How to Install a Floor Transition Piece in a Doorway

By Joanna Swanson

Transitioning between two types of flooring in a doorway can be done in several ways, but a transition piece is one of the easiest. Transition pieces can be a reducer, a carpet end cap or a T-molding. A reducer is used when the two types of flooring are at different levels. A carpet end cap is the transition between carpet and tile or vinyl flooring. A T-molding is used to transition between flooring materials that are at the same level.

List of Items Needed

  • Transition molding
  • Utility knife
  • Rotary tool (optional)
  • Rotary tool cutting wheel (optional)
  • Screws
  • Polyethylene glue
  • Carpet knife
  • Oscillating tool (optional)
  • Oscillating tool flush cutting blade (optional)

    Reducer Transition

  1. Measure the width of the doorway. Cut the track and the reducer to this length with a utility knife or a rotary tool with a cutting wheel.

  2. Install the track in the space between the flooring types, making sure there is 1/4 inch on either side of the track to allow for expansion. Use screws for a wooden subfloor and polyethylene glue for a concrete subfloor. If the flooring is already in place, remove enough of it to leave room for the track and the expansion space.

  3. Press the reducer piece into the track. The reducer piece has one side that is longer than the other to reach down to the lower-level flooring. Keep this longer piece on the side of the lower flooring.

    Carpet End Cap Transition

  1. Measure the width of the doorway. Cut the carpet end cap and track to this width with a utility knife or a rotary tool with a cutting wheel.

  2. Install the track using screws or glue according to the subfloor type, leaving 1/4 inch on either side of the track. If the carpet was previously installed, pull up the carpet from the doorway and install the track to the subfloor. Cut the carpet with a carpet knife so that it will fit under the transition piece.

  3. Press the carpet end cap into the track, keeping the end of the carpet tucked under the thicker side of the transition piece. The thinner side will cover the tile or vinyl flooring on the other side of the doorway.

    T-Molding Transition

  1. Measure the doorway width. Cut the T-molding and track to width with a utility knife or a rotary tool with a cutting wheel.

  2. Glue or screw the track in place, with 1/4-inch expansion gaps on either side. If the flooring is already in place, remove enough from the doorway to leave space for the expansion gap.

  3. Press the T-molding into place. It should completely cover both ends of the flooring on each side.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use an oscillating tool with a flush cutting blade to cut the door jamb if you want the flooring transition to fit neatly under the door jamb.

© Demand Media 2011