How to Attach Transition Strip Over Carpet on Concrete

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by mydogsmom, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. mydogsmom

    mydogsmom New Member

    I have a rental property where tack strips were improperly used in doorways on carpet up against a marble threshold in one instance and wood laminate floors in all the other instances. I am trying to put down metal transition strips to cover the frayed carpet in these doorways but can not get my nerve up to attack it because I can't figure out how to.

    Understand that the carpet is worn & shows half the tack strip. I can't have it stretched & tucked now because it might tear. My options as I can see are: 1) Remove the tack strip, drill holes with masonry bit & put anchors in concrete but masonry screws have a large rounded top, stick up, & look tacky. Plus, aren't they blue!; 2) use masonry nails but I need to be able to pull these up in a few years. (I actually did this in one area & used the 1" aluminum nails that come with metal transition strips but the nails came up. Now I have that location to deal with as well.) Square masonry nails won't fit in round strip holes. 3) Glue it down but it will be glued to half concrete and half carpet or in some cases there's more carpet & seems to me that this would lift just glued to the carpet. Plus, what do I fill the open holes in the transition strip with? There are some brass masonry nails but the ones that fit these transition strip holes are only about 1/2" long and they are expensive. 4) Hammerdrill and anchors with the rounded masonry screws.

    I have about 6 doorways to deal with and one long archway area. The archway area did have anchors & the rounded screws but the guy must have drilled the holes too big and the anchors came out at the ends and now I have that mess to deal with too! Any suggestions for all this is GREATLY appreciated! Keep in mind I have to be able to remove these strips (well, actually the carpet guy does!) in about 3 or 4 years. Thank you!!!
  2. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member


    My first suggestion is to hire a qualified floorcovering installer to come in and give you a quote to fix it right. It will save you time, money and frustration done the road.

    If this is not an option, they way to get your transition nails to stay put is to fill the holes in the concrete with wood. Something like a wood dowel that is close to the diameter of the hole in the concrete. I have also cut slivers of a scrap board and tapped them in the holes to fill. This gives your nails something to grab on to.

    But go with my first suggestion. Get a professional installer to help out! It will pay off in the end.

  3. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I usualy just drill the hole{1/8"} and fill the hole with tooth picks and then use the nails that comes with the metal or regular metal nails if using flat bar which I think you have in mind.
    A pro would probably use a crimp down type metal where only about 3/4" of the metal shows when bent over. But it don't sound possible at this stage of the game.
    Tackstrip across the doorway is a law suit waiting to happen.

  4. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I think we need pictures to better understand what you need here. It is not uncommon to have carpet trimmed and tucked to ceramic tile or marble thresholds, using tackless strip to hold it in place. Carpet can also be stretched up to and tucked into the edge of laminate flooring, if the proper laminate transition trim was used. If you don't have the proper transition trim on your laminate, one may still be able to be installed.

    The edges of carpet being frayed is not an indication that it can't be stretched. Often, carpet can be stretched beyond the frayed area. Use our upload system to share some pictures with us so we can see just what you have to deal with. If you need help using the picture upload feature, see this:

  5. seamsealer

    seamsealer Pro Member

    I used to drill 1/8" holes about 1" deep, hammer drill, then put a piece of wood into the hole. 1/2"=3/4" long. I used to get wood skewers in the grocery store and they worked well as fillers. Be careful not to catch the carpet and pull a row when drilling. The metals were easy to remove at a later time using this way to fasten them down. Good luck.
  6. Mike Mahoney

    Mike Mahoney Pro Member

    Return the carpet bars and purchase aluminum track base with pins (you can PL400 it down to replace the tackless) then get the vinyl snap in transition (a few leg heights & profiles are available in a bunch of colors) to get the fit you would like on each side.

    The laminate needs room to expand & contract, so don't butt the track tightly.
  7. Chris Mha

    Chris Mha Charter Member Senior Member

    I have used dowels, toothpicks and even sliver of wood but I also like to use a glue gun. Drill out the hole, make sure you vacuum out the dust then fill the hole with hot glue. Once the glue is dry it holds a nail very well.
  8. nimrod

    nimrod Pro Member

    we have always used hammer drill with 1/4" drill bit and then 1/4" dowel.....1/4" gives you some play with where you place the nail compared to 1/8"
  9. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    I use a felt tip marker to mark the holes for the transition metal's nail holes. The I drill out the holes, put a 1/4'' dowel in the hole and pound the nails in. It's pretty simple.
  10. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Unless the carpet is falling apart to to age or misuse, in which case it needs to be changed, there is no reason a power stretcher properly used by a professional would tear the carpet. My suggestion would be to have a properly trained Pro come out and replace the old strip, restretch, and properly "seal" the carpet in the "gully". This give you the best "look" and a longer lasting carpet.
  11. nimrod

