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Commercial Flooring News

When Transition Moldings Aren’t Needed

Here’s a subject that is often debated within the circles of hardwood flooring guys. Perhaps you’ve seen hardwood floors in higher end homes and absent are trim marble against wood floormoldings. You did all the research and every manufacturer recommends expansion areas. So why is it in some homes there aren’t any?

Example #1- Engineered Floor Butted To Marble

I thought this one (photo left) was creative. When marble or natural stone is installed adjacent to hardwood floors there is pegged hardwood floor butted to tileoften an issue with what the transition will look like. Generally the hardwood floor will be a lower vertical height unless a plywood underlayment is added to bring it up flush. The engineered floor was installed tight to the marble, but the marble guys tapered or rounded over the edge creating a smoother transition.

Yea, the research says to leave an expansion area, but considering this is a direct gluedown installation on concrete with an engineered product the hardwood expansion gap rule isn’t as important. Even with solid floors installers have been known to butt the flooring providing it’s running perpendicular to the area. In other cases hardwood is net fitted regardless of direction. It’s really a matter of choice and what works or has worked for the installer. Keeping the Rh levels of the home constant becomes critical to the success of not using transition pieces in most cases. Another photo example shows the same with a solid pegged hardwood floor butted against ceramic tile.

Keep in mind doing something like this in your own home cannot be done with floating floors. In that case a t-molding would be necessary as the floor is unattached. Another disadvantage could be the quality of the tile installation. If their work doesn’t end with a straight line across the doorway, you’ll never be able to create a seamless transition without the use of a molding.

Other Areas Without Trim Moldings

Sliding door areas can chew up extra costs when it comes to using trim moldings. Manufacturers offer the use of the baby threshold in this case. Fireplaces can be another critical focal point. In most cases installers don’t know a better way other than installing some quarter round or another premade trim molding that never looks quite right.

By planning ahead one can create a very smooth professional appearance near hearths and fireplaces. However you’ll need the proper tools to get the job done correctly. This is where an power jamb saw comes into play. Expect more in the future dealing with varying types of molding options and hardwood floors.