How to Install Carpet Trim

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Carpet trim (or transition) is installed where carpeting ends and another flooring type begins. Common carpet trim materials include metal, wood and laminate. Metal trim is commonly sold in aluminum and brass colors; wood trim can be unfinished or finished pieces in a variety of species; and laminate trim is also available in a variety of colors and patterns. Carpet trim is usually coordinated to match the type of flooring adjoining the carpet. There are many styles that serve different purposes. The most common style is the saddle style that has a slight V-shape.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Nails or screws
  • Hammer or electric drill
  • Measure the width of the transition area that requires trim with a tape measure.

  • Compare the length of the trim to the size of the transition space. Divide the difference by two.

  • Cut half of the size difference off one end of the trim and the other half off of the other end. Wood and laminate trim should be cut with a miter saw and metal trim should be cut with a hacksaw.

  • Lay the trim onto the floor in the transition area to be certain it fits. Shorten the trim as needed until it fits into the transition area nicely.

  • Hold the trim in place in the transition area with one hand and fasten it into place with the other hand. Metal trim is nailed into place with special twist nails that are usually supplied with the trim, and wood and laminate trim is usually screwed into place. Screws are usually provided with wood and laminate trim, but if the screws are too short, use screws that are long enough to grab the subfloor effectively for a tight installation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cutting half of the size difference from each end of the trim (Step 3) ensures that the holes for the nails or screws will remain centered in the transition space.

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