9

I removed a load bearing wall between a small kitchen and tiny dining room. My problem is that I have a giant gap to fill in where the old wall was. The house was built in 1950 and sits above a crawl space. As depicted there is no underlayment where the original oak flooring is installed. The original framing was all "true 2x4" so new lumber doesn't quite do the trick.

The tiled area is about 3/8 higher than the wood and after filling the gap it will need a reducing transition installed. I do have 6" accent tile to cover the gap once the 1"deep x 4.5 wide gap has been filled in. The wood floor was resurfaced 4 years ago and the ends are all different lengths adjoining the gap.

I do have a table saw buried in the garage behind everything and no I couldn't cut a straight line with a circular saw if my life depended on it. At the moment the ends are not finished but merely four 2x4s stacked upright screwed together supporting the beam. I have a preexisting passageway 30" wide at one end that I intend to cover over with the trim tile so it is consistent over the length of the opening. Additional photos would have simplified my explanation but I was only able to upload 1 photo.

For a temporary measure I used a 1x4 to prevent turned ankles but now that the kitchen portion is tiled I need to come up with a permanent fix to level it out with the kitchen. I've got 21 linear feet to cover.

I've considered plywood + hardy backer + mortar / Masonite and fill to tile level with Quickcrete using foam rope against the hardwood side.

wall width gap X 1" deep

3
  • 1
    Is your wood floor at the same level as your tile? It's not entirely clear in the picture but your text makes it seem so. Also, do you want the gap tiled or with a wood finish? Do you have access to a table saw and reasonable skill to use it? – Olivier Aug 31 '20 at 20:04
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. It looks like you now have two separate accounts; you should request that they be merged. – Daniel Griscom Sep 1 '20 at 1:07
  • Whatever you do, there will either be a 3/8" step or a silly looking slope, neither being satisfactory for walking across. Fill the gap to the level of the wood, using 4x2 from planed wood that finishes at the right dimension. Then look forward to re-surfacing the wood floor to have a finish height that matches the tiles. – Tim Sep 1 '20 at 8:07
18

Updated based on revisions to the question.

The way I see it you have two options, neither of which is nearly as complicated as your proposed solution.

  1. Install a tile accent row with a beveled or bullnose edge or reducing edger (metal trim). This could be from leftover original tile or something else. 1/2" cement board on the subfloor boards will be enough of a filler to bring the new tile level with the existing. Grout to the existing tile.
____  _______________
____||_______________\ ________________
____||________________|__________________
 ^             ^             ^
existing   new backer    existing wood
  tile      & tile           floor
  1. Install a hardwood strip with a beveled edge, stained to match the existing floor. This could be ripped from a 1x6, then set in construction adhesive and attached with a few finish nails. Optionally rabbet a small distance to overlay the existing wood floor, creating a clean transition line and covering any rough edges. Keep this minimal to keep it robust. I picture it like so:
____  __________________
____||                __\________________
____||________________|__________________
 ^             ^             ^
existing    transition    existing wood
  tile        strip         floor

If you have more specific questions about either approach, go ahead and ask.

0
14

I think the solution can be even easier. Most hardware stores will carry uneven transition pieces. They're almost always wood and often are available in a variety of colored stains to match the wood floor. They are beveled in the front, so you don't have any tripping hazard, and they can be easily negotiated by wheeled devices (walkers, etc)

You'll probably want to put some wood between this and the tile (it won't bridge a 4" gap) but if you construction adhesive the wood and the transition down in the gap it should work just fine (make sure your adhesive works with metal if you choose not to screw/nail it down).

Uneven transition piece

4
  • 1
    This could be the easiest / most practical approach. The only downside is that the transition ends up even a little bit higher than the adjacent flooring; but this might be perfectly acceptable if it gets the job done. – StayOnTarget Sep 1 '20 at 14:55
  • Clicking through to the installation instructions is useful too, because that particular product actually has several different configurations - not all the wood pieces necessarily are needed. So its simpler than it seems in the image. I know this product was just an example, however, – StayOnTarget Sep 1 '20 at 14:56
  • 1
    The area needing transitioning is 21 feet long. – Kris Sep 1 '20 at 16:53
  • 1
    Wouldn't be the first time such transitions were butt-spliced. – isherwood Sep 1 '20 at 17:09
3

I wanted to mention one thorny detail in addition to the other answer. The edge of the hardwood, presumably where it was under the baseboard molding and or drywall, looks quite different from the rest of the wood. This might be because the floor was once refinished by sanding and this section was left out.

Also, good chance that the board ends don't line up perfectly. (Which might be one reason to go with a tile transition instead of wood which would need to fit very tightly).

I see two reasonable ways to deal with this:

  1. Sand it down smooth with the surrounding wood, and then stain to match as best as possible. If you use a wood strip to fill the gap then this might be a good choice, since you'll have to stain that as well. But I think there is a risk that sanding will tend to feather out into the surrounding flooring and make it into a bigger project. Also matching stain can be hard within the same board and variation would be noticeable; whereas variation across the seam to the new board would probably look ok. Finally you would also need to apply clear finish to the sanded area, another difficult thing to look right.

  2. Cut off another 1/2 to 1" of the old flooring. If this cut is done very straight and cleanly I think it could look excellent, especially if tight to a new wood transition strip. Also, the photo doesn't show the ends of the area, but likely you will have additional molding which would mean you have some flexibility where the exact line of this cut needs to be. To make the cut, you could use a circular saw plunge cut with a straightedge or track for most of it, and then chisels or an oscillating multi tool for the rest. (You could even use the oscillating tool for the whole thing, it's just slow). That's how I've done this in the past.

Based on the info in the question, #2 would be my choice.

4
  • 1
    A router guided by a straightedge would also make a very clean edge, with the ends of the cut to be finished with an oscillating multi-tool or a Japanese pull saw. – MTA Sep 1 '20 at 15:25
  • @MTA would a pull saw be able to get right into the final bit of corner of the cut? I guess you'd use it nearly vertically at that point? – StayOnTarget Sep 1 '20 at 15:26
  • Yes, right up to the final bit, provided the teeth go all the way to the end of the saw blade. I would keep the blade horizontal. Think of it as a hand-powered oscillating multi-tool that won't jump out of the slot and ruin your work. – MTA Sep 1 '20 at 15:39
  • @MTA thanks. I imagine that the very ends of the cut probably will get hidden by the molding / trim in the end, but I agree neatness counts! – StayOnTarget Sep 1 '20 at 15:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.