The Supplies You Need to Complete Your Flooring Project
The process of selecting the perfect flooring for your space can be full of little details, from beginning to end. The beginning stages are exciting and require big decisions. The final details are just as important and will contribute to achieving an overall visual and function that you expect. Consider these finishing details as you consult with your flooring professional for a successful outcome.
Your flooring dealer may recommend a product to install underneath the floor product you have chosen, depending on the condition of your subfloor, or your expressed needs for functionality. There are products available that can reduce and absorb sound, provide a moisture barrier, or make installation easier (or even possible) when subfloor imperfections are prohibitive. An example of a good moisture barrier is Aquabar® B, which also reduces noise.
The requirement for adhesive varies, depending on the type of flooring you select, and the installation method necessary for your particular environment. For example, some locking systems featured with luxury vinyl planks and tiles, or rigid core products, allow a floor to “float.” This means the tiles or planks are locked to each other, but not to the subfloor. These options save time and installation costs, but may not be suitable for your space. It is important that the recommended adhesives be used that are referenced in the warranty and installation instructions. Your flooring dealer should explain the cost and the necessity of these products during your quote process.
Trim – Visual Options
Finishing the installation with moldings and trim is necessary to join spaces together, prevent trip hazards, ensure stability, and keep transition spaces clean. But, it’s not all about function. Selecting trim colors and options is another opportunity to express your personal style and preference.
If you are having hardwood installed, one common misconception is that your trim must be stained or prefinished to blend to the flooring. Consider having the quarter round (or shoe molding) painted to match the baseboard, for a crisp, clean visual.
If you choose stained trim, whether prefinished or stained on-site, it will not be a perfect match, but should be a suitable blend to coordinate with the hardwood. An experienced installer will sort and use planks around the perimeter of the room that have the best blend to the trim color. Pre-finished trim manufacturers state disclaimers regarding “matches” to hardwood flooring.
All other types of flooring, such as laminate, and luxury vinyl sheet, planks and tiles may have an entire line of trim, made specifically to match specific collections and colors. Most manufacturers see value in this investment for the consumer, and provide these options in a vinyl or laminate construction with exact color and design matches. These products can have the same durability of the flooring products they were created for and will not wear or fade as quickly as stained or painted wood trim. An economical option is metal or vinyl trim that is universal. Even these lower cost products are now available in many colors and visuals, such as hammered and textured metals.
Photo credit: Futura
Trim – Profile Function
Generally, there are five basic trim profiles that are standard and readily available to coordinate with your floor. Others are available by special order, if you have custom needs.
- A t-mold is a simple transition strip that connects two floor types together, of the same height.
- Thresholds are used at exterior doors or to join hardwood with other floor types at interior doorways.
- Quarter-round and shoe mold are slightly different in height but perform the same basic function, joining the floor to the wall and/or baseboard perimeter.
- A stair nose fits at the edge of a step and, together with flooring planks, your installer can encase your stairs or landing.
- Reducers are true to their name, and are used to join hardwood floors to a lower height flooring type, such as low pile carpet.
Manufacturer documents are typically very specific about finishing requirements, and they will vary, depending on your flooring type and your environment. Discuss your visual expectations, but leave the technical requirements to your expert installer, and you are on your way to a successful project completion.
Additional Images: Photo Credits: iStock