How to Build a Threshold
LESLIE: The best part about calling in to The Money Pit is that you never know who you might be helping. Maybe Michael in Texas who wants to remove some ceramic tile is going to help you with what you’re working on.
Michael, tell us what you’re doing.
MICHAEL: Yeah, I’ve got about a 250- to 300-square-foot kitchen area that I need to either remove the ceramic tile to put laminate flooring down or do something with the carpet area, which is the rest of the house; which is, I don’t know, 2,000 square feet.
TOM: Alright, I’m not following you on this. You’re talking about the kitchen with ceramic tile that you might have to remove to put down laminate but you’re having a question about carpet in the rest of the house. So what room are we working on here, first of all?
MICHAEL: The whole house. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: The whole house. “All the rooms, Tom.”
MICHAEL: Right. You have to have a flat surface and the kitchen and the rest of the house, it’s like a big great room.
MICHAEL: And don’t you have to have a flat surface going from transitioning one area to the other area?
TOM: Either that or you have to have a saddle. I mean you have to have a sill or a saddle that covers the difference.
LESLIE: A threshold.
TOM: Yeah, a threshold; that’s the word. A threshold.
MICHAEL: And I’ve also got a 12-foot-squared area that I’ve got to take up the tile or do the same thing to.
TOM: Let’s talk about your material choices. Ceramic tile is great. It’s a lot of maintenance because of the grout lines. A laminate floor is a wonderful choice for a kitchen because it’s very, very durable stuff, it’s easy to put down, and it doesn’t need nearly as much maintenance as other forms of flooring. When you put it down, you can actually put it on top of ceramic tile, believe it or not, as long as it’s flat but this way it’s going to be up a little bit higher and you’re going to have to threshold down to the carpet, most likely, which is in the rest of your house.
LESLIE: And Michael, make sure when you put down the new laminate flooring that you take the appliances out and adjust for that new height difference. Otherwise, you’re going to trap your dishwasher. (chuckles)
TOM: And you’ll never be able to replace it if you have to.
MICHAEL: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking about is and, also, just the transition from where the carpet is to where the laminate tile. Just put a piece of wood there or something?
TOM: Yeah, a piece of – you know, if you can’t find one that’s store-bought that fits, you could buy a piece of oak and with a table saw it could be sawed to fit. I have had to do that in my house where I had one floor was higher than the other and I had to sort of make my own threshold. But one way or the other, you can build it up with several pieces or you can carve your own, just to make that transition between the two. Because you want the threshold to probably cover the lip on the laminate floor a little bit as well.
MICHAEL: Oh, OK. So it’d be bigger – it’d be, what, three inches wide, two inches wide?
TOM: Yeah, about the size of a doorway; about four inches wide.
LESLIE: I guarantee you have some in your house right now.
TOM: Absolutely. (Leslie and Michael chuckle) OK, Michael. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.