Many homes have multiple types of material installed as flooring throughout the home. It is common to have kitchens, bathrooms and mudrooms done in tile, with the rest of the home laid in hardwood. Where the two materials meet one another, a threshold must be used to transition between one material and another. Depending on the type of flooring and the style of the home, multiple types of thresholds can be used.
Thresholds made of the same hardwood the rest of the flooring is made out of come in multiple sizes and profiles. These thresholds are typically small, and may gradually "step" from one height to another. If the hardwood floor is significantly higher than the tile floor it is abutting, a reducing threshold made of wood can bridge the gap. Use a 2-inch wide, one-side reducer to make the transition from a high floor to a very low tile floor, such as vinyl or some thinner ceramic tiles. Use a 2-1/4-inch bi-level reducer to make the switch from a very thick hardwood floor to a ceramic, porcelain or stone tile floor.
For new tile installation that are abutting a preexisting hardwood floor, matching the hardwood may be more problematic than matching the tile. To make a subtle threshold transition between a hardwood and a new tile floor, ensure the new floor is tiled to the same height as the existing floor. This can be accomplished with a mud subfloor. Cut pieces of the tile to between 2 and 3 inches in width, as long as the doorway. Use a bullnose blade on a tile saw or a rotary tool equipped with a silicon carbide grinding stone accessory to grind down either stone or porcelain tiles to a smooth edge that will abut the hardwood floor for a subtle transition.
Marble thresholds are an elegant way to make the transition between bathroom tile flooring and surrounding hardwood floors. Marble thresholds come in multiple profiles, including single bevels, double bevels and eased edges and can be found in several ready made colors. Most stone fabricators can also make a marble or granite threshold of any color to match a marble or granite vanity top already installed in the room. Marble thresholds come in 4-, 5- and 6-inch widths. They are cut to the exact length of the doorway on site and make a raised profile between the two floors, evening out any thickness differences.
For tile floors that are the same thickness as the hardwood floor they are abutting, it is possible to use a metal threshold. Metal thresholds are thin; approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch in width. They are installed just below the tile or hardwood on one side to anchor, and make a thin, contemporary and subtle transition between tile and hardwood floors. Metal thresholds come in a variety of powder-coat colors, which can match several shades of tile, or in chrome, satin nickel or aged-bronze metal finishes. The metal strips come in long lengths, which are cut to size on site, making them suitable for all transitions in the home.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images