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We installed luxury vinyl tile in our kitchen and landing, which replaced 25 year old laminate. The landing was the only place that didn't have quarter inch plywood under the laminate. Our handyman installed new quarter inch plywood on all the floors before installing the vinyl tile. The landing is now about a half inch taller. As a result, there is a half inch gap from the top of the carpet on the stairs to the stair transition. We plan to get a new stair transition, but there will still be a gap. How should we fix this? Is there something that can go between the carpet and transition that will look good? The distance from the top of the carpet to the top of the vinyl tile is 2 inches.

old stair transition set on top of the vinyl tile doesn't reach the carpet on the step.

close up view

landing and step without the transition

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    When you say "stair transition", are you talking about that brass colored stair nosing trim piece? I ask because stair nosing comes in all different sizes, types, materials, and finishes... Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 17:38
  • Yes, stair nosing. I forgot the term when writing this.
    – VogueSense
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 4:19

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This is more a design question than anything, but here's my $.03. I don't like brass strips. They smack of mobile homes and RVs--cheap and lazy. I like either wood or coordinating components. My hunch is that your flooring manufacturer offers such parts. So start by looking for those.

If that falls through, consider making one out of the same wood and finish we see in your base trim, or replace the carpet with a plywood finish riser to match. You could also install a wooden pacer above the carpet, and install your metal nosing over that.

For the easiest fix of all, nail a flat brass transition over the carpet edge, then reinstall your current brass nosing.

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  • The brass is going. The flooring does have a matching stair nosing but I didn't want to pay $50 for 8 ft. Also, many of the reviews said the trim and transition pieces didn't match the flooring very well. I plan to use a satin silver stair nosing. For the gap, I like the idea of using a flat transition piece so it looks like part of the stair nosing. My handyman had a new suggestion to use a piece of decorative trim stained like the trim near it and then use a smaller stair nosing. I think you two had the same idea for it
    – VogueSense
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 4:37
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Easiest: get a wider "stair transition" strip, aka stair nosing:

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I'd remove the carpet from the riser and nail a 1/8" thick primed piece of mdf to the riser.

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  • Why MDF? That introduces a new finish to an area already having several, and MDF doesn't wear gracefully. Andy why primed? Why not match the other woodwork?
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 19:57
  • The skirt board or stringer ( hard to tell ) is already white. 1/8" won't change the tread depth, pre-primed means you just cut and install and based on the appearance of the rest of the steps I wouldn't even paint till everything else was ready for paint. As you note there are already a smorasborg of materials ( carpet, LVP, brass, unpainted wood, painted wood ) - at this point it would look better if it was all painted white though a little hard to tell without a zoom out. Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 20:36
  • @isherwood why do you say MDF doesn't wear gracefully? while I wouldn't use it as a tread a riser is like a baseboard and the majority of baseboard installed these days is MDF. Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 20:37
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    Baseboard doesn't usually get kicked on a daily basis, and where it does it gets destroyed. I won't use it even for baseboard.
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 20:41
  • This is similar to what my handyman suggested at first, except he suggested 1/4 inch ply. The more I thought about it the more I didn't like it. Like someone mentioned, it's just too many different materials. I need something to blend in or match the surrounding trim.
    – VogueSense
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 4:24

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