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Old 02-25-2006, 02:42 PM   #1
Theoderik
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Carpet to Tile Transition-How to info

This is a do-it-yourself, step by step thread on how to make that transition from your newly laid tile to the carpet you have adjacent in the other room.

Personally, I don't like a metal bar, or marble threshold, or wooden one either. I prefer a straight carpet to tile transition. If you prefer another method, great!! Ulimately, it is strictly up to your own taste and what you like.

Please note - there are mulitple ways to do this but, this should be fairly straight forward and will get the job done. As an example - you can use glue-down tack strip or Z-bar to attach your carpet. You may need some type of "ramp" under the carpet to help give it the necessary heighth to your tile (www.carpetshim.com). Ultimately, this thread is just to give you a basic idea on how this should (could) be done.

As a side note: the transition should run directly under the door so with the door closed, you see only tile on one side and only carpet on the other. (No comments on where my transition line ended up!)

With that - let's begin....
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Old 02-25-2006, 02:50 PM   #2
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Starting

Tile has been installed, and a little carpet excess was left in the threshold. That now lays on top of the tile but we'd like it layed flush with the tile.

(Remember when you tile, leave a few inches of carpet running into your tiled area so you have something to work with. You can always trim the carpet back to where you need it. It's hard to put the carpet back in the threshold when you cut off too much to start with!)
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Old 02-25-2006, 02:56 PM   #3
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Under the carpet

This is what you will have under the carpet.

Pad up to the tile with carpet laying on top of that. We need to cut some of that pad out so we can stick in a piece of tack strip. The tack strip is something that has little pokies sticking out of it that will grab the carpet and keep it from coming away from the tile.

You will need to pull the carpet back far enough to work under it. If this is to a room, that shouldn't be too big of a problem. If it is in a straight hall, you may have to really work at it to get it up enough to get under there unless you're willing to cut the carpet (not recommended).
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:02 PM   #4
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Tools needed

Here are the tools that you will need.

1) A piece of tack strip. (can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot for less than a buck) Note: There are 2 different kinds of tack stip. Usually they are color-coded. If so, the blue are for wooden subfloors (they have longer, thinner nails) and the red are for concrete subfloors/foundations (they have short, fat nails in them) Be SURE to get the right one. Concrete nails won't hold in wood and wood nails won't go into concrete.

2) This is called a stair tool. However, you can use a spatula, a butter knife, or a putty knife will probably work best. You just need something thin to tuck the carpet in with.

3) A razor blade. This cannot be just a knife. This is possibly the most important tool of the job. You MUST have a sharp blade. I make one cut and replace the blade or use a new sharp side. A dull blade will do nothing but shred your carpet. A sharp knife is your friend!

4) A hammer.
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:03 PM   #5
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Measure your tack strip

We need to measure our tack strip so it will fit in the threshold. Take your full piece (3' long) and lay it in front of the door. Mark it where needed so you know where to cut it so it will fit.
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:04 PM   #6
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Measuring and cutting tack strip

This is where I want to cut the tack strip so it will fit in my threshold.
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:06 PM   #7
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Cutting tack strip

I use my stair tool to cut my tack strip. You can use whatever works for you. Placing my stair tool on the tackstrip, a couple of whacks with a hammer and the job is done.

You can use a saw, or score it with a razorblade and snap it. You could use wire cutters if you wanted.

In short, cut it down to the size you marked previously.
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:08 PM   #8
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Tack strip fits

My tack strip fits. (whew!)
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:11 PM   #9
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Installing the tack strip

Ok, now we need to install the tackstrip. This is going to go under the carpet. We'll need to remove some of the pad so the tack strip has room to fit in. We will remove a strip of pad just wide enough to allow our tack strip to be nailed to the subfloor (foundation).

You don't want to cut away too much pad at this point or you will end up with a void under your carpet causing there to be a "valley" that you'll feel when you walk on it.

