In most homes, you will often find a combination of different flooring materials from room to room. Bathrooms, kitchens, and other rooms where water and moisture are present are commonly known to have tile, vinyl, or another waterproof flooring material. Carpet, hardwood, and other flooring materials that are known more for comfort and appearance are often located in bedrooms and other living spaces.
Because finding the right transition strip or trim can seem overwhelming, we have searched multiple sources to bring you the information you need to make the right flooring choice for your project.
The space where different flooring materials meet or even the space in between rooms often needs trim or transition pieces to distinguish between spaces. Because the combinations of flooring materials are endless, there are many variations of flooring transition strips and trims to fit your particular combination.
Some of the different carpet and flooring trim and transition pieces that we will discuss in further detail are:
- T-bar transition strip
- Seam binders
- Carpet trim
- Z-bar transition strip
- 4-in-1 transition strip
- Skirting boards
- Hard surface reducer molding
- Wood floor transition
- Vinyl to tile transition
- End bar
- Stair nosing
Using carpet trim and transition strips will give your floors a seamless, clean look. Because different types of flooring can be different heights, specific trim and transition pieces are needed for the many combinations of floorings and levels of flooring materials.
Knowing what trim or transition to use can help to make your project proceed as seamlessly as possible. We will discuss these trim and transition pieces in more depth, just keep reading.
1. T-bar transition strip
Named for its shape, the t-bar transition strip is often metal but can be made out of composite material, vinyl, or even wood to match or coordinate with your floors. T-bar strips are made for use between two floors of the same height, such as wood-to-wood transitions or other transitions where the same material will be used.
These particular transition strips are normally about 2 inches wide, 5/8 inches in height, and 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide at the base. These transition pieces are one of the more simple choices.
2. Seam binder
Much like a T-bar, seam binders are transition strips made for flooring of the same heights. Seam binders are screwed into the floor to bridge the transition from one flooring type to another. With a normal width of about 5 inches, seam binders are wider than normal transition strips and are normally made from wood or metal.
Because seam binders are screwed into the ground between floorings, they fit loosely to allow for expansion of your flooring materials.
3. Carpet trim
Transitioning between two different sections of carpet can be done using a metal transition piece called a carpet trim. Whether you're using this trim piece in a threshold or between rooms, carpet trim is the perfect transition piece for carpet to carpet transitions.
Carpet trim pieces can be flexible or rigid and are made from a variety of materials. Flexible carpet trims can be made of rubber, plastic, or PVC, and the rigid variety can be made of metal or wood.
4. Z-bar transition strip
Because of the difference in height from carpet to tile, a good transition piece provides safety, preventing gaps in flooring that can cause slips and trips. The Z-bar transition strip, much like the T-bar transition strip, is named for its shape and comes in widths from 1 inch to about 1 1/2 inches.
Formed in the shape of the letter Z, the carpet fits under one portion of the strip. The other side is anchored underneath the tile in the grout.
5. 4-in-1 transition strip
For rooms that transition into more than one combination of materials, a 4-in-1 transition strip may be just what you need. A 4-in-1 transition strip contains four interchangeable parts that can perform different functions depending on your transition project. This transition strip contains a metal mounting channel and four other parts including a T-bar, an end molding, a carpet transition strip, and a hard surface reducer.
Normally made of wood or laminate, 4-in-1 transition strips may be the perfect answer to your transition problem.
When transitioning between two flooring materials that are different thicknesses, reducers may be the perfect transition piece. Flooring reducers are used to make the transition from unequal flooring material to another appear seamless and smooth. The wide end of the reducer is made for use on the thinner flooring material, while the thinner end goes on the thicker flooring material.
Reducers can be made for use with carpet with a metal track laid beneath the transition gap. Reducer transition strips have metal teeth to grip the underside of the carpet, much like a carpet tack strip.
The visible portion of these transition strips can be wood, metal, vinyl, or laminate and usually match the hard flooring. Normally reducers have a width of about 1 5/8 inches and can range from 1/4 inch to 3/8 inches in height.
7. Skirting boards
Skirting boards are a type of baseboard used to transition from flooring to wall. Staircases can also be lined using skirting boards. Also known as stair stringers, skirting boards can be installed on either side of the stairs for a polished upscale look.
This type of trim is most often made from wood but can also be made of MDF laminate, veneered material, or even metal for a sleek modern look. Depending on your project, skirting boards can vary in height, but they have a normal height of about 6 inches.
8. Hard surface reducer molding
As the name implies, hard surface reducer molding connects two hard surfaces. Hard surface reducer molding is shaped similar to the T-bar. Although, unlike the T-bar, hard surface reducers are made to connect two surfaces of different heights. In widths from 1.5 inches up to a little over 2 inches, hard surface reducers can make a huge difference in the look of your floor.
9. Wood floor transition
Transitions between two different wood floors are important to not only add a finished look but also to allow for the expansion of your wood flooring. Wood floor transitions can be fabricated from many different varieties of wood to allow for a coordinated look to your wood floor. Transitions can also be stained in different colors to match your floor.
The transition molding pictured in the example below matches the flooring so well that it is almost camouflaged into the floor.
10. Vinyl to tile transitions
Because of the height difference between vinyl and tile, this transition strip ends at a higher point on the tile side and a lower point on the vinyl side. The difference in heights between the two sides allows for a smooth-looking transition from vinyl to tile.
A metal channel is installed securely to the subfloor to anchor the transition strip in place. The tiled edge looks finished and the vinyl side flows seamlessly into the transition.
11. End bars
Often referred to as end caps or end moldings, end bars are the transition strip to use where the flooring meets a step or door. With a bullnose end or gradual slope on one end and a notched portion on the end covering the hard flooring, end bars provide a clean ending to your hard flooring.
End bars are usually made out of wood or laminate to match your floors. They come in widths anywhere from a little over 1 inch to about 2 1/2 inches.
12. Stair nosing
To provide a safe finished edge to stairs that have a more blunted edge, stair nosing attaches to the edge of each stair. This type of trim can transform the look of your stairs. Stair nosing most often comes in shapes of pencil round, square, and no overhang.
Pencil round is a beveled round edge that resembles the sides of a pencil. Not quite round and not quite square, the pencil round edge offers a soft and subtle look to the edge of your stairs.
Square nosing is a soft rounded square edge that wraps around the edge of your stair for a distinguished and dramatic look.
No overhang finishes are a flush finish that some find to have less possible risk of tripping on the overhang. This no overhang look is modern and sleek.
No flooring project is complete without the right trim or transition piece. Because there are so many various choices in flooring trim or transition pieces, finding the perfect one can seem overwhelming. Hopefully, the above selection of trims and transition pieces has helped you narrow down the perfect choice for your space.
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