Carpet to Tile Transitions, How-To

Not everyone should try to do their own carpet to tile transition but if you’re up for it, I’m happy to share with you the basic steps.

This is a step by step, do-it-yourself tutorial. However, you may be far better off hiring a professional. Hiring a professional is more than worth the money when you consider that if you make just one mistake you

A. Ruin your carpet

B. Ruin your floor

C. Lose a much needed body part

D. Have to listen to your spouse whine about the lousy job you did

Making the transition from your newly laid tile to the carpet isn’t so difficult. It’s just time consuming. Most people don’t normally use a metal bar, or marble threshold, or wooden one either. Most people would rather have a straight carpet to tile transition. However, it’s your preference and ultimately your decision.

There are several ways to do a carpet to tile transition. This step-by-step tutorial is fairly straight forward and will get the job done. You might choose to use a glue-down tack strip or Z-bar to attach your carpet. A “Shim” or “ramp” also may need to be used under the carpet to help give the necessary height so that the carpet is level or slightly higher than your tile.

Let’s Begin:

After the tile installation there is generally some extra carpet at the transition that needs to be attached.

Under the carpet:

At the start of this project, you should have padding up to the tile with carpet on top. In order for the tack strip to be laid, some of the padding needs to be cut. A tack strip is just that – little nails poking out of a thin piece of wood which grabs the carpet so it will not move. Pull the carpet back far enough away so you can work.

Tools needed:

Here are the tools that you will need.

Tack strip – which can be purchased at any major home supply store. (There are two different types of tack strips 1. the blue are for wooden sub floors (they have longer, thinner nails) and the red are for concrete subfloors/foundations (they have short, fat nails in them). Make sure you purchase the right tack strip for the job as concrete nails won’t hold in wood and wood nails won’t go into concrete.

Stair tool. (You can also use a butter knife, a spatula, or a putty knife will probably work best). You will need this to tuck in the carpet

A slotted blade knife

A hammer.


Measure a piece of tack strip to the length of the transition and cut with the stair tool or hack saw, wearing gloves to avoid the tacks.

Lay the tack strip so it is 1/4 inch away from the tile and nail it into the floor, making sure the top side tacks are slanted toward the tile.

Trim the padding so that it butts up against the edge of the tack strip.

Stretch the carpet to overlap the tack strip by 1/4 inch by using a carpet kicker.

Secure the carpet on the tacks, pressing firmly to ensure it is fastened.

Tuck the edge of the carpet into the 1/4-inch gap between the tack strip and the tile using a the stair tool or putty knife and taking care not to snag and unravel the carpet fibers.

The ultimate goal is with the door closed, you see only tile on one side and only carpet on the other. You should not see the transition at all.

If you would like to be certain that the carpet will never come up, place a bead of latex glue inside the gap between the tack strip and the carpet.

Now you understand the very most basic steps of a carpet to tile transition. Good luck!

Source by Steve S Gordon

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