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Hardwood Floor Moldings

What Kind Of Moldings Do I Need?

Types of will depend on what type of installation you're dealing with. For instance, a floor that will be sanded and finished on site does not come with actual moldings. Often the Header board used against tiled floorinstaller will cut the trim from the actual hardwood being used to a desired shape with a table saw. Once the installer leaves it's up to the floor finisher to smooth them in preparation for finishing.

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This is also true with high end 3/4 inch installations where trim is rarely used. Examples could include areas adjacent to ceramic tile, or natural stone (shown right). Often a decorative element in the role of header boards from the same material is used to finish off the area. Expansion areas are still kept in the form of silicone caulk that match the size of grout joints.

Stair nosing, reducers, baseboard, and or quarter round are still used in the above scenarios.

Prefinished Floors

Nearly all major prefinished flooring manufacturers handling lower vertical height hardwoods provide color coordinated trim moldings. Some may not manufacturer their own, but passing off their Artistic Finishesneeds to a company that specializes in trim moldings only. The illustrations below are provided by Artistic Finishes whose products can only be obtained through flooring dealers

Name: T-Molding
General Uses: The molding is used mostly between tiled surfaces and wood floors. Also used for connecting to existing wood floors
General Measurements:

Width: 2"
Height: 5/8"
Lengths: 78 inches

Name: Reducer, One Sided Reducer, Flush Reducer
General Uses: Used mostly with floor coverings of lower vertical heights such as vinyl, or concrete. Sometimes used around fireplaces and other fixed objects while becoming more of a design aspect than anything.
General Measurements:

Width: 2"
Height: will vary with thickness of flooring.
Lengths: 78 inches

Overlap Reducer
Name: Overlap Reducer
General Uses: Used mostly with floating floors to other floor coverings with lower vertical heights. Also used to transition carpet and floating floors.
General Measurements:

Width: 2 1/4"
Height: will vary with thickness of flooring.
Lengths: 78 inches

Bi level reducer
Name: Bi-level Reducer
General Uses: Used for transitioning solid 3/4" wood floors to lower vertical heights such as ceramic tile. Can also be used with carpeting.
General Measurements:

Width: 2 1/4"
Height: 3/4"
Lengths: 78 inches

Baby threshold
Name: Baby Threshold, Threshold
General Uses: Common uses included at sliding door areas where expansion is needed. Can also be used to transition with carpet.
General Measurements:

Width: 2 1/8"
Height: 7/8"- other heights available. Bottom tab varies with thickness.
Lengths: 78 inches

End cap
Name: End Cap, Square Nose Reducer
General Uses: Similar functions as a baby threshold provides.
General Measurements:

Width: 1 9/16"
Height: 7/8"
Lengths: 78 inches

Overlap stair nosing
Name: Overlap Stair Nosing, Bull Nose
General Uses: Used with some floating floors on steps and landing areas where expansion area is needed.
General Measurements:

Width: 3 1/4"
Height: 1"- other heights available.
Lengths: 78 inches

Flush stair nosing
Name: Flush/Square Edge Stair Nosing, Bull Nose
General Uses: Used for transition when placing plank or strip on stairs, landings, or step downs.
General Measurements:

Width: 3 1/8"- will vary
Height: 13/16"- will vary with other floor thickness
Lengths: 78 inches

Quarter Round
Name: Quarter Round
General Uses: Used against baseboard, toe kicks, and other fixed objects.
General Measurements:

Width: 3/4"
Height: 3/4"
Lengths: 84 inches

Shoe Molding
Name: Shoe Molding
General Uses: Similar functions as quarter round provides but has a less pronounced appearance.
General Measurements:

Width: 1/2"
Height: 3/4"
Lengths: 84 inches

Name: Wall Base, Baseboard
General Uses: Installed on finished wall where expansion space is needed.
General Measurements:

Width: 7/16"
Height: 3 1/2"
Lengths: 84 inches

General Notes

Not all prefinished manufactured products offer all of the trim shown above. More common trim moldings offered are number 1,2,5, 8, and 9. While most trim pieces are 78 inches in length, some products manufactured outside the USA will be longer. Additionally, all profile dimensions shown above may vary. This should not to be used as a definitive guide in how much you will actually need.

Few manufacturers produce prefinished stair treads and risers. Often the best alternative is to purchase them unfinished and have them stained and or finished on site. Artistic does offer stair treads and risers, including distressed and hand scraped appearances only suited for 3/4 inch solid flooring.

Custom Moldings

Not happy with the shorter lengths offered by many prefinished manufacturers? Some products shown above can be duplicated with the use of a table saw or shaper after one obtains longer material. The only disadvantage is matching the finish should it be stained.


If you happen to be hunting for an installer and should visit a job or two, pay close attention to how the moldings were installed. I am talking about transition areas that may go from hardwood to carpet or the actual quarter round or shoe molding that is installed against the baseboard. There's a lot you can learn about an installer by looking at the finer parts of the job and not just the floor from a distance.

It should be noted, not all baseboard trim is handled by the installer particularly with new home construction. If in doubt seek out the job super and not the one wearing their Sunday best. The latter will probably not have a clue.


Additional Links:

Installing Trim Moldings
Caulk Gaps Under Baseboard - without the mess
Stair Treads and Risers- solid, one piece
Heating Vents & Covers