Types of Laminate Floor Transitions

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Laminate is a floor covering product used to resemble hardwood flooring. It is made from planks comprised of a composite base topped with a printed paper top layer. This product is frequently used in homes to finish floors in kitchens, hallways and living areas. When laminate butts against another floor covering, such as within a doorway, a transition strip is used to mask the joint.

Function

  • Transition strips are used to create a smooth, seamless transition between two different flooring areas. They help create a pleasing appearance between a laminate and carpet floor, and also prevent dirt and debris from collecting in the gap between the two materials. Transition strips also prevent trips and falls caused by differences in floor elevation, and can make it easier to roll wheeled objects, including wheelchairs, between the two surfaces.

Features

  • These transition strips are made from aluminum, wood or laminate products. Some are designed to fit within prefabricated tracks in a flooring system, such as those designed by Armstrong. Others can be used in a variety of scenarios, and can be cut to fit any area. In commercial applications, flooring transitions are closely regulated to ensure safe access for disabled individuals. Depending on the application, the height, width, slope and material of the transition must conform to standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

T Molding

  • A T molding is used to transition between floor coverings that are roughly the same height. This is common between two laminate floors, or between a laminate and hardwood floor. This molding has a vertical base that rests on the subfloor between the two floor finishes. The two sides of the "T" rest on the laminate floor on either side, and are held in place using nails or screws.

Reducer Strip

  • A reducer strip is used to transition between a laminate floor and one with a lower elevation. This is common in homes where laminate flooring meets vinyl or linoleum floor coverings, or when one subfloor is thicker than the adjoining one. The reducer is similar to a T molding, but features a relatively sharp slope of one edge of the "T." This edge rests on top of the lower floor covering, and the entire transition strip is usually fastened only into the laminate.

Carpet End Cap

  • A carpet end cap is used between carpet and laminate transitions, but also between laminate and a door frame or other vertical surface. It closely resembles a regular threshold, with one end formed into a T shape that rests on the laminate, while the other end is vertical. The vertical edge is tall enough to rest on the subfloor while keeping the top of the strip level. When installed adjacent to carpet, the carpet is tucked under this vertical edge to secure it in place.

References

  • Photo Credit Creative Commons
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