    nimrod Pro Member

    I could be wrong in my assumption but from what the op said I believe this to be the case......sounds like the carpet is shot but would like to get 3-4 more yrs use out of it and would like to "fix" it themselves, ie. spend as little as possible....
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  12. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Versatrim has new transitions that can ramp from one height to another. I saw it at Surfaces this year.
  13. polestretch

    polestretch Senior Member

    Barb, As a carpet installer, I would have put tack strip in those doorways also. In the past year, I have learned from this website that putting glue into the gully between the tack strip and the hard surface helps hold that edge of the carpet from coming out of there.
    I was just back to do another area in a house where I had done the very thing you mentioned up to laminate molding a few years ago, it too was pulling out away from the molding. I stretched it back up and filled the gully with glue and tucked the edge of the carpet into it. I bet this time it stays.
    I would think attempting to stretch your old carpet half a length of tack strip would be an easier and nicer looking finish than putting a transition molding on a transition molding. JMHO
  14. mydogsmom

    mydogsmom New Member

    Carpet Worn at Edge of Laminate & Marble Threshold, Also Along Molding Where Dog Claw

    Thank you guys for all helping me. I can follow directions, just don't know what my best options so it won't hurt my feeling if you tell me exactly what to use and when. I have about 6 doorways where carpet is fraying and showing the carpet tack strips. I was just going to get metal transition strips and lay them over the carpet to hide the tack strips. Used one with the 1" nails that come with the strip. The nails eventually came up. Have another one where Tommy Two Time drilled the anchor hole too big and now the anchor has come up and have that problem too. (Tommy Two Time not going to get a second chance on that!# The area where that happened is between laminate to laminate. I forgot pictures of that but will get it. Help me first with the carpet to laminate problem and will be half way there. Some say glue, some say drill with anchors, some say drill with dowels, or toothpicks. Just everyone come up with a concensus & I will gulp & do it. #Take one for the team like Rick Santorum did!) :yesss: Keep in mind this is a rental property. I want something to get me by for another 4-5 yrs and then will replace carpeting if lasts that long. Right now I'm at about $40 in transition strips & if could do myself, maybe $50. If I have to get a carpet stretcher person, I'm looking at $100. One guy said he would glue them down for $100 but would stretch the carpet under it. Help! :doh: I'll be forever indebted! :bow: I've laid the metal transition strips that I thought to use next to the problem areas in the pictures. Let me know the plan & I'll do it!! Barb, Do-It-Herselfer

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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  15. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Are these doorways in a hall? I ask because the amount of stretch you may have will be determined by the distance from the bad spot directly across the room from it. If it's in a hallway, that only gives you 3 or 4 feet. If it's in a room, tell us the distance to the wall right across the room from the bad spot in each of those locations.

    I have re-stretched that much shown in the first picture before, but it was in a room that was about 11' wide and wasn't stretched properly the first time.

    Another of your pictures seems to show pet damage. That will be more difficult to fix because it appears to go through the door into the next room. Putting a piece of metal there would truly be an ugly repair - and not a repair at all. That certainly isn't the kind of advice anyone here would be offering.

    If you want this to last you another 4 years or so, call in a qualified flooring professional and get the job done right. It might cost more than $100.00, but will be worth every penny. It might be far less than your landlord will take out of your security deposit.

  16. nimrod

    nimrod Pro Member

    after seeing your pics I have to agree with Jim.This is definitely something that needs to be repaired by a professional especially if you want it to last for 4-5 yrs. throwing a metal strip over top would not be acceptable especially at the pet damage spot.
  17. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    You say you are into this for $40 for transitions, take them back and add the $60 to it and let the professional do it. It looks like one of them is down a wall and when that is pushed back chances are there will be a bubble in the door way. He will have to break a seam or make one there. Some of the areas I would say are iffy though.

  18. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With Elbows Senior Member Published

    Barb, if you compare the $100.00 to the cost of carpet replacement you're going to be ahead by far with the $100.00 pro repair. ( my min. charge is $150.00 so you are getting a deal) You could rent a stetcher from Home-cheapo ($50.00) plus $40.00 for metal trims and you're almost at $100.00! Except you don't have professional skills. For $10.00 go pro!:yesss:
  19. polestretch

    polestretch Senior Member

    Barb, In that first picture, the carpet is already short of the tack strip. Putting a metal over that is only going to prolong another problem for a couple weeks. The carpet is not fastened in anyway, and will become a problem with a new metal on top. When traffic passes through that doorway, that carpet will come out from under the metal causing more problems. Get a professional to come out and fix it once.
  20. FlooringGirl

    FlooringGirl Senior Member

    My suggestion would be to use a wooden threshold ... yes, more money than metal, but much wider to cover the edges, and looks much nicer. Get them unfinished at your local home improvement center and stain, put them down with Liquid Nail or Boa Tape, you'll be okay. There is also a really great adhesive, Durabond D-815 which would work for you. It can be done yourself.

    Sorry, not trying to put any installers out of work, but it is possible to do this without one!

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012

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