How to Install Doorway Transitions in 4 Easy Steps

Create a smooth flooring transition from room to room

Kelly Weimert
Written by Kelly Weimert
Updated May 2, 2022
Baby girl crawling on the hallway at home
Photo: Tanja Ristic / E+ / Getty Images


Saturday skill builder.

Time to complete

2 hours

1-2 hours

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What you'll need:


  • Tape measure
  • Handsaw
  • Hacksaw
  • Power drill
  • Masonry drill bit (if you have a concrete subfloor)


  • Construction adhesive
  • Transition strip
  • Screws

Doorway transition strips help prevent trips and falls while connecting floors between rooms. They can also help minimize noise between rooms. You can DIY install transition strips in an hour or two with just a few tools and materials. This guide walks you through doorway floor transition strip installation from start to finish.

Preparing to Install Doorway Transitions

Before beginning, make sure the seam between the two floors you're transitioning is at least 1 inch wide. This is the space you'll use to secure the transition strip to your floor. This seam is particularly important if you have hardwood floors since wood flooring expands and contracts with the seasons

You'll need to ensure you choose the right transition strip for your floor types. Generally, T-molding or seam binders work well for two floors of the same height. Reducer molding is a better choice for floors of different heights, and features a slight slope that helps bridge the height difference between the two floors. Additionally, any transition strip you use should be wide enough to cover at least 1/4-inch of each floor, but many extend well beyond that.

4 Steps to Install Doorway Transitions

Once you have your supplies, it's time to install your first transition strip.

  1. Measure the Area

    Worker using measuring tape to install doorway transition strip
    Photo: Vadym / Adobe Stock

    Use a tape measure to measure the portion between the two door jambs (i.e., the parts of the door frame that stop the door from closing beyond 180 degrees). Install the transition strip in this area so that it won't interfere with the opening and closing of your door.

  2. Cut the Rail

    Some transition strips are simply standalone metal rails, while others feature a vinyl or hardwood top secured by a metal rail underneath it. Regardless of your strip material, you'll need to cut the rail to size.

    Mark off the correct length on the rail before cutting to ensure the right fit. Next, use a hand saw (or a bandsaw, if you have one) to cut the rail to fit the measurement you took in step one.

  3. Screw or Glue the Rail to the Subfloor

    Worker drilling the floor to install doorway floor strip
    Photo: retbool / Adobe Stock

    Next, screw or glue the rail to the subfloor. The subfloor is the material found in the 1-inch seam you left during the preparation step. The advantage of using construction glue instead of screws is that it offers a streamlined appearance and simpler installation. However, screwing the rail into the floor will make it more secure, so use screws for high-traffic areas. 

    If you're using construction glue, apply it to the back of the rail you cut in step two, then push the rail into place, holding it down for about 30 seconds. If you're using screws, lay the rail in place, then use a drill to drive screws through each hole.

    Pro tip: If you have a concrete subfloor and want to use screws, you'll need a masonry drill bit and concrete anchors to secure the rail.

  4. Cut the Transition Strip

    Closeup of an aluminum transition strip installed on the floor
    Photo: vladdeep / Adobe Stock

    You can skip this step if your transition strip only comprises a metal rail. But if you have a vinyl or hardwood covering for your strip, use a hacksaw to cut it to the same length as the rail (this will be the measurement you took in step one). Then all you have to do is lay the transition strip on top of the rail you installed and snap it into place.

DIY Doorway Floor Transition Installation vs. Hiring a Pro

Installing floor transitions yourself is a straightforward DIY project that most people can complete in an hour or two, even with limited construction experience. The cost to DIY this project is around $25 to $40 for supplies, and varies depending on the material of the transition strip you get (i.e., wood usually costs more than a simple metal rail). If you’d rather hand off this project to a pro, you can hire a handyperson to complete it. Typically, a handyperson charges around $20 to $25 per hour for simple projects like this. 

Questions about Doorway Floor Transitions

What’s the difference between a doorway floor transition and a door jamb?

Many doorways feature two door jambs. These are installed on both sides of a doorway to prevent the door from swinging too far. Door jambs usually stop the door at 180 degrees when closed. 

A doorway floor transition sits between the door jambs on the floor, helping to create a safer and more aesthetically pleasing transition from one floor to the next. 

What flooring materials do floor transitions work best with?

Door transitions can work with virtually any flooring type. However, different transition strips lend themselves to different flooring types. For instance, if you're bridging the gap between a taller floor, like carpet, to a shorter floor, like hardwood, then you'll want a transition strip with a slight slope to bridge the height difference. These transition strips are called reducer molding. 

On the other hand, if you're bridging two floors of the same height, you can use flat transition strips, such as T-strips and seam binders.

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