Switching from vinyl plank to hardwood can be a bit overwhelming at first since it is something you want to get right. Should you switch from vinyl to hardwood, and if so, how do you make the transition?
You can transition from vinyl plank to hardwood by using T-bar transition strips. You should use transition strips when your floors are different heights, and when there’s a noticeable difference in style/pattern. You can either use an adhesive construction glue to install the strip or use screws.
If you are planning to redecorate, renovate, or buy a house, knowing how to transition from different flooring styles is always a helpful skill to have. Especially when it comes to your home, you will want the interior to look its best. This article will explain in detail if you can transition from vinyl plank to hardwood, if you should, and how you can do it.
Can You Transition From Vinyl to Hardwood?
You can transition from vinyl to hardwood by using transition strips. Transition strips are boards that you place between two different floors that will give the transition a seamless look. It is a fairly easy process that many can do on their own. You will also be able to get the proper materials from your local hardware store.
Refer to the list below to see what you will need for the installation process. Keep in mind that depending on what method you use, your material needs will change (you won’t need the whole list).
- Transition strip
- Tape measure
- Masking tape
- Construction adhesive
- Caulk gun
- Damp cloth
- Screw gun
As you can see, not many materials are needed to complete this project. Keep reading to find out how to exactly get it done.
Should You Transition From Vinyl to Hardwood?
It is completely okay to transition from vinyl to hardwood since there are things you can do to make the transition seem seamless. Let’s take a look at when you should use transition strips when transitioning from vinyl plank to hardwood.
When There Is a Noticeable Difference in Floor Pattern
The most common reason to use a transition strip is when you can notice the difference in flooring between one room to the next. Many people take pride in their homes, and the last thing you want to see is an obvious change in flooring. This can make it seem like the house’s design wasn’t planned well, or that your floors just don’t mesh well, which can change the look of your rooms.
It is also common to have different flooring in different rooms. You shouldn’t be afraid of trying something new in a different room just because it doesn’t match your current floor in the adjacent room.
When Some Floors Are Elevated Higher Than Others
This is one of the most frequent reasons for using a transition strip. Since it is normal to have carpet in one room and hardwood in another, for instance, some flooring will probably set a few inches higher than other rooms.
In this case, you should make sure to have a proper transition for two reasons. When two floors are not properly joined together, this can cause damage to the flooring. Next, the different levels can cause a tripping hazard in your home.
How Do You Transition From Vinyl to Hardwood?
Before we get into the “how.” It is good to know the different types of transition strips available. Let’s take a look.
- T-Bar: This transition strip is only used with floors that are the same height. The strips can be made from aluminum, lightweight steel, vinyl, and wood.
- Reducer: These are often used with floors of different heights. The reducer can be made from vinyl, laminate, or wood. The strip gives the floors a seamless look to the transition, but also catches the eye of people passing by so they know a change in elevation is coming. Reducers are most often used with carpet and hard surfaces.
- End bar/End molding/End cap: This particular strip is used between hardwood and laminate flooring usually, in places where there is a door or stairs.
- Scotia/Quarter round: This transition strip is used on wood flooring when there is an expansion gap.
Choose Your Transition Strip
The first step to transitioning from vinyl plank to hardwood flooring is to choose the transition strip you want. Usually, vinyl planks and hardwood flooring will sit at similar heights, so the T-bar transition strip will probably be your best bet. Furthermore, make sure to pick a color that compliments your flooring.
Edge Supply White ¾ in x 25 Ft Moulding T is a great T-bar to start off with if you don’t know where to start.
Install Your Transition Strip Using Adhesive Glue
There are two ways to install transition strips, and this is the first way. Refer below to the proper steps of this method.
- Measure the doorway’s width between the two floors and cut your T-bar if it uses a metal track. You can use a power saw or a miter saw if you want a cleaner cut.
- Attach the metal track to the T-bar. It should fit under the bottom part of it and should snap into place. If it does not hold, then use a bit of construction glue to hold it in place.
- Clean the floor gap of dust and debris before installing anything.
- Line the bottom of the floor gap with thin beads of adhesive construction glue.
- Press the transition strip firmly in. Make sure not to put glue on the lips of the T-bar, only on the bottom. Run your hands from the middle to the edges, making sure to press in firmly with your hands.
- Use a damp cloth to wipe the excess glue off the flooring, and then tape the T-bar over with painters tape to secure it as it dries.
Install Your Transition Strip Using Screws
The second way to install your T-bar is to use screws.
- Same as step 1 in the adhesive glue instructions.
- If there are no pre-drilled holes in the track, then drill three holes into the metal track, evenly spaced apart.
- Clean the floor gap of dust and debris before installing anything.
- Place the track into the gap. Be sure that the spacing is even on each side of the transition strip.
- Drill the screws in, using the three holes as guides. If you are unsure of what screws to use, ½ inch wood screws will work fine.
- You can now snap your T-bar into place. Make sure to run your hands along the entire bar, making sure to press in the lips of the strip as well. If the bar doesn’t hold for some reason, you can use a bit of construction adhesive glue. If you do this, complete step 6 from the list above.
You can transition from vinyl plank to hardwood flooring by using transition strips. You should use transition strips if your floors are at different heights, or if there is a noticeable difference between the style/pattern of the floor. Using a transition strip will also decrease tripping hazards.
When transitioning between vinyl plank and hardwood, T-bar transition strips will be the best to use. You can either install the T-bar using adhesive construction glue or with screws. Before attaching the metal track to the T-bar transition strip, make sure to measure it twice to be sure it is the right size. Lastly, always make sure to vacuum out the debris in the floor gap before installing the transition strips.