Skip to Content

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

If you are installing a laminate floor, you may come to a place where you need to transition to another area of the home. There are options available to help make it look good.

For the most part, transitioning from laminate to hardwood, stairs, or concrete would require that you make the transition, both horizontally and vertically. The easiest way to do so is by using a transition strip. They make these in a variety of different shapes and sizes to fit almost any need.

Vinyl Tiles for home interior designs and house renovation

Laminate floors are not all the same height and in some cases, you may be able to choose the floor you install according to the other types of flooring that are in the home.

That being said, the thicker the laminate, the better quality you are going to have. You can choose a thinner laminate to save money but I wouldn’t necessarily suggest doing so because of the transitions.

You should also consider the manufacturer of the laminate flooring. Well-known manufacturers are going to have transition strips available to make the switch to a different type of flooring easy.

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

The most common type of transition strip is a T-molding transition. This can be used for almost any type of transition, regardless of whether you are going from laminate to something flat, such as concrete, or even to something that is of similar elevation.

In most cases, a T-molding strip will come with a small groove that is attached to the subfloor. That is the piece that will be attached to the floor and the rest of the T-molding will fit down into it.

Installing on Concrete – When you are installing on a concrete subfloor, you will need to attach the strip in a specific manner. This could be by using Tapcons or by pre-drilling holes in filling them with a wood dowel.

If you use Tapcons, it is convenient but you will also need to notch the bottom of the T shape to allow for the head of the screw. Otherwise, it will not sit flush.

Installing on Wood – If you are installing on a wood subfloor, you can simply tack the strip in place. You don’t need to use large nails, as the weight of the bar will hold it in place.

Make sure that you are not installing the strip for the T-molding on a type of surface that tends to expand or contract. This would include any other laminate floor. Doing so could cause the finished floor to buckle.

There is also a reducer strip available in a T-molding type of option. It works essentially the same but on one side of the top strip, you have a separate piece that fits to make the transition to a lower elevation. This is ideal for transitioning from laminate to concrete or vinyl/linoleum.

How To Transition Laminate To Hardwood

Man fixing the floor

If you are installing laminate and need to make the transition to hardwood, there are products available to make it easy.

The transition from laminate to hardwood is relatively simple. You put a T molding transition strip in place that will cover the edges of both the hardwood and the laminate as well as adjusting for any difference in elevation that exists. It is typically best if you choose a transition strip that most closely resembles the darker of the two floors.

In most cases, the hardwood floor is going to be attached to the subfloor but the laminate floor will be floating. For that reason, you need to leave enough room for the T molding to be inserted with space for expansion.

Although you will not have much expansion in the area because the transition is likely not that wide, there will be some expansion and if you don’t leave room for it, you could have problems with buckling.

It is also best if you attach the T molding using some bonding adhesive. Don’t attach it to both floors, attach it to the hardwood floor and allow the laminate floor to float underneath the edge of the transition strip.

If you are installing the transition strip over a concrete subfloor, you may need to pre-drill holes in the concrete, put in a dowel rod, and break it off. This will give you some wood so you tack the base of the transition strip in place.

Some T molding transition strips are also designed to reduce the elevation from one floor to another. There may be some reduction in elevation that is needed if the hardwood floor is particularly thick.

Gather the Following Tools:

  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure
  • Drill
  • Masonry Bit
  • Dowel Rod
  • Rubber Hammer

How To Transition Laminate To Doors

Man fixing the floor

Making the transition with laminate floor in a doorway is not difficult. If done properly, it will look like a seamless transition.

When making the transition with a laminate floor in a doorway, always do so in the center of the doorjamb. You should also undercut the doorjamb and insert the laminate floor under it, leaving enough room for some expansion before hitting the stud.

There may be times when you are simply going to carry the laminate floor into the next room. When you come to the doorway, you need to continue what you are doing without letting up.

Some homeowners make the mistake of switching directions or of thinking that they have to have a transition strip in place. Actually, all that is needed is to continue putting down the floor in the same direction.

