Flooring Trim and Accessories

Posted on Feb 17th 2011 by David — Comments ↓

You need the right trim accessories In order to give your new floor a professionally finished look. A common order-related question is what type finishing trims and accessories, often referred to as transitions, are required with wood and laminate flooring, and how much should be ordered.  Finishing trims and accessories can make the difference in the overall effect of your new flooring project, as the finished visual effect they create is a defining feature of the completed project.

Determine the trim accessories you need by noting where transitions, such as doorways, stairways, perimeters and borders around and between rooms, are required.  Trim accessories can be purchased pre-finished to match your new flooring, or purchased unfinished from any local lumber supply and painted or stained as desired.  Transition areas may require either a Stair Nose, End Cap, Reducer, T-Mold, or a Quarter Round to complete the finish to your floor.

The Stair Nose provides a transition from the floor to the edge of a flight of stairs or steps, allowing the floating flooring system to expand and contract freely at the step-down location.   The molding sits flat and level on one side of the flooring, and closely hugs the first stair or step on the other side. This rounds off the edge of the stair, adding a unique finishing touch to your completed flooring project.  It is also used against sliding glass door tracks and metal thresholds of exterior doors, or to join another floor or surface that is higher than the new floor.

The End Cap is required when transitioning to an uneven surface such as a high-pile carpet or a thicker variety of tile. An End Cap is also a good option when your flooring butts an edge such as a sliding glass door, where a Quarter Round may be too small.  The End Cap can add a subtle, tailored look to your interior due to its low profile.

A Reducer bridges the gap between two uneven surfaces, reducing from the primary floor to to a lower flooring surface such as vinyl and bare concrete. The Reducer is an excellent choice if the flooring edge ends without butting up to anything.  It creates a small ramp that smoothes over the difference in height between floors of different thickness

The T-Mold is used to transition from one floor to another when both are at the same finished height.  A T-Mold is useful for doorways, or between other flooring sections which are at the same level. For example, if a laminate floor is installed in a particularly long room, a T-molding could be used for tying the two sections together. The T-Mold is shaped like a "T" with the beams of the "T" serving as the bridge from one room or flooring to another.

The Quarter Round is used to cover the expansion gap between the floor and the wall around the perimeter of the room. It is required if there is no baseboard, but can also be used with baseboard, creating an additional design feature.  Quarter Round is also used to conceal irregularities in your floor, such as areas where the floor dips slightly and causes a gap where the floor meets the wall. Quarter Round is installed by pressing it down against the floor and nailing or stapling it tightly to the wall or baseboard so it covers these gaps. Quarter Round creates a smooth edge with a nice visual touch and makes your floor easier to clean.  From a design perspective it is often better to coordinate your quarter round with the color of your baseboard instead of the floor.

In order to determine the amount of transition pieces you need, write down each doorway or opening measurement, and the type of transition trim and/or accessory used for each one.  After you have the total measured transitions you need, divide it by the sold length of the trim.  If your calculations do not result in an even number, it is always better to round up one piece.  We recommend adding 10% to your total to be safe.  When an opening that is wider than one piece of trim, we recommend that two equal lengths of trim be used as opposed to one large piece and a small cut piece. This may result in a little more waste, but will look better with the seam in the middle.

Measure the length of each wall and total them to determine the amount of quarter round required to finish your project.  After you have the total running measurement feet, divide it by the sold length of the trim piece.  If your calculations do not result in an even number, it is always better to round up one piece.  We recommend adding 10% to your total to be safe.

We trust this discussion has shown you the different types of flooring trim and accessories you may need.  For best results, follow the installation instructions of the manufacturer of the flooring.

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