Carpet to tile transition techniques

Written by jessica kolifrath
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Carpet to tile transition techniques
Transitioning between different flooring materials can be tricky. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Carpeting and vinyl, ceramic or stone tiles are both popular flooring materials with their own individual advantages. Many homes successfully mix the two materials in different rooms or sections of a room. Using the right carpet to tile transition strip is the key to combining both types of flooring successfully.

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A T-bar, also commonly known as T-moulding, is a piece of wood or metal trim that is shaped like a capital "T" with a central piece of material that will fit in the edge between the carpet and tile, says Wood Floors Online. While this time of trim is the most popular for joining two rooms that feature the same flooring material, they can only be used if the carpet and tiles have the same relative height. Some manufacturers also produce special T-moulding pieces that slope slightly on one side to accommodate differences in heights between materials. This type of carpet to tile transition is nailed or glued to the floor.

Sloped Trim

If you plan to install tile that is significantly thinner than the high-pile carpet it will border, a sloped trim is a good transition choice. Sloped trims, also known as threshold mouldings, have a lip that sits over the edge of the carpet and a bevelled edge that slopes down to meet the tile, according to the My Home Improvement website. This type of transition makes it easier to sweep or vacuum both floors without damaging either of them. Sloping trims also come in a wider array of heights, making it easier to find one that will smoothly transition from a very tall carpet pile to a thin layer of stone tiles.

Raw Edges

One of the simplest carpet to tile transitioning techniques is to let the two meet without any trims or moulding. Use a tackless strip, which is a thin strip of wood featuring upward-pointing tacks that hold the carpeting and carpet pad when they meet the walls of a room, according to Hometime. Placing the tackless strip at the edge of a tile with a ¼-inch gap will allow you to anchor the carpet and pad on the strip, and then fold the very edge of the material over into the gap. This makes a round edge that won't fray or show the carpet pad without a transition trim piece.

Vinyl Strips

Vinyl is a flexible, easy-to-colour material, and many manufacturers are producing carpet to tile transition moulding from it. Wider varieties of transition sizes and styles are available in this material, according to Armstrong. Vinyl also withstands being walked over regularly, whereas wood mouldings may get scuffed or even crack. Since these types of transitions are created in a factory and shipped to stores, they come in a limited variety of lengths. It is possible to cut them shorter yourself. Wood moulding is easier to purchase for continuous lengths greater than 12 feet because many local millwork or moulding-cutting companies will produce them for you relatively inexpensively.

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