Photo 1
A situation that regularly rears its ugly head during an installation is dealing with floors of various heights while making the transition from one type of floor covering to another. In the September/October 2000 issue of FCI, I addressed the practice of using shingles to ramp up a floor for a smooth transition from carpet to ceramic tile with no metal. In the following situation, the floor being finished to is sheet vinyl, previously installed, both in the kitchen and upper-hall bath.

Photo 2
In this case, finishing the edge flush is not practical; a piece of metal is needed to protect the vinyl edge. The customer did not want the look of a wide binder (flat) bar, but instead preferred the narrow profile of a tap-down bar. The vinyl had been installed over a ¼-inch subfloor, and did not extend far enough into the doorway for the metal to sit on top and allow the back lip to drape over the edge for a smooth transition.

In situation like this, I like to employ the following technique to make a smooth transition from carpet to vinyl. It is a simple procedure that any professional installer can add to his or her arsenal. Start by placing a piece of tackless flush to the vinyl edge, and hammer the pins flat (Photo 1). Before you install the bar, run a bead of silicone caulk along the bottom edge of the metal. This will seal the doorway and help prevent water from the bath or kitchen from seeping under the bar and damaging the carpet or floor (Photo 2).

Photo 3
Using a piece of tackless as a support for the bar in this manner allows the metal to lay flat with the back lip of the metal dropped over the back of the tackless(Photo 3). This allows a smooth transition from the pad to the bar, simply and professionally.

Photo 4
As we have the space, allow me to convey another gem from my bag of “Tips and Tricks.” I discovered this one by accident while cleaning the glue from my hands during a big glue-down project.

I seem to be a glue magnet, with about as much ending up on my hands and pants (Photo 4) as on the floor. One day while cleaning my hands, I found myself without paper towels and subsequently wiped the excess cleaner on my pants. To my great surprise, after my pants were washed the glue in the areas where I had wiped my hands was gone (Photo 5). I have since adopted the habit of carrying a tube of waterless hand cleaner in my tray or bringing a can of it to the job site.

Photo 5
Be sure to use waterless hand cleaners that contain petroleum distillates. Rub the cleaner into the glue on the pants, let them sit for at least half an hour (overnight is best), then put the pants into the washing machine.