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I have recently fitted some new laminate flooring to my living room floor. This floor meets directly with the tiled floor of the kitchen. I'm looking to fit some sort of transition bar between the laminate floor and the kitchen tiles, however, the complication is that along with run of the length of where the two floors meet, the height difference between the two floors changes.

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The first picture shows the two floors as they meet (this length is approx 2 metres). I couldn't quite get the complete length in this picture, but it shows most of it. The second picture shows one end of where the two floors meet. This is the end at the top of the first picture in the first photo. The third picture shows the other end of where the two floors meet (this is not shown in the first photo).

There is a small "channel" between the two floor types, and this channel is slightly wider at one end than the other (as can be seen in the 2nd & 3rd photos) - the width of that channel is approx. 30mm at the end shown in picture 3 and approx. 20mm at the end shown in picture 2.

The bigger issue, I believe, is that on the end shown in picture 2, the height between the top of the tile floor and the top of the laminate floor is approx. 5mm, whereas the height difference between the top of the tile and the top of the laminate in picture 3 is approx. 15mm.

I am aware that, under normal circumstances where the floor differential was consistent along it's length, I'd simply fit a "reducer" (i.e. something like this) however, I've no idea what to do in my case where the height differential fluctuates along the length of the floors meeting.

I've considered a PVC based reducer that will have some inherent flexibility, which may need to be "shaved down" in order to stay flush with both floors at both ends, however, I've no idea if this would work (or how difficult it would be).

Has anyone come across anything like this before? Anyone got any ideas what the best approach would be to finish this job and fit an appropriate "covering" that would transition the two floors correctly?

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4 Answers 4

You should consider doing something mosaic-y there because the size difference will always prevent you from putting in a milled transition piece.

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If you try to install something that looks perfect, it will always look imperfect. But if you go with something that is intentionally imperfect, it will look intentional.

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I've come across this situation a few times. I've always ended up fabricating a custom wood strip much like a door threshold, but I've not come across one as long as your's before. Trying to twist a reducer strip will not work well for large height differences as the leading edge on the higher side gets canted up away from the finish floor, creating a dirt trap, not to mention looking very amateurish. As you say, you could shave down a thicker reducer. If the two elevation lines are close to straight, just sloped, you can get most of the cutting done on a table saw, with a little time spent shaving for any waviness.

Shaving the whole thing without a table saw will work as well, it'll just take a while.

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I think custom milling a wood transition piece would be ideal, but likely a bit of work. If you're looking for an easier way out, I'd consider a metal transition piece (sometimes called 'carpet trim'). That should have enough flex to accomodate the change in height:

metal floor transition

It looks like you can even get the metal transitions in a 'wood' finish:

enter image description here

(Both images above taken from the Home Depot web site)

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You can get some quite wide ones, otherwise he'd have to make his own. –  Matt Jul 11 '13 at 23:11
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I had a similar problem between my new hardwood and tile floor, and asked here in this question. I ended up making a custom piece from the hardwood.

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You could do something similar. The piece would run perpendicular to your existing floor like mine.

enter image description here

There are also lots of other great answers in my question that may help you.

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