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What’s The Best Adhesive For Transition Strips?

Are you renovating your floor, and you’re wondering what is the best adhesive for your transition strips? Wonder no more, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

You can use construction adhesive to glue your transition strip in place.

Keep in mind that gluing your transition strip the wrong way can lead to buckling, peaking, or gapping of your wooden floor. Read the sections below to learn more about transition strips and avoid some of the common mistakes during installation.

Read on!

A caulking gun on the table, What's The Best Adhesive For Transition Strips?

What are the different types of transition strips?

There are different types of transition strips. They all have different purposes, and there are different ways to correctly fasten them in place.

We’ll talk about the different transition strips in this section, then we’ll discuss how to properly fasten them into place.

Applying caulk to the end of the tile

What is reducer molding?

Reducer moldings are transition strips that have uneven thickness. One long edge is thicker than the other long edge.

Reducer moldings smoothen the transition between one floor that has a higher elevation and a floor that has a lower height. You commonly see them transition from a floor of thinner materials like vinyl to a higher floor like one that is made of laminated wood.

What is threshold molding?

One edge of a threshold molding is thick at the bottom. This is to serve as a barrier to seal off, close, or end the flooring. It is the best transition to use when the floor ends against a vertical surface.

You will see threshold moldings installed to transition floors that end in an exterior doorway, hearth, or even carpet.

What is a T-molding?

A T-molding is used to transition two surfaces with the same height.

A T-molding is also used to connect floating floors that have reached the maximum recommended length. You can use it to extend the allowable length of the floating floor and serve as a break and expansion joint.

It could be used to transition the floor inside a room to the floor outside of the room.

What is quarter-round molding?

A quarter-round is a transition strip that is exactly what its name suggests—a transition strip with a quarter of a circle crosswise profile. It is used to transition the end of a floor to the baseboard.

A quarter-round molding is also used to conceal the expansion spaces at existing baseboards. It is also used to transition the side of cabinets and the floor or under toe kicks and the floor.

It is also used to transition the base of stairs and the floor or even transition ceilings and the wall.

How to install transition strips?

Now that we’re done talking about the most common transition strips, it is time to talk about how to properly install each one of them. If you’ve noticed, they look different, and they have specific purposes. Similarly, each one of them has a slightly different way to install it.

How to install a reducer molding?

  1. Measure the length of the area where you will install the reducer molding.
  2. Trim the molding to match the length of the floor that you measured.
  3. Clean the area where you’re going to install the molding.
  4. Use a sander to briefly sand the thick front edge of the transition molding. This is the edge that is perpendicular to the floor.
  5. Sand the front edge of the higher floor. The front edge is the one perpendicular to the floor.
  6. Apply denatured alcohol on a clean rag and use the rag to clean the areas that you sanded.
  7. Let the surfaces dry thoroughly.
  8. Apply construction adhesive on the thick front edge of the transition molding. Keep in mind that you are not going to glue the reducer molding to the subfloor. A reducer molding will rarely touch the subfloor because its bottom will rest on top of the floor at a lower height. And both floors are normally above the level of the subfloor. Gluing it to the subfloor will prevent the expansion of both floors, and this can lead to bulging or gapping.
  9. Slowly roll the reducer molding into place. Apply steady pressure on the reducer molding until it is in position.
  10. Use painter’s tape to keep the reducer molding in place until the adhesive cures. Check the manufacturer’s notes on the construction adhesive regarding the curing time.

A 9-ounce cartridge of white Gorilla heavy-duty construction adhesive is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.

How to install threshold molding?

  1. Complete the installation of your new floor before installing a threshold molding.
  2. Follow steps 1 to 3 from the previous section.
  3. Pick a threshold molding that can overlap your floor by at least a quarter-inch to half an inch.
  4. Use a sander to sand the bottom of the threshold molding. This will create a rough area that will give the adhesive a better grip.
  5. Sand a quarter-inch to half an inch of the area on top of your floor where the threshold molding will be installed.
  6. Apply a small amount of denatured alcohol on a clean rag and use the rag to clean the areas that you sanded. Let the surfaces dry thoroughly.
  7. Apply a quarter-inch to half an inch bead of construction adhesive on the floor. Match the size of the adhesive bead to the size of the sanded area.
  8. Carefully seat the threshold molding in place while applying steady pressure on the molding.
  9. Use painter’s tape to secure the molding and prevent it from moving until the adhesive cures.

How to install a T-molding?

  1. You need a gap of around one and quarter inches between the two floors. This ensures that you have enough area when the two floors expand. You do not need an expansion space if both floors are hard surfaces like stone tiles.
  2. Follow steps 1 to 3 from the section “How to install a reducer molding?” above.
  3. Use a sander to sand one of the bottom sides of the T-molding. You do not need to sand both bottom sides.
  4. Sand the top of the older floor. Sand at least a quarter inch.
  5. Place a small amount of denatured alcohol on a clean rag and use the rag to clean the areas that you sanded. Let the surfaces dry thoroughly.
  6. Apply a quarter-inch bead of construction adhesive on the older floor. An older hardwood floor expands less than new ones. Installing the T-molding on the older floor makes it more stable than when you install it on a newer floor.
  7. Roll the T-molding in place while applying steady pressure.
  8. Use painter’s tape to keep the T-molding in place until the adhesive cures.

How to install a quarter-round molding?

  1. Follow steps 1 to 3 from the section “How to install a reducer molding?” above.
  2. Pre-drill a hole on the quarter-round molding and the wall. A quarter-round molding is always installed on the wall or baseboard instead of the floor.
  3. Nail the quarter-round molding to the wall. Sink the nail a little below the surface of the quarter-round molding.
  4. Cover the holes on the molding with a paintable wood filler.
  5. Let the wood filler dry and paint over it to match the color of the wall or baseboard.

The self-adhesive flexible quarter-round molding, 16-foot waterproof molding trim for wall edge, cabinet edge, ceiling edge, and countertops, is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.

How to install a reducer molding with a connective base?

A connective base makes it possible to install a reducer molding when the molding cannot be attached to the higher floor. A good example would be when the higher floor is a glue-on carpet, and the lower floor is laminated wood.

You cannot glue the reducer molding to the higher floor because it is a glue-on carpet. Thus, you will need to use a connective base to keep the molding in place.

  1. Follow steps 1 to 2 from the section “How to install a reducer molding?” above.
  2. Trim the connective base strip to match the length that you measured.
  3. Clean the area where you will install the connective base.
  4. Apply a generous amount of adhesive at the bottom of the connective base strip.
  5. Attach the connective base strip to the floor, applying constant pressure across the surface. Some connective base strip allows you to install one edge under the slabs of the lower floor. This will give the connective base better stability if it is installed under the existing slabs. Remove the last row of slabs before installing the connective base to the floor. Reinstall the slabs after installing the connective base. 
  6. Leave the connection base strip to let the adhesive cure.
  7. Snap the reducer molding into position. Push it down into position using steady pressure. Start from one end of the reducer molding and work your way to the opposite side.

Conclusion

A caulking gun on the table

A construction adhesive is the best adhesive for mounting or installing transition strips. However, it is more important to know how and where to properly apply the adhesive based on the type of transition strip that you’re installing.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might find the articles below equally enjoyable to read:

How To Install Transition Strip On Vinyl Plank Flooring?

How To Fill A Gap Between Stove And Cabinet?