The objective of a good transition between carpet and tile is to minimize the look and feel of going from one material to another. Although this is a routine job for carpet and tile installation professionals, this is also something a confident do-it-yourself homeowner can do with a few special tools, attention to detail and a little patience. One common and successful method used to tuck carpet next to tile is with a tack strip.
Measure the length of the transition area between the tile and the carpet. Transfer this measure to the tack strip and cut it using a stair tool and mallet. A hack saw can also be used to cut the strip. Wear work gloves to protect your hands from the tacks.
Fold back the carpet to allow yourself enough room to work. Position the tack strip 1/4 inch away from the tile and with the tacks on top of the strip pointing toward the tile. Nail the tack strip securely to the floor.
Trim the carpet padding using your slotted blade knife. When trimmed, the edge of the pad should butt up next to the tack strip with no gap. It should not overlap the strip.
Cut the carpet with a slotted blade knife so that it is even with the edge of the tile. Use the carpet kicker and stretch the carpet over the tacks and past the tack strip by 1/4 inch.
Tuck the end of the carpet into the gap between the tack strip and the tile by using a stair tool or a putty knife. Be careful not to unravel the carpet fibers. When the complete length of the transition has been successfully tucked, run a bead of latex glue inside the crevice between the carpet and the tile to ensure that the carpet stays in place and does not come up.