This article is about how to install a tile to tile transition. Installing a transition between two ceramic tile surfaces improves dramatically the look of your flooring and helps you to lock them into place professionally. In this diy step-by-step guide, we show you our way to install an aluminum transition strip for tiles, as to help you save some money or get the satisfaction of a proper job done by yourself. Either way, we recommend you to read carefully our article, pay attention to the following aspects and buy the transition which fits both your needs and tastes. Installing a tile to tile transition is not difficult, either we speak of a concrete or a wooden sub-floor, provided you work with attention and use the right material and tools.
Tile to tile transitions come in a large variety of shapes and locking systems, as there are transition strips which should be fitted along with the ceramic tile flooring or transitions which are locked on a metal track. There are both very efficient, therefore your choice should be made according to your specific needs and tastes (the strips are made usually from aluminum, while the regular transitions can be made of wood or composite materials).
Before buying the tile to tile transition, you should measure the needed length, so use a tape measure to calculate the necessary. If you install the tile to tile transition between the doorway, you need a short piece (up to 3′ / 1 m). If you have to install a tile to tile transition on a large area, you should buy the transitions as to have the fewest cuts and joints (also add 10-15% for cutting waste).
In order to install tile to tile transition, you need the following:
- Thinset mortar / premixed mastic
- Transition from tile to tile
- Safety gloves, Eye protection
- Drill machinery with mixing palette
- Bucket, Rubber hammer
- Read carefully the manufacturer’s instructions, before installing the transition into place
- Half an hour
How to install tile to tile transition
First of all, you might want to fit the transition strip and the tiles under the doorway. In this case you have to decide from the very beginning, before laying the tiles in the room, otherwise it would be impossible to cut the jambs in a professional manner.
Next, you should use a tape measure to determine the needed length of the transition. In addition, use a vacuum cleaner to remove all the residues and dust between the two tile surfaces and measure the distance between the doorway.
In this image, you should notice the aluminum transition we are going to install from tile to tile. It is a modern aluminum transitions strip, which has to two main components.
On one side of the junction, the tiles should go inside the transition, while on the other side the transition covers the edges of the ceramic tiles. Therefore, in our case, the U-shaped side of the transition will be installed towards the surface on which we are going to install the remaining ceramic tiles.
After you have measured the needed dimension, you have to mark the cut line on the transition, using a pencil. Next, you should cut the transition with a miter box and a saw, as to get an accurate cut. Vacuum the residues and smooth the cut edges with a sand-block.
After you have cut the tile to tile transition, you have to install it temporarily inside the doorway, as to check if it fits properly. In addition, measure the dimensions at which you have to cut the missing tiles.
In the image, you should also notice a few holes in the base of the transition. The holes are made to lock the transition into position, by fastening a few screw. While in some cases this is highly recommended, in other you don’t have to insert the screws, as the tiles might not fit inside the transition because of the screw heads.
Tile to tile transition
Mix thinset adhesive and spread it on the floor, before installing the tile to tile transition. In order to spread an uniform layer of ceramic tile adhesive, you have to work with a lot of patience and use a notched float.
Remember that the tile adhesive will dry out very quickly, so you have to spread it on the floor after you have cut the missing ceramic tiles. In order to learn how to cut ceramic tiles, you could read our article regarding this issue.
After you have spread the tile adhesive on the floor, you have to install the missing ceramic tiles in the tile to tile transition. Work with great care, as you might push thin set adhesive in the transition and the tiles might not fit in it because of that.
After laying the tiles inside the transition, you have to check for one last time if the floor is level and if the transition is aligned properly. Remember that after the adhesive has dried out, you won’t be able to adjust them by any mean.
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