Installing carpet against wood flooring

Any place that carpeting abuts wood flooring, you will need a transition strip to cover the seam. This serves to prevent trips, enhance appearance and protect the edges from damage.

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Have enough carpet!

Ensure both surfaces reach each other. Leave an overlap that you can trim when you tackle the join. If the join is in a doorway, a 4-inch overlap past the middle of where the door sits when closed is ample. The same applies to the underlay.

Buy your strip

Strips may come packaged depending on whether the sub floor is wooden or concrete. The only real difference is the nails; you need harder ones to penetrate concrete. If the sub-floor is too hard, you may have to drill holes for plugs. If your solid wood flooring is at a different height, you may want a moulded strip.

Fitting the strip

Place the strip half an inch from the solid wood flooring. The gap can be smaller for thin carpet. The gap is the gulley into which you’ll tuck the carpet edge, so fix it in position.

First cut

You’ll need your Stanley fitted with a sharp carpet blade for this task. Cut the carpet padding (underlay) ¼-inch short of the tack strip using a cut-proof straight edge.

The knee kicker!

If you don’t have this tool, you can probably get one from the same company where you buy flooring, such as It’s a straight-edged weight with padding at the other end that you nudge along with a knee. The purpose is to pull on the carpet until it is uniformly stretched taught. If you don’t have this tool, you can improvise, but it’s important to apply the right amount of stretching and no more. You’ll want to use just enough to get the carpet to snag tightly onto the pins of the tack strip. Work along the edge five inches at a time, pushing the carpet down onto the pins at the same time as you nudge. Once in place, apply pressure along the strip to bend over the pins.

Trim your carpet

Be as accurate and straight as you can. Trim off the excess, leaving just as much overlap as can be tucked down into the gulley. You need less overlap with thick carpet than you do with thin carpet.