Where To Place Transition Strips In A Doorway (Picture Tutorial!)

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Last updated on February 27th, 2024 at 07:57 am

How To Install Laminate Transition Strips In Doorways

Installing new laminate flooring and wondering where to put the transition strip in the doorway? I’ve got you covered! Here is where you should place transition strips in a doorway:

Transition strips should be placed in the center of the door opening where the opening is the smallest. In this placement, the transition strip will not impact the door’s ability to close regardless of which way the door swings.

Pictures are always more useful in my opinion though, so I’ll show you exactly where I’m talking about below!

Let’s dive in!

Quick Navigation: Laminate Floor Transition Strip Placement

  1. Step One: Measure Inside Of Doorway
  2. Step Two: Cut Metal Rail & Screw Into Subfloor
  3. Step Three: Cut Laminate Strip To Length & Snap Into Metal Rail
  4. Other FAQs About Transition Strips In Doorways
  5. Final Thoughts
  6. Related Laminate Flooring Articles

Subfloor TypeLevel Of DifficultyTime To Complete
WoodEasy10 minutes
ConcreteMedium20 minutes
Material ListTool List
Transition strip (with metal rail and screws)Drill
Contractor PencilImpact driver
(For concrete) Concrete anchorsBandsaw
SharpieTape measure
Miter saw or circular saw
(For concrete) Masonry drill bits

Where To Place Transition Strips In Doorways

I broke this tutorial up into pictures below to help you figure out exactly where to install transition strips in your doorway.

Step One: Measure Inside Of Doorway

The first step to installing a transition strip in a doorway is to measure the inside of the door opening.

The smallest, center part of the door opening is where you want to measure and place the transition strip because the door will never swing over that area.

where to place transition strip in doorway

Plus, centering anything in an area is always the most aesthetically pleasing look. Transition strips in doorways are no different.

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Once you have that measurement, it’s time to move on to the next step.

how to measure doorway for transition strip

Related Laminate Flooring Articles

Step Two: Cut Metal Rail & Screw Into Subfloor

The next step to installing a transition strip in a doorway is to cut the metal rail of the transition strip and screw it into the subfloor.

The easiest way to cut the metal rail is to use a bandsaw. A bandsaw like this one found at Amazon will slice through the metal easily and leave a clean cut.

Take your doorway measurement, make a mark on the metal with a sharpie, and cut away.

After that, it’s time to screw the metal rail into the subfloor.

how to cut metal rail of transition strip

How To Attach Transition Strips To A Wood Subfloor

If you have a wood subfloor, then you’re in luck and this process will take 2 seconds.

To attach the metal rail for transition strips into a wood subfloor, use the screws that come with the transition strip, and screw the cut transition strip into the wood subfloor.

That’s it!

how to install laminate flooring transition strip into wood subfloor
Here is the transition strip installed into a wood subfloor.

How To Attach Transition Strips To A Concrete Subfloor

If you have a concrete subfloor, then you have a couple more steps.

First, lay the metal rail on the ground and use a sharpie or pencil to mark the spots in the concrete where the screws need to go.

how to attach transition strip to concrete subfloor

Then, use a masonry drill bit like these bits found at Amazon to drill into the concrete where you marked. This type of drill bit is crucial to cut through the concrete more easily and not damage your power tools.

After all of the holes are drilled, insert the appropriate-sized concrete anchors into the holes. (These anchors will be dependent upon the screw size of your transition strips. The instructions in the package will tell you what size drill bit to use.)

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Finally, lay the metal rail back down (lining up the holes on the rail with the holes in the subfloor), and screw the rail into the anchors.

how to install laminate transition strip in concrete

Thankfully, neither installation method is overly difficult. It will definitely make your life easier if you install the rails before installing any laminate floorboards. 

(In our first project, we didn’t install the transition strips first, so we had to go back with an oscillating multi-tool to cut back the laminate where we needed it. It was a much more time-consuming project than it needed to be!)

Once the metal part of your transition strip is installed, it’s time to move on to the final step.

Step Three: Cut Laminate Strip To Length & Snap Into Metal Rail

The final step to installing a transition strip in a doorway is to cut the top decorative part of the laminate strip and snap it into the metal rail.

You already have your doorway measurement, so all you have to do is make a mark with your pencil on the top decorative part of the strip, and cut it with a circular saw.

cut transition strip and snap into metal rail

Once it’s cut, snap it into the metal rail attached to the ground, and you’re done!

laminate floor transition strip placement in doorway example

Other FAQs About Transition Strips In Doorways

Here are some other frequently asked questions about transition strips to help you install one in your doorway more easily!

How Much Gap Should A Transition Strip Have?

Transition strips should have a 1/4″ to 3/8″ gap between the metal rail and the edge of laminate flooring. This gap gives laminate flooring room to expand and contract during humidity and temperature fluctuations. The top decorative piece of the transition strip will hide this gap.

What Type Of Transition Strip Do You Need For A Wood Floor To Carpet Transition In Doorway?

The best type of transition trip for a wood floor to carpet transition in a doorway is a reducer. This transition strip is best because it bridges the gap over floors of differing heights. If the carpet is the same height as the laminate flooring, use a T-moulding transition strip instead.

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For a list of all of the different laminate flooring edging options and when to use each, check out my article here.

what type of transition strip is best for a wood floor to carpet transition

Can You Glue A Transition Strip In Place?

Glue is a bad way to secure transition strips in place because laminate flooring is a floating floor, so it is meant to move. When it does expand and contract, the glue breaks down, and the transition strips pop out of place. Instead, secure in place with screws.

In fact, we tried to do that with one of our transition strips because we have a concrete subfloor, and if the floor isn’t perfectly level, it can be a nightmare to install.

The glue job lasted all of a day (pretty much until we walked over it a few times), and the strip is already detached from the subfloor.

Save time and just use the tutorial above to install your transition strips properly. Then you won’t have a problem. (We ended up installing them all properly in the end, and just wasted a bunch of time.

Final thoughts On Installing Laminate Floor Transition Strips

There you have it!

Measuring and installing laminate transition strips in doorways is rather simple (especially if you have a wood subfloor).

When in doubt, just shut the door and put the strip on the floor in different places until you decide what spot looks best.

Catch you in my next post!

where to place transition strips in doorways
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Where To Place Transition Strips In A Doorway (Picture Tutorial!)

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