Ken's Quick Answer:
"Don’t trip and fall! Learn about the importance of moldings, including reducers, stair noses, and, my favorite molding, the quarter round."
Ken's In-Depth Answer:
"Today, I want to talk to you about a technical side of the flooring business. I want to talk to you about the poor, unappreciated trim piece: the molding. It’s the thing that you use to finish off wood floors and floating luxury vinyl plank floors.
Moldings are necessary and it’s important for you and your retailer to understand what these moldings do. You also need to know when and where they’re needed.
So the first molding I want to talk to you about is the T molding—which is shaped like the letter T. It’s gently curved on the top, which gives it the appearance of a flattened out mushroom.
What does a T molding do? Well, if you have a hard surface floor, like laminate or wood, and you’re coming up against another floor of approximately equal height, then we use T moldings to bridge whatever gap there is between the two floors. It’s one of the few ways in which you’re able to make dissimilar floors meet up.
The next molding that’s very often used is what we call a reducer. One side of it butts right up against the wood floor (or the plank floor.) The other side bevels down to a base floor or a substrate—which could be concrete, linoleum, vinyl tile, or something else.
Reducers are tremendously useful for keeping people from tripping when they walk from the lower floor to the slightly higher wood floor.
The most necessary molding is the stair nose. The wood floor goes on one side and the other side curves around onto the riser of the step. It makes a nice finish from the top riser all the way onto the wood floor. Don’t ever forget the stair nose! It’s the only way you’re going to get safely up and down the stairs.
This next molding is my favorite molding: It’s the quarter round. We use this when, for some reason or another, we don’t want to remove the base boards. But there always has to be at least a quarter-inch gap around the perimeter of a plank floor in case the floor expands or contracts. It doesn’t matter if the floor is nailed down or glued down—you always need to allow for expansion.
So what does a quarter round do? Well, the quarter round will conceal the gap that we leave around the perimeter to give you a nice, finished look. Sometimes, the quarter round will match the floor. Sometimes, if the client has white baseboards, we use a primed white piece of quarter round that you can get at your local home store. Don’t forget expansion and don’t forget the quarter round!
The final molding that I’m going to talk about today is the threshold. A threshold is a rounded or a squarish piece that is typically used to tuck carpet up to. So, if you have a carpet going to a wood floor (and you don’t want to use a T molding) you can tuck that carpet right behind the tackless, up against the threshold. At least, that’s what we very often use it for.
That’s the story with moldings! I hope I’ve given you an idea of the importance and the functions of moldings in your floor covering job. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to give us a call at 401-214-0285."