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What piece to use to get threshold that blends in?

Posted by flash (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 23, 12 at 14:03

I'm not a regular on this forum (but use to be very active in some of the garden-related sections). I am hoping someone can offer some advice.

We are building a house. At this point we are either doing the rest of the work ourselves or general contracting out what we can't do - long story.

We will be using the 1/8" thick padded vinyl flooring made by IVC (Natural Grandeur line sold by Flooring America) from some rooms and real, 3/4" thick hickory hardwood flooing for other rooms. We are putting material (OSB or plywood - can't remember specifically) and luan under the vinyl to bring it within 1/16" or 1/32" of the finished hardwood height. (Partly to look better and partly because we want the house to be wheelchair accessible.)

In most of the areas where the hardwood abutts the vinyl, the hardwood is running parallel to the edge of the vinyl. In one area (where the dining room flows into the kitchen) there is a 14 foot wide section where the hardwood will run perpendicular to the vinyl edge.

I don't like thresholds/transitions that stand out and are very noticable. I've seen some beautiful threshold/transitions posted here that look like it's just regular hardwood flooring butting up next to tile. That's the look I want.

I met with one hardwood installer so far and explained that look to him. He and my husband are both saying it can't be done - that a threshold of some sort (t-molding is being suggested)needs to be installed so both the vinyl and hardwood can expand and contract.

I've seen it done how I want but don't know HOW it was done so that I can tell them about it. I understand the need for expansion and contraction so what they are saying makes sense. But, I've also seen it done the way I want so I'm wondering how it was done that way so that we can gauge if it will work in our layout.

So, my question is, those of you that have the flat thresholds that blend in with your floors, what is the name of that piece of material? Is it just a regular hardwood strip that does not allow for expansion/contraction? Is it a low-profile t-molding that does allow for E/C? Is it something else?

I've been Googling and searching the forums here trying to find more information about how it is done. Pictures (love them!) here are all that I can find. I'm looking more for "how to" information.

Many thanks to anyone and everyone that can help or point me in the right direction.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What piece to use to get threshold that blends in?

I would not use a threshold at all. On the perpendicular areas I would install a piece of HW flooring as the threshold so that the groove faced the Hardwood flooring and that flooring tongue could go in the groove, also slightly elevating the other side an 1/8" and rabbiting that side so that it fit over the vinyl. You would have a 1/8' lip over the vinyl.
Same thing on the parallel transitions only simply continue the HW flooring over the vinyl with the same 1/8" rabbit.

better at dong than saying


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RE: What piece to use to get threshold that blends in?

Don 92 is correct


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RE: What piece to use to get threshold that blends in?

Thanks for the responses. I understand what you are saying about rabbeting the end that goes against the vinyl and having it overlap it slightly. I see how that would give room for the vinyl to expand and contract. What gives the room for the hardwood to expand and contract when it's done this way? That's what the floor installer I met with (and also my DH) are saying is the problem.

Do either of you by chance work in central Pennsylvania?


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RE: What piece to use to get threshold that blends in?

If the vinyl gets fully adhered, there will be no problems with movement and no need for an overlap, so long as the surfaces are flush or the vinyl is a tad lower than the wood flooring.


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RE: What piece to use to get threshold that blends in?

Hardwood flooring is always laid with gaps at the walls, that allows for expansion. I don't think vinyl flooring needs to expand if installed correctly.


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