Transition strips aren't a part of home infrastructure you likely think about often. That is until you see an area of your home in sore need of one. It's a major eyesore to see two types of flooring meet without one, and it also poses a safety risk. But you might be wondering how to go about installing one of these strips if one of your floors is concrete. Well, we have researched the subject and come up with easy how-to steps below.
Installing transition strips on concrete takes several steps:
- Measure out the area as needed.
- Marking the holes on the concrete.
- Drilling the holes into the concrete.
- Insert plastic plugs/dowels into the holes.
- Place your rail back, lining up the holes with your drilled holes. Drill the masonry bit in. Slide the strip on the rail. Push it down to lock it onto the rail.
As you can see, there are several steps necessary to working with concrete and transitional strips. We'll go into all this information and more down below, so continue on reading.
Some basic transitional strip information
An essential first thing to know about transitional strips is the several different kinds of them out there. They serve different functions, and the ones you need will vary based on the situation.
- T Moldings: the transitional strips used to bridge two different floors of the same height. They are either glued with an adhesive or nailed to the floorings.
- Reducer moldings are the strips used to bridge floors of different thicknesses, where one floor is thicker.
- Stair moldings: the moldings used on stairs and steps.
Always make sure you are using the right transitional strip for the job you're attempting to do and the location where you're trying to do it.
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Steps to Installation
Before starting your project, you'll need to make sure you have all your tools ready beforehand. These include your miter saw, hammer drill, plastic plugs, masonry bit, hammer, and tape measure. Having all these tools with you beforehand will make the process run much smoother.
How do you secure transition strips?
There are two main ways to secure transition strips. The first option is to screw them in through drilled holes in your concrete. This provides a solid connection that is physically attached to your floor. The second method is through industrial-strength construction adhesive that is simpler to apply and doesn't require physically altering your concrete.
We've outlined some ways to affix transition strips using both methods down below.
How do you install transition molding on concrete?
We'll look at a couple of the more likely scenarios with concrete floor, starting with the necessary steps to installing a T molder on a concrete subfloor. This will help connect two different floorings, such as carpet or laminate, affixed to a concrete subfloor. The T molder will sit on the concrete in the gap between these two floors.
It's always important to measure beforehand when working with floors. You'll need to know the exact measurements for the length of your transition strip so it can fully cover the gap. Remember that you can always cut down a strip using a miter saw if need be, but it's always best to get the right fit in the first place.
Marking out the holes
Place the transition rail on the gap between the two floors. You'll then want to mark out where the holes on the rail are onto the concrete. Don't worry about what the marks end up looking like; they'll be drilled through soon enough. Remove the rail from the gap.
Drilling in the holes
Firstly make sure you have the necessary eye protection on before starting. Taking your hammer drill, begin to drill holes where you marked. Make the holes deep enough for your screws to be fully attached. You'll be able to find screws made explicitly for concrete at your local hardware store. Wipe away all debris from the area and holes once finished.
Insert your plugs
Place your plastic plugs in each of the holes and hammer them securely down. Don't worry if there is excess sticking up out of the hole. Trim this excess with scissors or a knife until they're level with the floor.
Drilling in the mason strip
At this point, you can finally begin to affix the t molding properly. Place the rail back in the gap, lining up the holes in the rail with those in the concrete. Drill the masonry bit into place. Take your T molding and slide it into place on the rail. Push it down to lock it onto the railing.
Installing reducer molding on concrete floors
T moldings work well on floors of similar thickness, like those lying on top of a concrete subfloor. But say you want to install a transition strip on two floors of different heights—for example, your garage's concrete to the wooden floor of your home. Thankfully, the steps are relatively similar, just using a different transition strip.
You'll use a transition strip known as a reducer molding to bridge this height difference in this instance. A reducer molder slopes towards one side, allowing for a smooth height transition. The steps for installation are largely the same as with a T molder.
When you have your dowels in your holes and trimmed, place the rail back in place. Line it up with your drilled holes and drill in your masonry bit. Put your reducer molding back on the rails, and clamp it securely into place. You can accomplish this by simply pushing firmly.
How do you screw transition into concrete?
There are several masonry drill bits specifically made for concrete. Utilizing the correct bit, screws, and hammer drill safely and correctly will lead to a secure transition strip. Lining up the holes in your floor and strips is the most crucial part of a proper affixing to your concrete. Make sure to ask your local hardware store official for help if need be.
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Can you glue transition strips to concrete?
For some, the screw-in method might not be desirable. Thankfully there is another method for securely fastening certain transition strips. The glue method. This method foregoes drills and holes for simple constructive adhesive. The basic rules still apply, such as measuring carefully for a precise fit.
Apply a 1/4th inch layer of your construction glue on the length of the gap. This is where your transition strip will rest. Press down firmly on the transition strip and adjust it to cover the entire gap between both floors. When the transition strip is secure, tape it down securely. Leave it for about 24 hours while the glue dries.
When it comes to your glue, make sure you've purchased a strong construction adhesive that's viable on concrete surfaces. Also, keep the scale of your job in mind. This is a smaller, more precise procedure as opposed to large-scale and weight-based.
Transition strips are important to get installed properly and safely when dealing with them as a project. While concrete seems to complicate things, we hope this article has shown you how to get your strip safely down in multiple scenarios. May your transition strips keep your home looking its best and your body safe from harm.