A transition strip for laminate flooring is a small piece of wood used to bridge laminate and laminate or laminate and another type of floor finish from one room to the other.
A transition strip accommodates floor shifts, reducing the risks of accidents by tripping. A good transition strip should be easy to install, scratch-resistant, and durable.
Why do I need to use a Transition Strip?
Transition necessarily does not have to be between two similar floor finishes, it could be between laminate to laminate or laminate to any other floor finish. The important thing is, in either case, you will need a transition strip, for a smooth flow.
Transition between Laminate and a Different Material
Practically, it is impossible for the floor to flow seamlessly from one room to the other or from one-floor finish to the other. A shift in the type of floor finish will definitely require a transition strip. Different floor finishes will have different characteristics from laminate flooring.
It could be the height, texture, or comfortability under the foot, but there will always be a difference. To accommodate this rapid shift, which you may sometimes think is not noticeable, the best thing to do is use the strip for a smooth transition.
Sometimes due to shifts in height, someone could easily trip, what it does, it helps create a clear/visible and smooth transition between the different heights, which can be anticipated by anyone moving across the rooms preventing the cause of accidents
Transition Between Laminate and Laminate
In the case of a shift between laminate and laminate floor finish, Unless the floor in the two spaces happens to work aesthetically pleasing in your favor, you will probably want to break the shift with a transition strip.
Installation of laminate flooring will require an expansion gap, between the plank and the wall, between rooms, this rule also applies. To cover up/accommodate these gaps, in a pleasing way use the transition strip
Transition strips come in different shades and materials, but when dealing with laminate to laminate or even laminate to another floor finish, the best choice is a transition strip that is wooden and almost has the shade close to your laminate flooring.
In this case, you can also call them seam binders.
ALSO READ: How to Install Laminate Flooring
How to Install Transition Strips on Laminate Flooring
In this case, the assumption I have made is that you are installing the transition strip, on laminate flooring that has a concrete subfloor.
Step 01: Prepare the Floor
Installing anything on the floor, the first step should always be making sure the floor is clean. In this case, remove any dirt and debris that could have entered the expansion joint in the area where you want to install the transition strip.
Different doors measure differently, (assuming you are using a transition strip at the door) measure using a tape measure and transfer the measurements, on the transition molding. It is important to get the measurements right and as precise as possible.
Cut and lay it on the areas you wish to install, check whether it fits and if its too tight, adjust until you achieve a perfect fit.
Step 02: Install the Transition Strip
To hold the laminate flooring transition mold in place is something that comes with it called a track. The track comes with screws and plastic inserts to secure it in place. The holes for the plastic inserts must be drilled on the exact spot your track will end upcurved.
Cut the required length of the track and screw it down into the plastic inserts. Do not use screws that have a big head because the mold will not sit as steady as possible. When inserting the transition, work it from side to side before tapping it into the track.
Using too much force can bend the plastic track. After tapping it and making sure it sits, check on the edges to make sure it is sitting flat with no spaces showing. These spaces if left could be trapping dust and moisture.
Things you will need:
- Tape measure
- Laminate flooring adhesive
- Woodcutting saw
- Masonry bit
- Screw gun
- Concrete screws
- Tapping bar
- Transition molding matching the laminate flooring in your home
Common mistakes that should be avoided when installing transition strips on laminate flooring
- Transition strips should never be glued down or nailed to the floating floor into the subfloor. Laminate flooring is a floating floor and is designed to expand and contract freely with changes in temperature and humidity. Nailing it down will only cause floor damage through warping.
- The transition strip should not be fixed too tight on the floor. Always leave an expansion joint.
- For floating floors, do not use flash transition strips. Instead, use overlap transition moldings. They are designed to transition floors and at the same time giving room for an expansion gap.