invisible screws. The real key is to make sure that all of the surfaces line up properly.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on January 29, 2022.

The first step in the process is to put the riser on the stair if you are using hardwood floor. This will establish the width of the final board that is installed at the top of the stairs.

Once you have things lined up properly, you can install the nose piece to help round things out and to hide the edge of the hardwood floor at the top. It also works to help hide any small gap that may exist between the hardwood floor and the riser.

One important factor to keep in mind is ensuring that the color of the floor does not change drastically at the nose piece. In some cases, you will be dying the nose piece to a certain color and this can be problematic.

Since you are going to be trimming a piece of flooring for the top of the stairs, having it go from light to dark can make too much of a contrast. You want the top of the stairs to blend as seamlessly as possible, so choose the board you are using wisely.

In addition, you don’t want a gap to show at the top of the riser. You may want to extend the riser about 1/32 of an inch higher than the top of the subfloor at the stairs. This will help to ensure that there is no gap visible.

The nosepiece will help to hide the gap as well.

Have the Following Tools on Hand:

  • Rubber Mallet
  • Tape Measure
  • Straight Edge
  • Saw
  • Liquid Nails
  • Invisible Screws
  • Drill

How To Transition Hardwood To Concrete

Man fixing the floor

Transitioning from hardwood to concrete is difficult because of the elevation difference. You also have to contend with the concrete subfloor.

Using a transition strip is the easiest way to transition from hardwood to concrete. It helps to reduce the height of the hardwood so that it matches with the concrete and eliminates the tripping hazard. Choose a transition strip that matches the hardwood color and style.

The difficult part about using a transition strip with a concrete subfloor is that you can’t simply nail it down through the concrete. There are some ways around this, depending upon the type of strip that you are using.

If you are using a multi-piece transition strip, you can attach the groove to the subfloor using Tapcons. Otherwise, you can predrill the holes and fill them with a dowel rod to provide a surface where you can nail in the tacks to hold the strip in place.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on January 29, 2022.

Making the transition from hardwood to any type of flat floor can easily be accomplished with a transition strip. These strips can bridge the gap from one type of floor to another and can reduce the height difference if one exists.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on January 29, 2022.

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