How to Install a Flooring Transition Strip

By Kimberly Johnson

Floor installers place wood or metal transition strips at the junction where two different types of flooring materials meet. The "T" shape of the strip fits in between the flooring materials, and the top lies flat. Transition strips hold down the flooring edges as well as hide the unattractive flooring seam. Installing a floor transition strip requires minimal tools. You can accomplish the task in less than an hour.

List of Items Needed

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Hand-held rotary tool
  • Cutting accessory
  • Hammer (optional)
  • Nails or screws (optional)
  • Construction adhesive (optional)
  • Carpet tack strip (optional)
  1. Measure the length of the area where you are installing the transition strip. Typically, strip installation takes place in a doorway.

  2. Lay the transition strip on a flat surface with the flat side facing down. Measure the proper distance on it and draw a cut line across the molding using a pencil.

  3. Don safety glasses and install a cutting accessory into a hand-held rotary tool. If the transition strip is made of metal, use an accessory designed for cutting metal. Cut through the strip, following along the pencil line. Use care when cutting through the bottom of the "T" so that you don't break or crack it.

  4. Place the transition strip directly over the seam of both flooring types. On a wood subfloor, insert the screws or nails provided with the transition strip. On a concrete subfloor, apply a 1/4-inch bead of construction adhesive to the back of the strip and press it into place.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you glue the transition strip, avoid walking on it or closing the door for at least 24 hours to allow the adhesive to dry thoroughly.
  • If one of the flooring materials is carpet, place a tack strip under the edge of the carpet, but far enough back so it will not touch the transition strip. Hammer it into the floor using a hammer and stretch the carpet over the tacks to hold it in place.

© Demand Media 2011