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DIY Carpet/Floor Finishers or How to Install a Multi-Level Threshold

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How to install a Multi-Level Threshold- Think of Final Goal and Tools to Make it Possible

Why would I need this?

If you have ever changed flooring from carpeting in one room to wood or laminate in another, or opened up a room by removing a wall and have a transition from a tile floor to a carpeted area, you may have considered using a threshold. When working on older homes for needed repairs or for aesthetics, a threshold gives a more finished look.

We didn’t plan on changing our floors, but we had to widen the door to the kitchen to get a new refrigerator and range to fit through. The kitchen door was a pocket door, so when we widened the door, we realized the rest of the wall wasn’t stable so we removed the wall completely. We were then left looking at a rough edge of carpet and kitchen tiles. We decided that the area would have to have a threshold to cover the transition for looks as well as safety.

There are many thresholds. Some are just flat pieces that mark the end of one room or area and helps transition to another. Needing a threshold that is going from one height to another is a little trickier.


· 4 hours (uninterrupted and with tools)


· We chose a metal threshold by M-D Building Products. Their product was good and fairly easy to install.

· Seeing a picture, reading the steps and thinking the installation through should save you time and grief.

· Be a good trouble shooter. Different contractors install different type of subflooring or install it in different ways, so think this through. You might even want to draw a picture if you are a visual person.

· It is a good idea that you trim any uneven edge’s from your carpet before you begin. Why? Because you don’t want to get to the end and see part of your carpet fraying out from the threshold because it was too short to be covered properly.


· A straight edge – any ruler, yardstick, piece of lumber, etc., that is flat and straight.

· a tape measure,

· a razor knife to cut carpet,

· a tri-square,

· a jigsaw,

· a drill and a ¼” bit,

· a hammer and a nail,

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· a metal file,

· Two clamps,

· Two short pieces of 2x4,

· M-D Multi-Floor Transition Threshold (with Cherry Finish).


Step 1. Lay down the threshold and get it in the proper location.

· Once in place, carefully draw a line along the threshold edge on the hard floor side using a soft lead pencil (#2). This will become your “baseline guide.”

· It is a good idea to also draw a line on the opposite side of the threshold onto the carpet just to give you a visual of where the threshold will end and how much carpet you may have to cut back to allow a clean drill hole for your retainers.

Measuring the groove

Measuring the groove

Mark the carpet

Mark the carpet



cutting to size

cutting to size

Tri-square for marking drill holes

Tri-square for marking drill holes

Line up retainers

Line up retainers

Now you are finished!!!

Now you are finished!!!

Sept 2: Determine where to drill the ¼” Holes;

· Turn the threshold upside down.

· Measure from the edge of the threshold to the center of the groove on the bottom.

Sept 3: Repeat step 2 and mark where the rest of your drill holes will go.

· Evenly space out the remaining drill hole marks.

Sept 4: Using the nail as a punch

· Gently hammer it through the carpet at each dot mark until you feel it begin to go into the wooden subfloor.

  • You want to hammer it in enough to make a clean, clear mark in the subfloor under the carpet so you will know where to drill after the carpet is cut back.
  • I decided that I would cut out notches in the carpet where the nail hole marks were located
  • Drilling holes through carpet is not a great idea because you may pull or tear the carpet.


What do I do if the threshold is not the length I need?

· The M-D threshold I chose comes in 6 ft. and 3 ft. lengths.

· You need to measure the distance to be covered by the threshold.

· You may need to cut a piece to add to another piece for a large opening.


· If you are not good at using a tape measure, you could use a length of string.

  • Secure it at one end and then mark where the string meets the opposite “wall”
  • Mark this distance off on the threshold.
  • ·Be sure that when you draw your cut line that it is straight.
  • Cutting the Threshold

In my case, the distance was greater than 6 feet. I needed 8 feet 8 inches. I needed to combine the 6’ and 3’ pieces to get my 8’8”. Of course, that is 9 ft., so then I had to cut the short piece for the correct length.

If that is you situation here is how you do it.

· Step 1: Place the short threshold in position using your baseline as a guide.

· Step 2: Place the longer threshold in place (again using your base line guide) so that one end is placed over the short threshold.

· Step 3: Using your #2 pencil draw a line over the short threshold to mark where the longer threshold ends.


· If you have butted each end of your threshold against your walls properly, and the edges are in line with the base line, the mark you draw on top of the short threshold should be even and square.

· Step 4: Place the short threshold on top of two pieces of 2 x 4.

  • Be sure to leave a 2 inch gap between the 2x4’s
  • This will allow the jig saw blade enough height and width to cleanly cut through the metal threshold.
  • Use a sheet metal cutting blade in the jig saw

· Step 5: Clamp down the threshold tight enough so it won’t move when being cut.


  • This cut can be made without using the clamps and 2X4’s, but you will need someone to helphold the threshold down.


If you slip you may hurt yourself

Use a sheet metal cutting blade in the jig saw

Put the threshold on the edge of a table with the end to be cut sticking out over the edge.

It is very important that your cut be smooth, clean and straight! If it is, when you place the cut piece on the floor it should butt up to the longer piece and be almost invisible.

· Once the cuts are made to the threshold, put them in place on the floor to make sure they fit properly. If the cut edges do not fit smoothly, use the metal file to remove any burrs or rough edges.


At this point you need to prep the carpet so you can drill the holes for your threshold retainers. As said earlier, I decided to cut out notches in the carpet where my holes would be. I did this because I wanted as much carpet as possible under the threshold to avoid any problems in the future.

· Step 1. Put a ¼ “drill bit in your drill.

· Step 2. Drill a hole through the subfloor at each of the spots where your nail punch marks are.

· Step 3. Clean each drill hole to remove dust or splinters


  • · Step 1. With your threshold setting vertically on the carpet, slide the threshold retainers into the middle groove of the threshold.
  • · Step 2. Align the retainers to match the location of each hole.
  • · Step 3. Carefully slide the threshold retainer tips up to and in to the drill holes as you turn the threshold up into its normal position.
  • · Step 4. With the retainer tips setting in each hole, gently tap them in place by tapping the top of the threshold with your hammer.


Place a block of wood or some other material between the hammer and the top of the threshold to prevent scaring or marking up the top of the threshold when you hit it with the hammer.

· Step 5. Once the retainers are firmly in place, use your hammer and drive them down until the threshold is firmly against the floor and carpet.


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