Jim Kups, North America Technical Manager for Novalis, shares his thoughts and advice on the importance of transition moldings with your new floor.

While on a recent trip with one of my colleagues, we happened to be discussing some of the accessory products Novalis carries and the talk turned to transition moldings. So, naturally as I’m sitting on a plane later in the evening listening to the safety talk my mind starts to replay the earlier conversation about transitions. I grabbed my laptop and started to sift through some of the emails we get from consumers and realize that this is a hot topic in the messages sent in to our [email protected] information line. What better way to spend a flight than to pen the next installment of our blog….

“Do you have matching moldings for my flooring; I can’t find anything in the store”

Well, actually we do have a complete line of color coordinated moldings that will fit the needs of our consumers for the floating STAINMASTER®  Luxury Vinyl products we sell at Lowe’s Home Improvement. There is a PVC reducer / “T” molding, and a PVC stair nose to give the flooring a nice, finished look in your home.

You can also learn more about molding options for Novalis product by visiting the Accessories page on NovaFloor.us. You can even download a brochure.

“I need to finish my new kitchen floor to the carpet in the family room and the hardwood in the dining room. What can I do?”

The SlimTrim T-molding is the perfect solution for this question. It allows you to have a low-profile way to go from our LVP to the carpet or the hardwood very easily. The molding snaps into the provided metal track and all you need to do is be sure that the required expansion gap is left from the LVP to the mounting channel. The SlimTrim is also wide enough to cover most tap-down carpet metals so you don’t have to remove them and loosen the stretched-in carpet.

3-in-1 Trim Molding

3-in-1 Trim Molding

“Why did the sales associate tell me I need transition moldings in my installation? I read the instructions and see it in there too, how come?”

There are two reasons for this requirement; the first is to be able to cover the raw edge of the material when butting up against another type of floor or at a wall. The second reason is for providing break points in the flooring at doorways (less than 6 feet wide) and in long runs (over 30 lineal feet). Vinyl flooring naturally expands and contracts (see “Expansion Gaps and Floating Floors blog https://novafloor.us/expansion-gaps-and-floating-lvt-floors/) with temperature changes. Rooms in a home can be different temperatures due to a number of factors, so proving a break point at the doorways allows the sections of flooring to freely move if necessary.NovaFloor–Gaps-Blog-2

“I want to install this vinyl on my stairs off the kitchen so I have a nice flowing installation and I don’t like the metal stair nose that is in the stores. What else can I get?”

Well, the metal nosings have been around the industry longer than me and are still really good products. But we also understand the desire to have everything match on the installation so we’ve brought a 1” long (face of the nosing) stair nose. But, before installing the flooring on stairs please contact us for complete instructions on how to safely install the planks on your stairs.

Stair Nose

Stair Nose

“Okay, so you’ve talked me into the moldings. How do I install them?”

Now that’s a good question! All the moldings come with complete instructions on how to properly install the transitions and stair nose, and just in case you’ve misplaced them you can find them online or by contacting us at [email protected].

“I see two colors stocked at Lowe’s for the t-molding and not the one for the floor I like. How come you only make two colors?

Novalis has color-coordinated all of the floating LVT colors and if your store doesn’t stock it, it can be ordered by the Sales Associate through their SOS system.

“Wait, did I read earlier that you said I can only go 30 feet with the flooring? My family room and dining room are 39 feet from wall to wall? Now what do I do?”

Never fear, there’s always a solution. First, we need to understand that vinyl flooring expands and contracts as a normal occurrence with temperature changes. So the longer the run of the flooring, the more this expansion can add to the length of the floor. We get concerned that the perimeter spacing will start to get used up and that’s not a good thing. So, a quick look at the installation area will probably lead us to see a natural point where one room becomes the other and this is the ideal spot to provide a relief point for the flooring. The SlimTrim t-molding is very low profile (ADA compliant) and unobtrusive, and is wide enough to allow for the perimeter spacing to be covered under the molding.

Most of the time I see length becoming a problem when a long hallway is off the living room, and we get runs over 30 lineal feet. The entrance of the hall is a great place to put a relief in the flooring and the molding will blend into the installation as it looks like a natural part of it; just like in the doorways.

“Why do you say to leave a gap under the quarter round? Is this so I can caulk it easier?”

No, unfortunately that’s not the reason and we don’t recommend caulking along the flooring. The slight gap under the quarter round or base board if it will be over the floor, is to allow the vinyl planks to freely expand & contract. Tight moldings will pinch the floor and create some issues we don’t want to see. Also, be sure to fasten the quarter round horizontally into the baseboard and not on an angle into the expansion space or through the flooring- this will also pinch it in place. Putting caulk at the bottom of the quarter round will essentially adhere the floor to the molding and stop the movement we want to allow, so no caulk!

“Did you really write this on a plane?”

Well, I did start it on the plane but after a while deep thought took over … and I had to finish it after I landed. I hope we’ve given some insight into the use of moldings for floating flooring and if you still have questions for us, please always feel free to drop us a note at [email protected].

Happy Trails!

Jim Kups, Technical Manager, North America, Novalis Innovative Flooring

Jim Kups is the North American Technical Manager for Novalis Innovative Flooring, maker of STAINMASTER® Luxury Vinyl.