Transition profiles and compensation profiles

Transition profiles are used wherever two floors meet. For example, this situation occurs at doors when one laminate floor meets another laminate floor or a different floor covering. A matching transition profile creates an attractive appearance and achieves an elegant transition between different floors. A frequent occurrence in large open rooms is when a kitchen area, for example, has a different floor design to the dining or living area. In the case of particularly large rooms, expansion joints are needed even within a continuous laminate floor area which are also hidden by transition profiles.

Transition profile or compensation profile?

You use transition profiles when two floors of the same height meet. Compensation profiles, on the other hand, are used on floors of different heights. As it says on the tin, they compensate for different heights of different floor coverings, thereby minimising the risk of tripping. This can occur, for example, if laminate and carpet meet at a door or even laminate and tiles. Different laminate floorings can also have different thicknesses with the result that different heights can occur.

There is a large selection. There are profiles in different styles, colours, finishes, with a wood look or in metallic colours, in plastic or aluminium, for glueing or screw fixing. In this way, the channels can be perfectly matched to the decor of the laminate flooring and the sub-floor. We recommend that you take a piece of the floor covering with you when you buy in a DIY store or in the specialist retail trade. That way you can compare directly whether the colours and textures match.

Tips for fitting transition and compensation profiles

Transition profiles and compensation profiles always consist of two pieces: a base rail or channel and the cover or profile which is later visible.

Two aspects need to be considered before fitting or even before buying the transition profiles:

  1. Sub-floor: Wooden floor? Screed? In the case of underfloor heating, for example, you should not use profiles requiring screws to fix them.
  2. Expansion joints: How wide are the expansion joints which have to be covered by the profile? Select the right width of profile when you buy one, depending on the size of the expansion joint.

Procedure for fitting compensation and transition profiles.

  1. Cut the transition profile to the required length. This is best done with a chop saw or a hacksaw.
  2. Please make sure that there is a gap of 10 mm on either side between the profile and the floor covering. Incidentally, the impact sound insulation ends with the laminate and does not lie under the transition profile. To mark the position of the channel, you can draw a line to help you on the sub-floor with a pencil. In the case of doors, the profile should be exactly underneath the door leaf.
  3. Then the channel can be fixed to the sub-floor. The channel is either glued or screwed, depending on the type of profile concerned.
    1. Screw fixing: Use the channel to mark the holes needed for the screws on the sub-floor along the line marked. Now drill holes in the floor and fix the channel with wall plugs and screws.
    2. Glueing: Apply the adhesive to the position marked on the floor and the channel. Then press the channel onto the marking and allow the adhesive to dry for the specified time. Self-adhesive channels are also available which makes things easier.
  4. In the case of an expansion joint, either continue laying the same floor or start with the different covering. Please maintain a gap of 10 mm from the channel.
  5. The final step is to fit the profile onto the channel; usually this is a simple snap-on connection. And now you have an elegant transition from one floor covering to the next one. Done!