What to do about huge threshold height difference?

piscesgirlAugust 22, 2013

Our installer just finished installing the master bathroom tile floor and threshold. I am realizing now that there is a huge difference between the carpet and the marble floor. (measures about 1.25") Currently the carpet is taped down but even after we fluff it up it still is probably a 1" difference.

The height difference is so large that I can see about a half inch of mortar and the orange DITRA.

Bathroom floor is subfloor, plywood underlayment, heated floor mat, DITRA and then tile. Subfloor, 1/2" plywood underlayment and DITRA are under the threshold as well.

Bedroom floor is subfloor, hardwood floor (3/8" thick), carpet padding and carpet.

We were thinking at some point we may want to take out the carpet and have the old hardwood floors refinished but now I am concerned that we have a tripping hazzard and if anything we need to beef up the carpet and padding.

Husband thinks we can just add some quarter-round in front, which will help hide the morar and sub-floor materials but doesn't eliminate the height difference.

Current threshold is a 4" wide double bevel threshold...not sure if a long tapered threshold would be better but I am also thinking that would be harder to find to match our flooring.

Any suggestions on what to do here? I attached a picture.

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We just had this very same issue when we had new carpeting installed in June. After many go-rounds, trying to come up with a solution, the carpet guy pulled back the carpet, covered the exposed edge with matching-color caulk (could have, should have ? used grout IMO, but DH thought caulk would be better). I did not want to use quarter round molding (didn't care for the look), though that was suggested.

FWIW, had we used a Hollywood, or deeper/steeper beveled edge between the bathroom and the bedroom, we would have avoided this situation entirely. Same with our hall bathroom (stone saddle abuts the HW floor in the hallway). But, we used what had been recommended at the time with regards to bevel/edge.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Do you have shoe molding in your house against your wall? (That little curved piece that goes from the ground up to your wall?) We had a height difference and ran a length of that between the two doors. It curved right from the ground to the seam of the threshold, covering the raw tile. You still see the whole threshold piece, but that's ok b/c usually you can see those.

Good luck - I'm sure that must be frustrating.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 12:00PM
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You should be able to get a stone threshold, or craft an oak or maple one.

I think it was very unthoughtful of the tile installer not to plan for this.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 1:18PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

In my opinion, I think you would trip on quarter round or base shoe molding. A custom made wood threshold tapering down to the wood floor using the whole width of the door casing would ease the transition. You could stain it the same as your wood floor so it wouldn't be so noticeable from the bedroom side when the door is closed. The carpeting (for now) could be turned and tucked butted up to it?


    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 1:54PM
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Ah, Babka, you're right - I didn't notice that it was at the back of the door area, not the front. I think Babka's suggestion is a good one!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 2:06PM
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A marble threshold is the traditional solution to this common problem.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 2:06PM
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We have saddles that are beveled toward the lower floor that are cut to fit in the doorways.

The only real way to avoid a height difference altogether is way back in the framing stage. I've seen the subfloor actually recessed to height of the floor joists by sistering 2x stock onto each joist but 3/4" below the top of the joist so that the subfloor is actually placed on top of these extra boards, in between the joists.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 3:29PM
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Thanks for all the great advise. Unfortunately, we kinda asked for this considering how much we wanted him to beef up the floor to handle the marble (2nd plywood underlayment, DITRA, etc.) I knew it was going to add height, but I guess this is one of those things that you don't realize how material it will be till you see it. Our previous threshold sat directly onto the subfloor and cracked straight across the middle, so we wanted to avoid that happening again.

Talked to our contractor today and he mentioned that he is planning to stretch the carpet a bit so that he has room to beef up the padding in that spot and will roll the carpet to cover the DITRA/mortar, etc. So that will help wiht the height transition for now.

I think if we decide at any point to refinish the hardwood floors underneath we will do as Babka suggested and have a custom made wood threshold tapering down to the wood floor.

Thanks again for all the great advise. I knew we couldn't be the first people with this issue. :-)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 5:56PM
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We had this same situation. I did some research and found that you could either make or buy a "ramp" made for just this purpose.
Ours was installed under the carpet pad and its made of a very heavy rubber. Tapered on the sides as well as the approach and it spans the whole width of the doorway. and about 24" long so you've got a nice gradual transition.
It's absolutely a perfect solution. The carpet installers ordered it and I couldn't be happier.
I'll try to attach a photo of ours tonight.
Ours were similar to this as they were rubber
But I'd suggested the website
to the carpet installers when we first realized the problem. The ones from caroet shims.com are wooden.
I'd have been majorly unhappy with the look and tripping hazard of a step up/ uneven threshold.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 8:21AM
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I made oak thresholds for my bathrooms. I rabbited the edge so it projected over the bath floor. that required a half inch higher threshold, but it was good. The contrast was good between the carpet and bath floor and we never had people tripping into the bathroom.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:22AM
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