A side of a tile flooring project abuts a strip of wood. How should I handle the side where the tile meets the wood so the wood won't absorb all the water from the grout?

3 Answers 3


You may not want to grout that joint. Caulking (using a matching color with the grout) may be the better solution. This way it will not crack as the wood expands and contracts over time with temp/humidity changes.

  • +1. Typically you'll want to use caulk or leave the gap empty, then cover it with a transition piece.
    – Tester101
    Sep 30, 2011 at 23:42
  • Some grout brands also sell caulk that's made to match the grout colors/textures.
    – gnicko
    Mar 6, 2022 at 22:57

In our house where tile meets wood, the tile installer inserted a thin metal strip between the tile and wood. I think there is grout on the tile side of the metal strip and the wood has very narrow space between it and the metal strip.

There is no transition piece that covers the joint and the top of the wood is flush with the top of the tile.

I've sat here for ten minutes trying to remember what that metal strip was called, but it escapes me.

  • Was it called a profile?
    – Rupert
    Feb 18, 2020 at 12:29

Whenever you have materials of different types butting up against each other, you always want to leave space for expansion because they'll expand at different rates.

Use transition pieces wherever you have these material joins - these are finish pieces that sit over top of the transition to hide it while giving that finished look.

In the case of tile meeting wood, as others have said, leave the space empty, or caulk with a material that will remain flexible made for the specific join (I can't think of one off hand, so I'd leave it empty) and cover the join with quarter round or shoe for a professionally finished look.

Like so: (Not my project) enter image description here

  • Don't use 1/4 round when tiling to the wall, remove the base board, Tile, then use the base board to cover the gap.
    – Tester101
    Oct 1, 2011 at 1:10

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