I'm planning to rent a sander and refinish the ugly floor that is the darker floor in the photo. I'm also planning to pull up the carpet which has nice hardwood under it in good shape (no refinishing needed).

So how do I transition between one room that is being refinished and another that is not? I want to make sure there isn't an abrupt line from one room to the next where the new polyurethane ends and the existing floor starts. As you can see in the photo whoever did the floor previously didn't know either.

I have this issue in several places in the house where one room needs a new coat of polyurethane and the other does not. Some of the doorways between rooms are double wide so I'd rather not add a threshold strip if there is a way to nicely transition the refinishing. any ideas on how to go between rooms like this?

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    Does the hardwood flow through the door way or is there a seam where the hardwood under the carpet meets the exposed hardwood? The best solution is probably to refinish all of the wood...but that would be a lot of work.
    – aphoria
    Aug 8, 2014 at 11:48

3 Answers 3


I think that if you could make sure the stain/varnish colors match by refinishing both floors together, that would be your best bet. Unless the wood floors were installed at different times and have different grains/widths. In that case, no matter what you do the transition will be apparent.

If that that's the case, you might be able to do something decorative, with ornate wood squares or with tile, especially if you do it multiple areas of your house so that it echos the accent in more than one place. I know this is not the unobtrusive look you hoped for, but it could still look very pretty. If your kitchen uses small tiling, or if you have a fireplace with stone or tiling, or if you have any brick walls, you might be able to do a thin band of the same tiling/brick in the doorways, complemented by a border of the tiling/brick beneath your front door. See http://www.pinterest.com/pin/377739487469141226/ and http://www.pinterest.com/pin/383368987001982461/.


If you don't want a threshold cut a strip perpendicular to the flooring and install a piece of matching hardwood. Very easy to do. That will let you break the rooms apart for refinishing.


The traditional floor transition device in a doorway is a saddle saddle

They come in a variety of wood types, but oak is probably the most common. They can be stained any color, close to one or the other floors, or somewhere in the middle.

If there is a door in that frame, you may have to shorten it slightly.

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