Uneven Floor Transition – UPDATED 2020 – A Complete Guide

One problem that many homeowners run into when their flooring is installed is uneven floor transition. The new flooring can sometimes be higher than the floor in an adjoining room. It not only looks bad, but it can also pose challenges.

For example, you might trip or stub your toes on uneven flooring surfaces. A floor transition strip is a simple solution to bridge the gap.

Now, another challenge is when you want to replace flooring in some of the rooms at one time, or if you want to replace a section of flooring.

But do not worry. We will try to answer all of your questions regarding uneven floor transition.

Can you put two different wood floors next to each other?

Uneven Floor Transition

Of course, you can. The simple answer is Yes. The long answer is you need to do it right. When you want to install two different sizes or stain colors of hardwood flooring, there is a right way to do it. Never place them with the planks running in the same direction and with little to no transition. It looks terrible.

Now, if you place one type of wood flooring next to a different type, the right way to do is to include some special design to make the transition visible. It should look like a real transition, not an accident.

For example, transitions should happen in a doorway. It should not happen in the middle of a room.

How to join laminate floors?

Now, let’s talk about what happens when you want to add a second laminate floor to a room that already has one installed. Laminate is available in a variety of styles and sizes. Two different can be a continuous installation. Here is how to connect them.

  1. Nail the strip of wood into place along the edge of the first laminate flooring. Make sure to leave half an inch of space at either end for ease of removal. Also, take care not to hammer the nails flush with the surface of the wood strip. Remember, you will be pulling the strip up later.
  2. Now, install the second type of laminate floor. Make sure to use flooring spaces and maintain a quarter of an inch expansion gap along the strip of wood
  3. At this point, you can remove the strip of wood and the laminate spacers. Be careful not to shift the end plank of either floor
  4. Center the metal T-molding track in the gap, at the place where the strip was installed. Again, maintain a ΒΌ inch expansion gap on either side of the track
  5. Screw the track into place using the screws packaged with the T-molding
  6. Press T-molding into the track, starting at one end and pressing along the length until it snaps into place

How to transition from one wood to another?

We talked about transitioning before, but let’s mention all the ways you can transition from one wood to another. There are several design techniques you can try and make the transition between two floors look more natural.

Sometimes, however, the best solution is a combination of two techniques.

Use T-Molding

We mentioned this tool for transition between laminate flooring. It is a great tool for blending different wood floors, and some would say the easiest technique.

Now, it might not look great, but it will get the job done. T-Molding works great in a natural transition like a doorway.

It works best on floors of the same height but gives it a gentle transition that is visual. All you have to do for this technique is lay the flooring with a gap of about 1 inch, cut the T-molding to size, and attach it to the floor.

Transition Strip

Here is another simple technique for sorting out uneven floor transition. It is a piece of wood or metal that can bridge the gap between two uneven floors. And the best part is it will take you no longer than an hour to install it.

  1. Start by measuring the height difference between the two floors by holding a measuring tape against the lower floor. Measure up to the higher floor. Write it down
  2. Determine the width of the doorway or transition area and write the measurement down
  3. Buy a transition strip for the area. The strip will bridge the flooring difference and has a slow angle that slopes from the higher flooring surface to the lower one
  4. Use the measurement made to mark the transition’s width with a pencil and place the wood transition strip on a miter saw. Cut it to size. If it is made of metal, cut it with a hack saw
  5. Screw the strip into place. Start by pre-drilling the holes and then secure the screws in place with a screwdriver. For a metal strip, this should be enough. If you have a wood strip, continue by filling the nail holes with wood putty and let them dry. Smooth it out with sandpaper

Metal thin transition

Another way to make a transition between two uneven floors is with a metal thin transition. Most of them are very narrow, but their straight lines and shiny appearance provide an attractive look.

They give you a contemporary look in the room and are smooth to step on. Make sure that the two wood floor stains go well with the metal color.

Just leave a thin gap between floors and mount the metal transition strip between them. Use an adhesive to finish the job.

Install a threshold piece

What is a threshold? It looks like a flat, rectangular block that has the thickness of a hardwood floor. The difference is it doesn’t have tongues like a regular hardwood plank. This threshold piece can come in different materials. For example, stone or marble.

It is designed to place it in a doorway between two different types of flooring. Simply order a precut length, cut it to size if necessary, and then install it between the two flooring materials.

Tips for transitioning between two floors

We talked about the techniques you can use to solve an uneven floor transition problem. But now let’s talk about the finesse.

Choose contrasting colors

You always want to have a visually visible transition. Keep adjacent wood floors at a high level of color contrast. What does that mean? It means you should not have two light-colored floors positioned one to another. Or two dark ones.

Choose a dark complementary color for the second flooring material when you have light as the first one. Do not choose colors that are close together. It can suggest you couldn’t afford to match all the flooring or put it at the same time.

It is best that you pick two materials that aren’t so similar.

Consider the size of your room

When you are choosing flooring for your home, make sure to think about the room size. A smaller room should have lighter flooring that will make it look bigger. Dark flooring in a smaller room can make it feel smaller. In a big room, you can get away with more colors.

Also, think about natural light. Choose a color or type of wood that will enhance the room. These are all questions you need to think about before choosing flooring.

Do the wood floors need to match?

Yes and no. It is not a rule. Yes, it is beautiful when you can make it happen and all floors in your house match. But sometimes, it is not practical. Sometimes, it is a huge investment.

Remember, some rooms look better with different floor colors or patterns. The key is that you manage the transition between floors. Keep different hardwood floors separated and you are in a good position.

What about tiles and wood?

Usually, the transition between a kitchen and a living room is the most challenging one? Why? Because usually, a ceramic tile or any othe type of floor tile is used in the kitchen. And the living room is reserved for laminate wood flooring.

This is where you need to use a strip that will serve as the perfect transition piece.

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