How to Transition from Carpet to Vinyl

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how to transition from carpet to vinyl

When you are using different types of flooring in a home, transitioning is important. 

Having an abrupt change from one type to another can have a jarring effect. This is not only true visually but also practically when it comes to walking on the floor. 

There are many different ways to transition between flooring types. However, one of the more challenging is from a harder floor to carpet. 

In this article, we will run through a few ways to transition between carpet and vinyl. 

By understanding the options at your disposal, you can choose the one that works for you. Transitions are not only necessary, they can also add some style and detail to your flooring. 

Transitioning from Carpet to Vinyl: Basic Idea

There are a few different methods for transitioning between carpet and vinyl. 

Some of the most popular ways are: 

  • Wood transition strips
  • Folding carpet under
  • Installing t-molding
  • Wood or vinyl end cap
The type of transition you choose will depend on your personal taste and style. We will run through a few of these types so you can decide which one is the best for you. 

Why Do You Need a Transition?

why do you need transition

When you are using different types of flooring in your home, smooth transitions are key. 

It can be visually jarring to have one type of flooring end and another start. It can also make the home look unfinished, just like if you didn’t install baseboards. 

Transitions are necessary for a completed look in your home. They are also an opportunity for you to add some interesting design elements to your flooring. 

Transitions are also crucial if you want your floor to be comfortable to walk on. 

Without a transition between vinyl and carpet, you may find yourself tripping over the threshold. Transitions tell you that one type of flooring is ending and that another is starting. 

Transition Strips

Transition strips are simple pieces of curved vinyl or wood that go over the area between different types of flooring. They are usually relatively thin and aren’t obtrusive like some other transition types. 

Transition strips can usually be nailed down with a brad nailer. This makes them easy to install and relatively inexpensive. 

If you are planning on being hard on your flooring, transition strips might not be the best option. 

Since many of them are made of thin veneer, they are prone to cracking and splitting. However, if you are generally easy on your flooring, they are a good, budget-friendly choice. 

Folding Method

If you do not want to add any height or material to your flooring, you can use the folding method. 

With carpet, one of the main reasons to add a transition is to hide the ragged carpet edges. This can be done with a transition piece or by simply folding the carpet under itself. 

If you are going to use the folding method, you will want to make sure you get the fold flat. 

This can be done using a straight edging tool that folds down the carpet backing as well as the fibers. 

You will then nail down the folded edge with a brad nailer to secure it completely. It is very important that the fold is level with the carpet itself to avoid tripping over the transition. 

T-Molding

t-molding

T-molding is a great transition to use between vinyl and carpet. 

T-molding features a raised, rounded top that is raised up over the flooring and sits perfectly flush. The carpet and vinyl fit underneath the top section and are hidden under the strip. 

This is a great transition for vinyl plank flooring since you can leave an expansion gap. 

Plank flooring needs a small gap to make room for shifting and expansion during use. Without this gap, you could end up with buckling or lifting in your planks. 

End Cap

End caps are another relatively inexpensive, easy to install option for carpet to vinyl transitions. 

Most end caps are rounded strips that are wider than transition strips and more durable. If you are planning on getting a lot of use out of your flooring, they are a good option. 

They also come in a wide variety of colors and styles so you can use them as a design element. This allows you to use the transition as a way to seamlessly move from one room to the next. 

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to transition from carpet to vinyl

  • Does laminate flooring need transitions?

Just like any type of flooring, laminate needs a transition if you are moving to a different flooring type. 

Laminate needs an expansion gap to prevent buckling or lifting. Because of this, T-molding is going to be the best option. 

  • Can you glue transition strips to concrete?

Transition strips can be glued to concrete if need be. 

However, an underlayment of plywood is going to be the best bet for any concrete project. If you have this underlayment, you can nail down transition strips with a brad nailer. 

  • How do you transition between floor heights?

To transition between floor heights, you can use an angled transition strip. These usually have small ramps that are at a slight grade to help ease the change between heights. 

This will help you avoid tripping over the higher floor as you walk. 

Conclusion 

Having the right transitions can help you make your floor easy to walk on and safe. 

If you choose wisely, you can also add some style and interesting design to your floor. By knowing the different transition types, you can pick the one that works best for your home. 

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AUTHOR

Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

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