Hardwood to tile transition? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Darren Thomas
10-04-2006, 03:32 PM
Hi Guys,

I'm in the middle of a my bathroom remodel and will be doing travertine tile on the floor, my bedroom is getting new 3/4" solid hardwoods and I'm wondering what the best way is to handle the threshold between the bathroom and the bedroom. I'm considering butting the tile to the wood taking into consideration the expansion of the wood but wonder if there is another better and clean way to do it. I don't want a raised "T" molding. I've been to several home shows and have seen people use an aluminum strip to cap the edge of the wood and just butt it up to the tile.

Any info would be great.


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10-04-2006, 07:32 PM
Hi Darren,

If they're the same level, I space it about 1/16" off the wood and use a colored caulk. Make sure your layout leaves slightly less than a full tile at the door, so if the rest of your layout isn't square to the door you can cut the angle and have and even joint.

Stone is often higher than wood and when that occurs the wood floor guys can usually make a slick tapered transition and stain it the same color as the floor.

A sample of the wood floor for height while you're setting is handy to see if it's possible. I'd set the stone first, then have the wood installed.

hope this helps,

P.S. I forgot to say that I'm not a fan of metal and prefer a wood or stone threshold, but that's just me. :)

Darren Thomas
10-04-2006, 10:54 PM
I'm not a fan of metal etiher. I'm installing the wood floor myself and have all the wood at home currently. It's a pre-finished, hand scraped walnut stained oak... nice stuff :) Unfortunately the wood will be going in first. I'm a woodworking hobbiest so I can easily fashion any type of necessary threshold piece. The wood is 3/4" so I think I'll be able to get a fairly even height between the tile and wood. I noticed the 18x18 travertine was slightly less than 1/2" thick, maybe 3/8" or a tiny bit thicker, I can use the 1/4" hardi-backer and with the mortar it should be very similar in height, if not I can shim the threshold piece slightly and hopefully be close enough. I can always pull up my threshold piece of wood and replace it when the tile goes in if I need to adjust.

Thanks for the advice, I like the idea of leaving 1/16" or so and using color matched caulk.

10-05-2006, 07:26 AM
Sorry for the thread hi-jack, but...

Say you know that your tile is going to be taller than the abutting woodfloor, and you haven't installed your door yet. Would you bring the tile up to the edge of the doorway, or fully throught the doorway, rather than having the transition centered in the doorway, so that the bottom of your jambs don't have a step cut into them?

That puts your T-molding at one edge or the other, and maybe that won't look as good as centered, not sure. What do people think looks best?



Darren Thomas
10-05-2006, 08:05 AM
From my experience it is always best to put the split under the door so when the door is closed you don't see the other flooring from either side. I'd perform a step cut or if the difference in height is 1/8" or less I'd cut the jamb to fit the tallest section and then use color matched caulk to seal the bottom. If you had to go with one or the other all the way through I'd suggest the following:

1. Tile to Carpet: Go tile all the way, carpet peeking under the door in the tiled room would look very strange
2. Tile to Wood: I'd say it is a coin flip
3. Tile to vinyl: Coin flip

10-05-2006, 08:19 AM
Thanks, the "peeking under" terminology puts it in perspective. That would certainly look funny. I'm going to line up up directly under the door. I appreciate the advice.

10-05-2006, 08:19 AM
I agree about seeing the different flooring from the other room doesn't look good.

I don't cut my jambs, just the casings and stops.
Depending on how much of a transition and how wide it is, stop it wherever it is most visually pleasing. Note which way the door swings and put the transition so it leaves a nice size gap under the door when closed.

hope this helps,

10-05-2006, 09:39 PM
I always cut all jambs. It takes more time but the look is well worth it.
Definitely transition all floors under doors without exception. Jamb can be cut to match floor neight from both sides with a little care and patience.