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What are the Different Types of Carpet Edging?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 16, 2024
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The different types of carpet edging are tacking strips, baseboards, and transition strips. These devices may be used throughout the home to cover edges against walls, stairs, and open doorways. They may also be used to transition a carpeted room to another room with a different flooring material, such as ceramic tile or hardwood. Most materials may be purchased from local home improvement stores, and can be installed by a professional contractor or the homeowner.

A tacking strip is a common tool used to secure wall to wall carpeting in interior rooms and hallways. It is comprised of a long piece of wood with multiple carpet tacks protruding upwards from it that is nailed around the edges of the room. The carpet is stretched over the tacks so that they catch in its underlying mesh and hold it in place. Excess material may be trimmed, and loose edgings are pushed forcibly into the small space that exists between the strip and the wall. This may be followed by a wooden baseboard and quarter round, installed along the edges of the wall as an additional carpet edging, to hide any loose carpeting threads and create a finished look.

Transition strips may be used as a carpet edging between doorways and across entryways where the carpet meets a new flooring material. These strips may be constructed of hardwood, metal, or vinyl, and are typically tacked down to the carpeted surface using nails or screws. Installers generally tend to match the floor to which the carpet is transitioning, whether hardwood, tile, or vinyl, and may choose metal when no similar material may be found.

These strips are typically sold in either an "L" shape or a "Z" shape. The first type of transition piece is used as a carpet edging for floors of differing height. The "L" shape is faced into the room with the lower floor, and the covering material, whether carpet, hardwood, or tile, is then laid to the edge of the strip. The upper portion of the strip is slightly angled to create a smooth plane from one room to the next.

The "Z" shaped transition strip is commonly used to run carpet up to a new flooring material at the same height. The edge of the carpet is tucked into the lower jaw of the "Z", and the top portion is folded back over the strip. The entire mechanism is then nailed into place, holding the carpet permanently down.

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Discussion Comments
By manykitties2 — On Jul 21, 2011

For those on a tight budget finishing off a carpeting project can be a challenge. There are so many different types of carpet edging, but by far the cheapest has to be a simple wood baseboard painted the same color as your walls.

Often if you check out your local home improvement store you can find a variety of carpet edging materials on sale. I managed to pick up my baseboards for 50% off which really ended up saving me a lot of money.

Another good place to look for baseboards is at resale shops that support charities. A surprising amount of home renovation supplies end up at these stores.

By letshearit — On Jul 21, 2011

Choosing the right kind of carpet edging for your home can be a big decision because it can have a huge impact on the overall look of you room.

For myself I have always liked baseboards as I find they really give a room a polished look and they come in a great variety of colors and designs.

Getting baseboards that match the color scheme in your house can be a great idea. We currently have lovely baseboards that are elaborately molded and painted a soft cream. It really accents our rooms and gives it a clean and refreshing feel.

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