If you are using a finished molding with a rounded edge, Columnist Michael Hetts has some interesting things to tell you...

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If you are using a finished molding with a rounded edge, the height of the edge is not important as long as it is not a tripping hazard. However, if you are finishing to a cut edge of wood or ceramic tile (photo 1), you want to bring the carpet flush to the surface, to protect the edge and create a nice, finished look. I always carry a bundle of #3 undercourse cedar shingles in the truck for just that reason (photo 2). These shingles can be found at most lumberyards for less than $15. The shingles are approximately 18 inches in length, tapering smoothly from a half-inch at one end to zero at the other.

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One bundle will ramp about 15 linear feet. You can easily determine how much of a ramp is needed. Lay a shingle sideways next to the floor you are finishing the carpet to. Placing a small piece of the carpet on a scrap of tackless, move it up or down the ramp until the top of the carpet is flush the floor surface (photo 3). Mark the shingle and cut to the desired length. They can be easily cut with a utility knife and square.

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I like the shingles because they are quick and easy to secure to the floor, giving you a firm, permanent ramp. On wood, secure the thicker portion with two or three nails (photo 4), and the thinner end with your pad stapler (photo 5). Install tackless as you normally would, being sure to maintain a proper gap (photo 6).

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On concrete, use either construction adhesive or a premium multi-purpose adhesive. Don’t skimp on the adhesive! When using multi-purpose adhesives, use at least a 1/8x1/8x1/16-inch trowel. Dry-lay the shingles in place, and mark the ends so you know where to stop the adhesive. Remove the shingles, spread the adhesive, and allow it to setup to a “tacky/leggy” state. You can speed up the drying process by using fans, or else place the shingles in the wet adhesive to get transfer. Remove them and lay them aside, adhesive-side up. When you lay them back into the “tacked up” adhesive, you will get a contact-like bond.

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Installing tack strip on concrete through the shingles presents a small problem that is easily solved with 1-inch, fluted, masonry or aluminum drive nails. Using a hammer drill and a 1/8-inch masonry drill bit, drill a 1/8-inch pilot through the strip, the shingle, and into the concrete. Drive one of the slightly larger 1-inch masonry or drive nails into the hole, anchoring the strip through the shingle into the concrete.

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There is another method I use quite often with the hammer drill and 1/8-inch masonry bit. Extend the bit 1 3/8 inches, drill through the strip, the shingle, and into the concrete. Hold two round toothpicks together, and use a hammer to tap them all the way into the hole. There will be approximately an inch of excess toothpick; just snap it off even with the tackless. Using a 1¼-inch lathe nail (or equivalent), drive it into the wood-filled hole for a tightly secured strip.

This method of finishing the edge gives a smooth transition between flooring materials of different heights and textures, leaving a beautifully finished edge for your customer (photo 7).