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If you are redoing any of the flooring in your home, chances are good you are wondering how to properly transition between the carpet and tile in different rooms. Without a solid transition, the edges of your flooring can quickly become damaged with wear or unraveling carpet. In some cases, a bad transition can also be a tripping hazard. Not what you want in a safe and cozy home.

The right tools and transition strip can make a big difference. Let’s look at a few methods for transitioning carpet and tile to find the technique that’s right for you.

Installing Tile Before Carpet

If you are installing new carpet and tile, it’s often best to install the tile first. Tile is messy and requires mortar and grout, along with a cleaning process, in order to set and secure it properly. If you are laying tile right next to fresh carpet, you might get some of the mortar or grout on your plush carpet. This is a hassle to clean. The best process is to lay the tile before the carpet whenever possible.

Transition Strips

Some transition strips can be installed directly into the fresh mortar while you are laying the tile, creating a really strong bond between the strip and the floor. Other types of strips can be installed after both layers of flooring have already been laid. One of the more common types is a T strip, which has a base that is nailed to the subflooring between your carpet and tile. The top of the strip then has small arms that cover the edges of both sides of flooring. These are commonly made of wood, but similar styles can be found in vinyl or metal.

Carpet Installed Before Tile

In some cases, the carpet may already be installed when you are remodeling a home, such as when you take out old vinyl flooring in the kitchen to upgrade to a low-maintenance tile flooring. This is not a problem, and there are several excellent transitioning methods to consider using.

Z-Bar Transitions

Z-Bars are metal fixtures that are fashioned in a Z shape. The flat base is placed into freshly spread mortar before the tile is laid over it at the edge of the transition. The top of the Z shape then covers the edge of the carpet that is already secured to the floor either by adhesive or tack strips. It’s one of the most secure ways to protect the edge of your carpet as it is cemented with your tile. If you want to use this method, it must be installed while you are laying the tile next to the existing carpet.

Using Reducer Strips

Reducer strips may be the best option if one of your flooring layers is higher than the other. This is fairly common with remodels, in which layers of subflooring and mortar cause the tile to be higher than the layer of carpet that butts up against it. The reducer strip is slanted in such a way that it protects the edges of the higher and lower layers without an abrupt cliff edge above the lower layer.

Transition strips, no matter which type you choose, are a wise way to protect your flooring investment and prevent unnecessary damage from occurring. For more home improvement tips, be sure to follow our blog!