Wood to Tile transition

politronicsNovember 28, 2011

HI! I have finished my kitchen and put tile in. I am going to put tile on the other side of my living room and my entry. Right now, these areas are transitioned by carpeted living and family rooms.

I have purchased some wood flooring to put in those two rooms. I want the transition to be level and I do not want to put in a transition strip.

There is cement board under my kitchen tile. My tile person is telling me that in the other two areas, she can use a sealer on the subfloor and tile right over that.

Some are telling me to stack the roofing felt to even the height of the floors, and then feather it out back from the transition areas to a single thickness. When I get to the new tile area, she will adjust the thickness of the quickset to provide a smooth transition. Others are saying to put down a thin OSB board to make up the gap instead of the felt paper and then use cement board under the tile.

I'm very confused. lol!

Any ideas? I've provided a pic. I don't have an exact measurement but I think it's almost 1/4" which will require several layers of felt paper.


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I would use "floor patch" to add additional height and feather out the height differential to within the flatness tolerance listed by the hardwood manufacturer in their installation instructions (usually somewhere near 1/4" in 8' to 12'), as well as slightly back-beveling the hardwood that meets the tile if there is any gap because of the additional angle the feathering may create.

By the looks of your tile joint shown in your picture, you will not get a perfectly flush transition anyways, because you already have lippage in your tile installation at the doorway that will prevent it. But you can get it close. If you want a perfectly flush transition, that tile needs repaired because it appears to be improperly installed. Lippage can easily be mitigated, and even totally prevented, by controlling the amount of thinset mortar applied and utilising adequate force when setting the tile in combination with a straight edge or level set accross the joints.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 12:49PM
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First of all, do NOT tile over the subfloor even if sealed, it is not the proper substrate for tile.
I would bring the wood floor slightly higher than the tile then cut the bottom edge off of the groove on the flooring forming a rabbit and have it cover the seam in the tile.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 7:59PM
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Consider adding plywood under your thin wood floor to bring it flush. I would leave at least a 3/8" gap next to the tile and fill it with a sand grout caulk or a wood tone one to allow for expansion & contraction.
By adding the plywood you will also match up height wise with most other flooring materials the wood floor abuts.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 10:59AM
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