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How To Transition Hardwood To Tile/Laminate/Linoleum

If you are installing a hardwood floor, there may be a need to transition to another type of floor. This could include tile, laminate, or linoleum.

The easiest way to transition from hardwood to any other type of flat floor is to use a transition strip. These come in different types and can be used to bridge the gap from one floor to another and even to reduce the height difference to avoid a large edge and tripping hazard.

Hardwood floor in the kitchen

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a transition strip. One of those factors is the style of the strip, as it may either blend in nicely or it could stand out in contrast.

When installing a hardwood floor, it is typically best if you choose a transition strip that is as closely matched to the hardwood as possible. This would, in some cases, mean staining the strip so that it more closely resembles the hardwood.

As you will see, there are also different types of transition strips that can be used under different circumstances.

How To Transition Hardwood To Tile/Laminate/Linoleum

Making a smooth transition from one type of flooring to another often requires that you choose the transition strip carefully. They come in different shapes and sizes, including the following options:

T-bar – This is perhaps one of the more common types of transition strips as it allows you to transition from one type of flooring to another if they are at a similar elevation.

The T-bar transition strip is installed by allowing enough room between the two types of floors for the strip to fit them in between. It will cover both edges of the existing floors, making for a smooth transition.

End Bar – This is commonly used when you are making the transition from hardwood to a completely different type of flooring, such as carpeting. It allows those two different types of floors to be joined together without a large gap. It works well, but if the elevation difference is too great, it could be a tripping hazard.

Reducer Molding – When two different floors join each other at two different elevations, reducer molding is often used. It helps to bridge the gap while at the same time, making for a smooth transition that won’t stumble people walking by.

Reducer moldings come in different widths. Generally speaking, you would use a wider molding if the elevation difference was greater.

How To Transition Hardwood To Tile

Working man fixing the wood

Are you making the transition from hardwood floor to tile? This can be done easily using a strip made for that purpose.

Typically, you will need to use a reducer transition strip when you are changing from hardwood floor to tile. It is rare that you will find these two very different types of floors are at the exact same elevation. If they are, you can use a T-bar transition strip to bridge the gap.

If the tile floor is already in place, you can leave a small gap between the hardwood floor and tile to install the T-bar reducer strip. The strip will fit down in between the two different types of floor and make the elevation difference nonexistent.

One important factor to consider is that there may be some expansion or contraction that takes place in the hardwood floor. It may be minimal, but it can make a difference if you install things too tightly.

Leaving a slight gap to allow for some expansion at the edge of the transition strip will help to keep things from buckling. Even if you have some room for expansion in other areas of the hardwood floor, it is important to keep this gap in mind.

If you are making the transition from hardwood floor to tile but you have not yet installed the tile, you may be able to use a different type of transition strip. It is known as a Reno TK transition strip.

This type of transition strip is perfect for when you are installing tile with a slight elevation difference to nearby floors. The strip fits under the tile as it is installed and it bridges the gap with a very small ramp.

If you are moving from one elevation to a significantly lower or higher elevation, you may need to use a different type of reducer strip. They come in most sizes and you can typically match them with a hardwood floor nicely.

You Need the Following Tools to Do This Job:

  • Tape Measure
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Straight Edge
  • Transition Strip of Choice

How To Transition Hardwood To Laminate

Working man holding tools for the floor

Making the transition from hardwood to laminate is not typically a difficult thing to do. It just requires that you bridge the gap with the proper transition strip.

A T-bar transition strip is the best choice for moving from hardwood to laminate floor. Since you are typically at a similar elevation, there is not usually the need to reduce from one floor to another. Leave a gap between the laminate and hardwood to drop the T-bar transition strip in place.

There are a number of things to consider when moving from hardwood to laminate. These include the possibility that the floors will expand and contract and the position of the transition because it can make a difference in the appearance of the finished floor.

Since you will likely be using a T-bar transition strip between hardwood and laminate, you must allow for some space so that both the hardwood and the laminate floor can expand and contract. If you install things too tightly, you may end up with some buckling in the floor or it could pull the transition strip up, leading to a tripping hazard.

T-bar transition strips have an overhang on either side of the T-shaped insert that goes between the two types of floor. That overhang will cover any imperfections on the edges of the floor, as well as allow for the expansion and contraction without having the floor edge be visible.

In some cases, the strips will be glued to the floor and in others, there will be a small groove that is attached to the subfloor.

If you are installing the floor over a concrete subfloor, you will need to allow for the strip to be attached appropriately. This may include pre-drilling the concrete and filling the holes with wood from a dowel rod.

Another option is to use Tapcons to install the strip but you need to be cautious that it is low enough to allow for the T-bar transition strip to fit down in fully. In some cases, you may need to carve a notch out of the transition strip to allow for the Tapcons screw heads.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on January 24, 2022.

If you are gluing the T-bar transition strip in place, you should not glue it to both floors. You should glue the edge of the oldest of the two different floors to allow both floor types to expand and contract.

Otherwise, you may need to predrill some holes and attach the T-bar transition strip with small tacks directly into the subfloor. This will hold the strip in place in the gap between the two different types of floors. In addition, it will allow for expansion and contraction but the strip itself won’t move.

If you are installing the transition strip in a doorway, do so in the center of the doorjamb. This will help to make the job as seamless looking as possible.

How To Transition Hardwood To Linoleum

Linoleum floor installation

Are you making the transition from a hardwood floor to linoleum? There is a specific product made for that purpose.

The easiest way to transition from hardwood floor to linoleum is to use a seaming strip. These products help to bridge the gap by hiding the edge of the hardwood floor and at the same time, reducing the elevation gradually to eliminate a tripping or stumbling hazard.

When most people use a seaming strip, they choose a generic metal strip that will serve the purpose. There are actually a number of different options that could make for a more professional-looking job.

The most important thing to consider is how gradually the floor elevation is lowered. It may not seem like much, as the hardwood floor is not very high but people will trip over it if it transitions too quickly.

There are wood seaming strips available that serve this purpose. They are similar to a T-bar strip but they have an additional piece to bridge the elevation gap.

In either case, you would put the seaming strip in position and put a tack through the center of the strip to hold it in place. It is best if you pre-drill the strip to avoid splitting it. You can then adjust the strip so that it is parallel with the floor.

Once the second tack is in place, you can tighten things and add the additional tacks to hold the seam strip in place permanently.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on January 24, 2022.

If you are bridging the gap from hardwood floor to any other type of flooring, using a transition strip is the best choice. These strips allow you to hide the edges of both types of floor as well as to address any elevation difference that exists.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on January 24, 2022.

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