How to Install T-Molding as Hardwood Floor Transition Molding

Lead Image
  • 8-20 hours
  • Beginner
  • 250-2,000
What You'll Need
Circular or miter saw
Tape measure
Wood glue
Finish nails

Making a hardwood floor transition is necessary where 2 rooms meet that both have hardwoods. Such a flooring transition allows you to reverse the direction of the tongue and groove planks that comprise the flooring. You have 2 ways in which you can accomplish this transition: with T-molding or a spline. Both have their benefits, so evaluate your options before beginning. T-molding, at its cross-section, resembles a "T". Once installed, it provides a transition point between rooms, generally in a doorway. The upper, horizontal part of the "T" is visible on top of the flooring, so there will be a small lip. This, however, can be advantageous, especially if there is a gap below a door you want to fill.

Reach the Transition Point

Before transitioning with the T-molding, you have to complete the first room’s hardwood flooring installation. Measure, cut, and lay out all of the planks until you reach the doorway. Ideally, the T-molding is perfectly centered in a doorway. Given its thickness, the last plank from the first room should end just before the midpoint of the doorway.

Measure and Cut

Measure the distance between the frames of the door. Measure the equal distance on the piece of T-molding and mark where you will cut. A miter saw works well to cut it. Make the cut and sand down any rough edges. When using the saw, make sure you cut just to the outside of the line so you don’t end up with a T-molding piece that is slightly too short.

Test the T-Molding Against the Plank

Hold the cut piece of T-molding against the last laid plank. That plank’s groove should be visible. Position the T-molding where it will attach to make sure the cut you’ve made is correct and that it fits flush against the plank. You should have the first plank cut to be installed in the second room cut and ready to install. Hold its grooved end up to the other side of the T-molding, checking for a flush fit. If the transition point is off, it will adversely affect the whole room.

Affix the T-Molding

Satisfied that the transition will be accurate, run a bead of wood glue along the corner of the T-molding where the vertical portion meets the horizontal portion. Run the second bead of glue along the same side of the vertical portion, only on the bottom of it. Press the T-molding firmly against the set floor plank. Make sure the T-molding pressed evenly against the plank.

Add Finish Nails

While nails set into the middle of the vertical portion of the "T" don’t grab as well due to the groove opposite them, you may place a few finish nails, lightly hammered, into the side of the "T" just below the upper lip.

With the T-molding place, the transition is just about complete. Place 2 more beads of wood glue in the same places on the other side of the T-molding and set the first plank pointed in the opposite direction in place. From there, you can finish planning the second room.