If it is necessary to change directions for any reason, then the directional change should take place in the center of the doorway. With the proper cuts, you can make the directional change seamless but it is still better to use a T molding transition strip that matches the floor.

Perhaps the most important part of the process is to undercut the doorjamb. This can be done with a flat saw and using a scrap piece of laminate to get the doorjamb cut at the proper height. Make sure that you also use any underlayment that is also be used under the rest of the floor.

Cut the doorjamb completely back to the stud. Make sure that you clear all of the scrap pieces of wood out of the area before continuing. Sweep and vacuum the subfloor thoroughly after making the cut so you don’t have sawdust and debris under the installed laminate.

If you are making the transition from laminate to another type of wood, choose a transition strip that will adjust for any elevation difference.

Gather the Following Tools:

  • Tape Measure
  • Doorjamb Saw
  • Hammer
  • Broom and Dust Pan
  • Shop-Vac

How To Transition Laminate To Stairs

Man fixing the floor

Are you preparing to transition your laminate floor to a staircase? It doesn’t matter if the stairs are also laminate or if they are another type of floor, the process is very similar.

Most laminate floor manufacturers will make a specific piece for the purpose of transitioning from the floor to the staircase. It is a nose piece that fit snugly against the riser and is about 2 inches wide, so it covers the very edge of the laminate flooring. When put in place, it makes a seamless finish.

The first step in the process is to ensure that the riser of the stairs is flush if you are installing laminate. In many cases, there will be a slight nose where the stair sticks over the riser. You can add a piece of plywood in this area to make it flush.

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

Install the laminate floor at the top of the stairs but leave it a few inches from the edge of the top step. Good preplanning is necessary to ensure that you don’t have a very thin piece at this point, which could cause problems.

Put the nose piece in place, using a scrap piece of laminate floor on the rise of the stair to get an accurate measurement. You can then measure to see how thin of a piece of laminate floor to install at the edge of the stair so that it is properly covered by the nose piece.

Be sure that you leave a little room so that the floor can expand and contract. The nose piece has an edge that will cover the laminate, allowing it to expand as necessary without exposing it.

The next step in the process is to cut the nose piece to length and install it. When done properly, it makes for a smooth transition from the laminate floor to the stairs.

Gather the Following Tools:

  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure
  • Saw
  • Nail Gun
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Adhesive

How To Transition Laminate To Concrete

Man fixing the floor

When making the transition from new laminate floor to concrete, you need to use the right products and the right installation method.

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

As is the case with almost any transition, using a transition strip is the best choice for moving from laminate floor to concrete. A T molding transition strip that is also a reducer is the best choice. The real key is to install it properly, which is problematic because of the concrete subfloor.

The best method for installing the T molding in concrete is to pre-drill holes and fill them with a dowel rod piece. Use a masonry bit that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the dowel rod.

Although some people may feel that drilling and screwing the strip to the floor is the best choice, that can actually cause problems. If you screw it down to tightly, it may bind and the T molding will not fit down into it properly.

Another problem is that the head of the screw may keep the T molding from fully inserting into the slot. You can cut out the wood of the T molding to avoid this, but it is better if you just predrill holes, fill them with a dowel rod and then tack it in place.

Make sure that you leave a little space for expansion at the edge of the T molding. The laminate floor will expand, even if it is only in a very small area.

Gather the Following Tools:

  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Masonry Bit
  • Tape Measure
  • Dowel Rod

Transitioning from laminate to any type of flat floor is best done with a transition strip. A T molding transition strip is ideal for this purpose, because it can transition from similar elevations or it can reduce to a lower floor, as is the case with concrete.

Related Articles

What Can You Use To Cut Laminate Flooring (How To)

How To Transition Laminate To Tile/Carpet/Linoleum/Vinyl Plank

What Is Better Laminate Or Vinyl Plank Flooring?

How To Repair Laminate Flooring

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

Laminate Flooring Problems (During And After Install)