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How to Install Transitions for Hardwood Flooring

2 min read
Published on February 04, 2021

 

You’ve got a beautiful new floor installed and ready to go, but you need to figure out the best way to cover the areas where your floor meets another room, floor, wall, or object like a staircase.

That’s where transition molding comes in.

Molding works for all different types of flooring--wood, laminate, vinyl, and around trim, to provide a finished look and beautifully ease the transition to another surface.

There are three basic types of transitions you can use; Reducers, Thresholds, and T-Molding. Today we will be showing you to install wood transitions.
Each transition has its own uses and benefits, so I’ll take you through how and why to install each.

Reducer Molding transitions from hard surface floors to surfaces at lower heights, such as vinyl, tile, or glued down carpet.

To attach, apply glue to the front edge of the molding.

Then apply one or two ¼ inch beads of construction adhesive to the subfloor and seat the molding in place.

To assure a flush surface in any glue down installation, tape the molding to the floor while the glue is setting.

If nailing to wood subfloors, pre-drill the molding to prevent splitting.

Threshold Molding transitions from new floor to carpet, raised hearths, or at exterior doorways.

It’s important your new floor is installed before the Threshold molding, and that you leave an expansion space beneath it.

To install, “dry fit” the molding in place. It should overlap the floor by ¼ inch to ½ inch.

Quick tip: you may need to “build up” the leg of T-molding using stock material.

Attach it by applying one or two ¼ inch beads of construction adhesive to the subfloor and seat the molding in place.

If nailing to wood subfloors, pre-drill the molding to prevent splitting, and nail it to the subfloor.

T-Molding is used in doorways to transition between two floors of similar height.

It’s important to leave room beneath the molding for the floor to expand, so you’ll need a gap of approximately 1 and ¼ inches between your two surfaces.

To install, apply a 1/4 inch bead of construction adhesive to the top edge of the oldest surface. Seat the molding in place, leaving a minimum 1/4 inch overlap on the wood of the new floor, and make sure you’ve provided that expansion space between the T-Molding and each wood floor.

If nailing to wood subfloors, pre-drill the molding to prevent splitting, and nail it to the subfloor.

You may not need to leave an expansion space for harder surfaces like tile.

¾ Inch Quarter Round molding is used to cover expansion spaces between existing baseboards and the flooring, and sometimes under cabinet toe kicks where a wall base won’t fit, or even to create a subtle blend between a floor and a vertical surface.

When installing, fasten the molding to the wall--not the subfloor-- to assure the floor can contract and expand freely.

Shoe Molding transitions to vertical surfaces in tight spots, and can be a substitute for Quarter Round when you want a thinner profile. You install shoe the same way you install Quarter Round.

Selecting the right transitions for your project can give you a clean, professional floor that will look beautiful for years to come.

If you have more questions about flooring, installation, or the hundreds of ways to improve your home, check with the experts at LL Flooring.

 

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