Lay your tack strip on top of the pad. Place the tackstrip aproximately 3/8" away from the edge of your tile.
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:12 PM   #10
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Cutting the pad

With your tackstrip on top of the pad, use your razor blade (again - sharp is best!!!!!!!!!), and using the tackstrip as a guide, cut through the pad. Go ahead and just keep the edge of your razor blade pressed against the edge of the tackstrip.
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:14 PM   #11
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Ok, we've got our strip of pad removed. Throw that away and get ready to install the tackstrip.
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:17 PM   #12
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Installing the tack strip

Lay your tackstrip into the gap your just created. You'll want the tackstrip to be aproximately 3/8th of an inch away from the edge of your tiles.

Note - the pokies on the top of the tackstrip face a certain direction. You want them to be pointed towards your tile. If you install the tackstrip backwards with the pokies facing into the hall/room (of carpet), the carpet will NOT hold and you have just wasted all that time.

The distance between the tackstrip and the tile is fairly important. If you make the gap too big, the carpet doesn't want to stay tucked in very well. If you make the gap too small, the carpet WON'T tuck in at all.
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:26 PM   #13
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Ok, now the SCARY part!

Alright, you've come this far and really, it hasn't been that hard. You might have a razor cut on a finger or a spot of blood where the tackstrip poked ya but, all-in-all, it has been pretty easy. This next part is the scariest and hardest.

We're gonna nail that tackstrip to the subfloor. The hard part about this is you CANNOT hit your tile!!! And, you're probably only about 1/2 an inch away with the head of that hammer and the head of the nail! Nerves of steel is what you need now!

Ok, with the tackstrip laying and ready to be nailed, pick up your hammer. You will start in the middle of the tackstrip. The reason you do this is simple, if you start on one of the edges, it tends to pop back up as you try to nail the rest of the tackstrip in. So, trust me on this one and simply start in the middle.

If you are nailing into a wooden subfloor, you're fine, nail away like normal and just be careful that ONE- you do NOT hit the tile!!! and two, you keep the tackstrip straight and 1/8" away from the tile. It's easy to have it move on you a little while you do this so check it often to make sure you're even and straight!

If you're nailing into concrete, you have a whole new line of fun waiting for you. There are various ways to attach tackstrip to concrete. The easiest and safest is to purchase some glue (comes in a caulk tube) and is made especially for this application. You can purchase it at a flooring supply store. You can also pre-drill holes into the concrete with a concrete bit and then put anchors in the holes. You will then either nail or screw the tackstrip into those anchors.

Presonally, I hammer all mine. The trick to hammering a concrete nail into concrete is simple - you get ONE hit! You can't tap it a hundred times and expect it to hold. You MIGHT get two hits if you're lucky but, when you hit that nail, you have to hit it HARD! Light hits and the nail just cracks, crumbles, and breaks up the concrete. If you break up the concrete, you need to move the nail over an inch or two and try again. There simply will not be enough concrete under that busted area to hold the nail (they are really short things!).

So, if you're nailing, pull back and SMACK it!!! You get one shot! Do it well! Best of luck. And, let's all pray for the new tile floor you just finished installing.
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:30 PM   #14
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Whew

Ok, we got that first nail in. Remember, we started in the MIDDLE of the tackstrip. We hit it ONCE and we hit it HARD. HOWEVER, it didn't quite go in all the way. DON'T WORRY! We wiggle the tackstrip a little with our fingers and it seems attached solidly. So, we could risk hitting the nail a second time and hope it holds and doesn't break up the concrete under there but, we opt to simply leave it.

The nail is sticking up but only a little. It's attached firmly to the concrete sublfoor so, we leave it along and finish nailing the other 3 or 4 nails we have to nail to finish attaching the tackstrip.

Here's a photo of the first nail that didn't quite go in. But, it's in enough to stick to the concrete floor and so we're gonna leave it alone. (Notice the pokies - they are pointed towards the tile!)
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:33 PM   #15
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done

Ok, we got the tackstrip nailed and we didn't break a tile! WOOT! Life is good. Go have a beer to settle those nerves down a bit and tell your wife she can come back in and finish watching you.

Good job.

Glad we started in the middle with the nailing because those nails near the wall were a bit harder to aim for. Also, the tackstrip stayed down and didn't pop back up at all again!

Drink the beer and admire the work.
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