I am renovating my entire second floor. Due to some plumbing issues I had to raise the bathroom floor a bit plus added cement board and ceramic tile leading to the 2+ inch step you see below. I will be having carpet installed everywhere else. Any suggestions on how I can handle this step before the carpet installer shows up?


2" step into bathroom

Here is the layout of the rest of the floor to help see what I am working with. There is hardwood under the existing carpet but it is in bad shape and appears to have a thin (1/4" maybe) sub floor on top. The bathroom is the small room in the lower left of the image.


It has been a while since this post but I thought I'd share the finished product using isherwood's answer.

enter image description here

  • Upon a quick look, I came across this video (youtube.com/watch?v=MQhk-kgDcvU) that claims that they have a solution, but I'm not sure it would cover a 2 inch difference. [1]: Mar 8, 2017 at 15:13
  • OMG... well whatever you do is going to be a trip hazard.... The best you can do is make it ramp a little, but even then folks are going to trip. The correct solution is really to rip it up and fix the "Plumbing Issue".... Sorry...
    – Trevor_G
    Mar 8, 2017 at 17:56
  • 1
    Further, masking the step is actually a bad idea since you just make it more likely that someone won't notice the transition. It's actually better to make it OBVIOUS there is a step there. Perhaps with a chrome or brass L-shaped extrusion or edging strip.
    – Trevor_G
    Mar 8, 2017 at 18:25
  • 1
    Go back in time and re-do your design plans. Someone somewhere made some terrible decisions; everyone who ever visits or considers purchasing your home in the future will hate you if you leave the floors with that kind of offset. I'm serious: rip it all out and do it right. Mar 8, 2017 at 18:56
  • 1
    While I agree with Trevor and Carl, it seemed like a shot to the groin to say it at this point. So I didn't. :) I even thought that, given the described scenario, I'd lower a ceiling below before I'd raise a floor.
    – isherwood
    Mar 8, 2017 at 21:13

1 Answer 1


Given the nearby stairs and doorways, raising the floor outside the bathroom obviously isn't a good option. The only thing to do now is fashion a transition strip.

Given the already extreme height of the transition, a typical L-molding (that would lap onto the tile) is inadvisable. I'd use a heavy piece of finished hardwood that coordinates with your home's trim and simply stand it along the face of the step. It could be 3/4" stock, but 5/4 or two-by would probably look better at that height.

           |         \
           |          \
  bathroom |  trans.   |
  floor    |  strip    |
           |           |
           |           |
           |           |
           |           | 

How much bevel you use depends on the orientation of the transition with respect to the door opening. I'd consider tapering it down up to an inch if you have room inside the door jamb. I'd seek to avoid having the transition strip protrude into the hallway past the jamb edges.

Use construction adhesive to fasten it in place, then use a color-matched caulk to act as grout between the tile and the wood. A smaller gap is better here, regardless of the grout line width.

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