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A Guide to Laminate Flooring Moldings

Looking for a simple way to make your new laminate floor seem like it’s always been a defining feature of your room? The proper molding can make a big difference by adding a little something extra to your flooring project.

Wood Flooring Moldings

One of the most important factors to consider regarding your interior décor is the degree of integration and harmony you wish to achieve among the various areas in your home or work space. In some settings, a sense of continuity may be desired between adjacent rooms. In others, you may want sharply contrasted areas. You might wish to create the illusion that your new flooring has always been a part of the living or working space in which it is installed. Even with a limited budget, you can create striking effects with a bit of imagination, and often the best way to get the desired effect is the simplest one.

For laminate flooring, something as basic as the right style of molding can make all the difference in adding flow and continuity, as well as a sense of unity to an interior. There are several varieties of moldings that are available to you to help you gain these effects. But, which variety is the most appropriate for your specific space? Let’s take a look at the options:

Reducer moldings

This type of molding is useful when applying a transition from one floor space to another where the levels are slightly different. This situation sometimes occurs when the transition is between two different flooring materials, for example from a laminate floor to a tile floor, or when the floor of the adjacent room is the same material but installed at a different level.

End moldings

An end molding can be used as another type of transition molding, but it is more useful when the transition is to an uneven surface such as a high-pile carpet or a thicker variety of tile. An end molding may also be a better choice when your flooring butts an edge such as a sliding glass door, where a quarter round molding may be too small. With a lower profile than a reducer strip laminate molding, an end molding can add a subtle, tailored look to your interior.

T-moldings

T-moldings are useful for doorways or between other flooring sections which are at the same level. For example, if a laminate floor is installed in a particularly long room, a T-molding could be used for tying the two sections together. The T-molding is aptly named – shaped like a “T” – with the beams of the “T” serving as a bridge from one room or flooring section to another.

Baseboard moldings

baseboard is a well-known finishing element to a flooring project. The baseboard molding serves as a transition from a horizontal surface (e.g. your new laminate floor) to the vertical surface of a wall. Like all types of molding, you can match it with the color of the laminate floor, or paint it to match the wall. Either way, a baseboard molding can add a subtle, almost subliminal effect to the appearance of your room.

Base shoe moldings

This type of molding appears as a standard baseboard molding with a shallower profile. The base shoe molding is useful when trying to preserve the look of an existing baseboard while at the same time offering the advantages of its lower profile. The “shoe” portion of the molding is a rounded lip that helps to preserve the face of the baseboard from everyday wear, specifically when you vacuum your laminate floor.

Quarter round moldings

Used in the same way as a base shoe molding, the quarter round molding butts against your wall with a low, rounded exterior profile that adds a simple, yet tidy touch to your completed laminate flooring installation. This type of molding is often used behind cabinets where a low profile molding is better suited to support an object flush against the wall.

Stairnose moldings

For making a transition from your floor to the edge of a flight of stairs or steps, a stairnose molding is a great solution. The molding sits flat and level on one side with your laminate flooring and closely hugs the first stair or step on the other side, rounding off the edge of the stair and adding a unique finishing touch to your completed laminate flooring project.

Something as simple as a molding can really make all the difference to the overall effect of your new laminate flooring project. Putting in a molding is often an afterthought to some, but the finished visual effect it creates is more often than not the defining feature of the completed project

(11) Comments

  1. What if the laminate can fit and slide under existing molding? Do I let it slide under? Will there be too much expansion space if I lay floor in front of moldings and use 3/4 rounds on top of that?

  2. I’m looking to put laminate in my kitchen. There is an overhang on the lower cabinets that will hide the expansion gap but how do I install the floor along an island in the middle of the kitchen? Quarter round or base molding isn’t an option because of the island material, plus that would just look odd. Can I go right against the island if I leave double the expansion gap on the other end? Thanks for any help.

    • Hi Deb,

      Just curious if the island on the middle of the kitchen is curved? Because if so, what you could use are Flexible Moldings (//www.builddirect.com/Flooring-Accessories/Result_N_4294961202+4294966291+4294960431_Ne_2.aspx) which you can stain to match the color of your choice. It can go around the island. You can also see if there are other flexible moldings you can buy locally if it makes more sense financially for you.

      Rodney

  3. I recently purchased 1300 square laminate and want to use in on stairs. Toklo 15mm chocolate mocha. Can the stair nose molding be mounted flush to the laminate on the stairs?
    Thanks

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  5. When I install a laminate floor and do not take off the baseboard can I slide the flooring under the baseboard if I can keep a 1/4″ space along the walls and the flooring. Thanks.

    • Hi Forrest,

      When installing the laminate flooring in your case, you will want to remove the baseboards first and use spacers to ensure 1/4″ spacing. This would be a smoother way of installing. Otherwise, if you attempt to slide the flooring under the baseboard, it would be more challenging (and sometimes not possible depending on your area) to install (and may cause problems for you).

      Rodney

  6. christopher davis - Reply

    hey i was just wonderinim putte laminate floor through out the house i already have baseboard molding do ui need spacer with that or just butt it up to it and also like when i come to a dorrway do i put anything over it like u do iff u have laminate flooren in one room and carpet in the other room or do i jUST HAVE NPOTHEN AND PUT IT THROUGH OUT LIKE THAT WITH NO KINDA OF THINGYS DONT NO WHAT U CALL THEM LIKE WHEN UR HAVE LAMINATE FLOORIN IN ONE ROOM AND CARPET THROUGH THE HALLWAY OR SO

    • Hi Christopher.

      What you need to do in this case is remove the wall base, install the laminate down and allow a space (1/4″ from the wall) and then put the wall base there again. This is probably the most easiest way. You can also use quarter rounds instead if that works better for you (really depends on how you want the room to look visually).

      Rodney

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