Technical Resources

rule

What the industry standard for a commercial space is on transitions between different levels of flooring?

We have a 3/8 inch hardwood flooring and a 1/8 inch vinyl flooring that meet at interior door ways throughout the space. In regards to the sloping and feathering out of the transition, is there an industry standard?

Typically you find that floor covering product manufacturers will sometimes manufacturer transitions for their products, but not always. In the case of hardwood flooring they almost always do and if not, typically you can find unfinished transitions in a variety of profiles and usually in the same species which can be stained and finished to blend with the flooring. If however there just doesn’t seem to be anything out there you can always turn to your local lumber yard (not the big box stores) and have something custom fabricated.

What you will find is that it is easier and typically more appropriate to transition down from the higher floor rather than build up or “Ramp” up the lower floor however both can be done. Transitions from the higher floor to the lower floor are called Reducers as they literally reduce down from one height to the lower height. These reducers are available in wood, metal, vinyl and rubber and are offered from the flooring manufacturers as well as companies that specialize in trims and finishes. Ramping materials are available from some of these companies as well or can be improvised on site by a skilled installer using floor patching compounds.

In the particular case mentioned I would recommend a ¼” hardwood transition between the 3/8” hardwood and the 1/8” sheet vinyl. The ¼” transition when placed on top of the sheet vinyl should be flush with the top of the hardwood flooring. The transition should be placed in the door jamb so as to be under the door when it is in the closed position and should not protrude beyond the jamb itself. Affixing the transition when installing over a concrete subfloor will requiring gluing it down with any strong wood flooring adhesive or construction adhesive. If installing over a wooden subfloor the transition can be glued and or nailed.

I hope this helps although if it hasn’t you may also want to try the technical services department for the flooring manufacturer of the specific products involved.

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