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Commercial Flooring News

Choosing A Trim

Lynette Bowden, marketing product manager for Gradus Accessories, examines the issues contractors face when selecting floor trims and gives guidance on creating attractive, safe and accessible environments and reduce costly call-backs:

THE decline in new build, particularly in healthcare and education, means that refurbishment is increasing, and on many smaller scale contracts the flooring specification, including the floor trims, is increasingly being handed to the contractors.

This burdens the contractor with the risks of specification, so it is essential to ensure that products installed are right in terms of performance.

Budget pressures often mean flooring contractors being asked to make cost savings and as floor trims are one of the last items to be installed inadequate trim may be used, or in some cases no trim at all.

This can then lead to problems; floor trims or transition strips, are essentially a safety product as they allow floorcoverings of different materials and heights to be joined, reducing the chance of trip accidents and allowing easy access and circulation.

The wrong trim can become a trip hazard in its own right. Ramp trims, for example, must ramp down gently, and, dependent on the risk of the trim becoming wet, should incorporate a slip- resistant material. Wrongly selected ramps can hinder access for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Trim heights should also be carefully considered. If they don’t fit flush with the floorcoverings they can create a lip that becomes a trip hazard. Floorcoverings should always be a tight fit to the trim, especially with
carpet where the compressed thickness should be considered, rather than the overall height of the carpet.

If the trim is flush with the full pile height over time the pile will be flattened leaving the trim standing proud.

Not only would this be a trip hazard, but would also cause issues with cleaning, with equipment catching on the trim edge, resulting in a high likelihood of the trim being damaged and again potentially becoming a trip hazard.
Floor trims also protect the edges of the floorcoverings, extending their lifecycles and preventing them from fraying and lifting.

When used with flooring such as wood or ceramic tiles it is also essential that trims are chosen to allow for the natural expansion of these materials. This will stop the flooring cracking and lifting; problems that can be very costly and time-consuming to fix and which can often mean the entire floor being replaced.

Finally, well-chosen trims can enhance the aesthetics of an installation, producing a neat, tidy and professional finish. The number of finishes available allows trims to be selected to suit the environment, for example high-end trims such as Gradus’ Luxury Trim System are often used to complement the luxury floor finishes found in exclusive hotel and residential developments.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at